Seattle, WA: Day Two
Day two in Seattle was equally exciting, but unlike the previous day, there was a lot of impulsive buying and money spending. Mostly on food, attractions, and experiences.
- It was #NationalDoughnutDay, so obviously a trip to Top Pot Doughnuts was in order
- Chihuly Garden and Glass — phenomenal/inspiring/amazing/fantastic/favorite etc. etc.
- Learned glass-blowing at the Seattle Glassblowing Studio
- Artist's at Play Playground — so fun! Even if you're not five years old
- EMP Museum / Experience Music Project Museum
- Seattle Space Needle — where I caught a fish?
- Olympic Sculpture Park
- Giant Shoe Museum
- Owl 'n Thistle Irish Pub for some of the "best fish 'n chips" — agreed
- Kerry Park to watch the sunset
Read on for all the details — like how I caught a fish at the Seattle Space Needle, and what places I would skip or not spend as much time at.
So first off, I definitely slept in. And although I missed the free breakfast provided by the hostel, it was completely worth it. Plus it was National Doughnut Day, so obviously I already knew what I wanted for breakfast: Top Pot Doughnuts.
After consulting with the hostel reception, Top Pot was a nearby winner, and also the Daily Dozen Donuts in Pike's Place Market, which would have been a great choice as well, but Daily Dozen was located the opposite way of where I wanted to walk. So Top Pot won this time. Kind of regretful I didn't just get both.
The Top Pot Doughnut location I went to was on 5th Ave, which let me explore another part of Seattle, away from the harbor. It was a lot quieter and a nice place to walk through.
On the way to the Seattle Center, I saw a glassblowing shop which I found out had lessons! Although pricey (I ended up paying $150 for 30 minutes — I know, it was a lot for my budget BUT I made a paperweight for my mom's birthday) it was seriously one of the best experiences I had in Seattle, especially after my super inspiring next best experience in Seattle briefly shown below because, honestly, this glassblowing all-around experience deserves it's own post (to come).
Chihuly Garden and Glass — phenomenal/inspiring/amazing/fantastic/favorite etc. etc.
For now, that's all that I'm going to say. Do not miss this, especially if you love art and design.
I made it back in time for my class. The picture above shows a sneak peak of what it turned out to look like!
Artist's at Play Playground — so fun! Even if you're not five years old
But really. Just near the EMP Museum is this "Artist's at Play" Playground. When I came around the corner and saw this park, I got really curious about it and started exploring.
There were some sort of bummer moments like things that had a weight limit – fortunately or unfortunately, I didn't make the 100 lb. cut – and I really wanted to go on this hammock swing but the kids were hogging it. If they ever plan to add to this park, I suggest more hammock swings.
Instead I settled for a spot on the grass and soaked in the sun. I also attempted the maze for a good three minutes before I decided to step out of it. I know when I'm defeated. Or when I don't want to walk in circles anymore.
It made me really wish that creativity in all parks and parquettes was more explored and invested in. There's something really great about going to a park that's interactive and let's you play and learn and engage in ways you didn't think of before. It wasn't just the maze or the swing-set, it was also things like sound pillars, and some weight distribution activity.
I really admired it. And A+ on the slides. I didn't get to slide down one myself, but I saw as some little girl did and she made it through in two seconds. That's when you know it's a good slide.
EMP Museum / Experience Music Project Museum
I think the best part of the EMP Museum was the entrance. They have a gigantic screen that was playing the entire Michael Jackson Thriller video when I walked in, so I had the luxery of sitting down and watching it there.
I started going through the Fantasyland exhibit which was probably my favorite of the three that I really saw. It featured interactive photo plays, quizzes (I'm a knight), and videos as well as a lot of costumes and props for fairytale/fantasy movies such as Narnia, The Princess Bride, and The Wizard of Oz among many others.
I also explored the horror exhibit – all about horror movies – and that wasn't as gruesome as I prepared myself for it to be. There were some props from horror films, and some costumes and creatures (one picture which I opted not to show just so I wouldn't freak you out, however it's here if you want to see it).
My favorite part was the Scream Booth. It was kind of frightening in the way that I was in an enclosed booth and had the opportunity to scream as loud as possible and barely any sound came out. What would I do if I was actually in a horror movie running away from some alien creature that was chasing me down?? I would die. Because apparently I can't scream.
I walked really quickly through the sci-fi exhibit before going up to see the guitar ensemble pictured above, and the Nirvana exhibit. They're also opening a Jimi Hendrix exhibit soon it looked like.
I was excited to check out the Sound Lab where I could learn how to play drums, and record a song, but I got there just as a school group did and all the recording booths were in use.
I think the outside of this museum, which is by the same architect as the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, made me really excited to know what was inside. But once I got inside, I wasn't super blown away by any of the exhibits. It could be my lack of disinterest or understanding in some of the subject matters explored of video games (I'm really classic – challenge me to a Nintendo Super Smash Bros. game and it's on, but current "Indie Games" like the ones they displayed I don't care too much about), and the sci-fi and Nirvana music scene...I kind of could have skipped this museum if I was really short on time, and because I was able to go to this museum while I waited for my timeslot to open for the Space Needle, it was great. Also, I purchased the City Pass which included entry to here, so might as well.
Seattle Space Needle — where I caught a fish?
I mean, I didn't really catch a fish. I hope you all don't feel like I fooled you. I held a cardboard fish in front of a greenscreen in the Space Needle and they snapped a photo. Does that count? I got to choose the background though. The water scene made the most sense.
I sort of had low expectations of the Space Needle since there were so many alternatives I had heard of. But I actually really enjoyed it. You don't need to spend that much time here – they do have an overpriced food and bar area if you really want to just sit and eat and drink up there, but it's really not necessary unless you were starving like me who hadn't eaten since the doughnuts that morning and was so desperate to eat your overpriced Caesar salad right then that you can't even wait for an open table and will even share one with a couple from Colorado.
I would imagine that the best time to come to the Space Needle is at sunset. Since the sun didn't set until 9pm, and it closes way before that, you can't really be up there when it's dark. Unless you do what a woman I made friends with on the trip said she and her friend did: they went up to the Space Needle almost at closing and just stayed there until the sunset. Which is a long time – like hours. She said it was worth it because watching the sunset from that viewpoint is pretty amazing.
I personally liked the Space Needle because I was able to see and understand the layout of the city better. It's kind of fun just to point out where you've walked around to from up above. It was such a clear and beautiful day too, you could see for miles.
The Olympic Sculpture Park did not have as many sculptures as I imagined. I briefly walked down the path provided and sat on a chair for a little while. Other than the large red "eagle" sculpture, and a giant head, there was little else to see. It is a nice park area overlooking the water, but I don't know that I'd go out of my way again to see it.
There is no going wrong when you find a Giant Shoe Museum. You put a quarter or fifty cents in, and curtains open to unveil some very large giant shoes. That's really all there is to it.
It's a little tricky to find because it's in Pike Place Market, but it's in the level below, and it's just next to Old Seattle Paperworks. If you're in the market area (which I would hope you would be at some point) it's sort of a fun detour.
Owl 'n Thistle Irish Pub for some of the "best fish 'n chips" — agreed
A worthy place of choice for dinner. The guide actually mentioned this from the walking tour, and he also mentioned how Seattle's restaurants have happy hour for all but two hours they're open usually, which is great for consumers because you can just go place to place sampling a little bit of everything and not spending as much.
Kerry Park to watch the sunset
To get to the park is an easy bus ride – and recommended. I was thinking about walking, but ... no. It would have been two miles after my many miles I already walked. Then I thought about Uber, but I had never used it before. I attempted to, and I got confused about how to know which car is mine. Plus I didn't trust it at that moment. So bus it was!
The park itself wasn't as large as I thought, and there were plenty of people who knew how great of a look-out point this was, but I found a spot on the wall and claimed it for the next two and a half hours until the light went completely away.
I sat next to somebody that was also there by themselves and was really nice. I think we both understood the quiet that was nice for a moment of reflection and really seeing everything as it was there.
Kerry Park had the best view of the sunset I saw in those three days. It showed the entire skyline including the Space Needle and water views with the ferries going in and out. My new friend and I watched as the lights started coming on in the city (by that time it was kind of chilly and we were ready to go since it was almost 10pm and I still had to take the bus back and had 5% battery left on my phone), and reflected from the ferries on the water. Despite all the people standing behind us and kids running around, it had a peaceful atmosphere to it.
This was by far the best way to end the day.