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Los Angeles native. Tennessee transplant. 

Seattle, WA: Day Three

Seattle, WA: Day Three

My last full day in Seattle was comprised of:

  1. Gum Wall — our mark was still there! 
  2. Walk down to the Harbor Area (watch out for construction)
  3. Ride on the carousel at Miner's Landing
  4. Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour using my City Pass
  5. Pike Place Market
  6. Bike Ride via the Burke-Gilman Trail
  7. Gas Works Park {En route}
  8. Fremont Troll{En route – kind of}
  9. Full Tilt Ice Cream {En route}
  10. Ballard Locks & Fish Ladder {En route}
  11. Zayda Buddy's Pizza for dinner {En route back}
  12. Bike through the sunset
  13. Watch Sleepless in Seattle

For the details of sweet foods, random decisions, bike off-roading, and unexpected adventures, read on.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Gum Wall — our mark was still there!

Just for reference, I included a picture (above) showing what it looks like when you're about to see the Gum Wall. It's just to the left there. And they do have really cool places next to the Gum Wall, like the Improv Comedy. If I was there longer, it would have been a great place to check out.

What I loved was that our gum heart was still there. Because it's on that map, it's easy to pick out. And it seems other people had added their own choice of map destinations via gum placement. Glad we could contribute.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Ride on the carousel at Miner's Landing

I walked down to the harbor for a boat tour next. There's major construction going on down there, so I kind of avoided the area. But that's where the boat tour left (there's another area further down for ferries), and so I entered through the construction to Pier 57, Miner's Landing. It's kind of tourist kitsch with the food court, "Pirates Plunder," and "The Great Wheel" (which I chose not to go on — if it actually went underwater, that would be an experience worth paying for to me). But the best part about it for me was the carousel ride.

I had about ten minutes before the boat tour left, which gave me just enough time for a three minute little go-around. There's something fascinating and fun to me still about going on a carousel: riding a stationary, but kind of moving, horse, the details of each horse, the mirrors, the lights, the shape itself. It's nostalgic, and fun. And, bonus!, my stomach still feels intact after it (I've realized lately that carnival rides that I used to enjoy so much now make me feel sick — especially the ones that spin you upside down — why do we get older???).

Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour using my City Pass

The Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour was fun. Aside from getting a picture with my head in a life ring preserver (the opportunity doubled as a way to make sure I fit into a life ring in case the boat went down #Can'tBeTooCareful haha), it was nice to view the city from the water and learn a little bit more information from another resource. I loved being able to walk around the boat, and I personally really like those punny jokes they usually use on tours like this. So clever!

I briefly mentioned how I purchased the City Pass at the Chihuly Gardens, which gives you admission to five tourist attractions in Seattle. I bought it at the ticket booth at Chihuly, but you can also purchase at any of the other sites it lists, or pre-purchase online. The City Pass works in a way that it gives you and/or options. All in all it includes:

  • Two visits to the Space Needle
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Chihuly Gardens or Pacific Science Center
  • EMP Museum or Woodland Park Zoo
  • Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour

I pretty much cut even with the City Pass since I skipped out on the aquarium. If you go to all places, and you really want to see all those places, then I suggest getting it. Just calculate in advance what works best for what you want to do. You really don't need two visits to the Space Needle though unless you can see it at night and during the day. But as I said previously, the Space Needle closes now before it's dark.

Also, looking back, one thing I really wanted to do, but ended up doing the cruise instead, was taking a ferry to Bainsbridge or Vashon Island. I would have wanted to spend more than a morning there though, so I settled for the cruise since it was a way to get on the water, but also was just about an hour. And I would've missed out on that carousel ride if I hadn't seen it going through Miner's Landing which would have been a real bummer.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Pike Place Market

My last visit to Pike Place Market was my purchase trip. On the previous ones, I wanted to observe the market, but on this one, I wanted to get some things to take home. I decided on flowers for my friend Tina — a thanks in advance for letting me stay with her and taking time away from studying for finals to meander around the city — and some real honey for my stepmom who helped me take this trip.

The flowers were beautiful and Tina sent me photos later of how they bloomed. Seriously gorgeous. There's something about fresh flowers that are so optimistic and beautifully simple to me. You can never go wrong with flowers.

Since it was a Saturday, there were a lot of people at the market, relative to the other times I was there. I heard through the grapevine that there were two or three cruise-ships in that day, so all the people from that, plus it being a Saturday was why it was so crazy.

I love this marketplace though. Even in all the craziness. It feels authentic, despite it being such a tourist hotspot.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Bike Ride via the Burke-Gilman Trail

I took a bus to where Tina lives near the university. She was able to borrow a bike from her friend so we could go bike riding without worrying about a rental. 

The trail we took — the Burke-Gilman Trail — was a good way to get to all the places we went to, while avoiding the danger of cars. I actually don't mind biking on the street as much as Tina does, but it was safer this way. We did have one detour to avoid the street but we ended up on some train track and I felt like we were off-rode mountain biking (probably since I've never been real mountain biking and that's what I imagine it would be like). There was a couple times I almost lost control of the bike, but luckily we came to our destination and off the rocks just in time. 

Also — weird thing about biking in Seattle that's not so weird — they really implement the helmet law. You have to wear a helmet or they will ticket you. According to Tina. In the South Bay (of Los Angeles area) it's way more relaxed. It almost feels like an unwritten rule that when you turn thirteen, you don't have to wear a helmet anymore. Biking on the strand it sort of makes sense, but biking in the street, it's kind of dumb not to. So way to implement the law Seattle.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Gas Works Park {En route}

Our first stop on our bike route was this park. It's sort of an odd juxtaposition of nature vs. man but in an Industrial Revolution sense. These gas structures (that I'm like 99% positive are not in use anymore) are integrated into the park atmosphere. It's pretty interesting. And worth a stop, or a picnic spot.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Fremont Troll {En route – kind of}

I had this idea that the Fremont Troll was under the Fremont Bridge, which would be right on our bike route. Turns out that the Fremont Troll is in fact under the George Washington Memorial Bridge aka Aurora Bridge, which we found out after we made it to the Fremont Bridge and there was no massive troll lurking there.

Once we turned around and started going back, we had a pretty massive hill to climb up to get to the troll. I was hoping one of the cars going up the hill would give us a lift. I'm that lazy.

Once we got to the top, it was completely worth it. The Troll is such a cool sculpture. I don't know exactly what the silver is in his eye (a hubcap?), but I love the detail of the crushed car in his left hand and how he really appears like he's coming out from the ground.

More and more people started showing up the longer we were there, but everyone was pretty respectful and gave some time to enjoy the troll and climb on it.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Full Tilt Ice Cream {En route}

Full Tilt is a really good ice cream store, but even better than that, it has pinball machines. I recently tried playing pinball at this bar in LA and failed miserably (and I don't drink, so it wasn't because I was that drunk, it was because I was really not that good). I wasn't much better here.

Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA
Seattle, WA

Ballard Locks & Fish Ladder {En route}

Our final purposeful stop on the bike route was the Chittenden — aka Ballard — Locks. I saw some things on this when I was researching what to do in Seattle, and I honestly didn't understand the purpose of it at all, and even when I was there Tina and I spent about thirty minutes to an hour just watching how they did their process of letting boats in and out because it was so new to me.

From what I understand now, it acts as a mechanism to maintain a certain water level, to prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound and fresh water of the lakes, and because of those things — primarily the sea/fresh water separation — they have to be able to move the boats somehow through a system where they won't bring the sea water with them.

It's kind of intricate, but a set of boats comes through, they get tied up, close a gate, and the water level slowly rises or lowers depending on which direction they're going in, then they open the opposite gate, and the boats are then able to go along their merry way.

Because of this water separation, they've also provided a way for salmon to get through by going up a fish ladder. I was actually more interested in this part before I came to the site, but there were no fish when I was there, and I was more intrigued by the locking when I left.

In addition to the fish, and the locking process, there's also a botanical garden and visitor's center (which isn't too exciting). It's overall a nice area to hang out in.

The whole thing was a fun learning experience. And lucky you if you'll be there in two years because they'll be celebrating their 100th anniversary!

Seattle, WA

By the time we were riding back, we were really hungry — apparently ice cream doesn't fill you up for an entire day. We stopped at Zayda Buddy's Pizza for dinner, and got a seat on their back patio which opened up onto an empty lot. It was nice to be outside, because the inside was kind of noisy and we wanted fresh air. Although the view wasn't amazing, the food was. I highly recommend their cheese curds — their cheese is actually from Wisconsin which is why this place is interesting to me. And probably why their cheese in general is just that good. Tina and I also split their Potato Potaughto pizza, which is great if you like goat cheese. I forgot that I actually don't. Which was the second time that happened that week...And it happened a third time later that week. I think I'll remember now (although I thought that the last two times).

As we were riding back, we passed all the spots we had rode through earlier but it was a different feel because the sun was now setting. The scenery looked as if it was being painted. The boat that pulled in under the bridge with all the beautiful pastel colors surrounding it could barely be captured on camera. We stopped at Gas Works Park again to sit and watch the rest of the sunset with everyone else — facing the water and just enjoying the feel of the cool air.

I was grateful when we made it back, and got to get ready for bed. I ended my last night appropriately watching Sleepless in Seattle before falling asleep.

The next morning I woke up, Tina drove me to the airport and I headed back to Los Angeles, already wishing I had more time to stay in Seattle. 

Seattle, WA Travel Guide

Seattle, WA Travel Guide

Glassblowing in Seattle

Glassblowing in Seattle