23.08.2015 - 25.08.2015 20 °C
Well we got here despite all evidence to the contrary, even a few hours before we left home!!
As this is my first time back blogging on here I'm a bit rusty and the internet connection up here in Alaska where I am sitting is not great so this post comes without photos until I can transfer some photos onto this site!!
Apart from saying we were quite pleasantly surprised with our flight experiences with Virgin Australia (if not so much with Virgin America); and that the beds did lie flat; and the service was excellent; I won't bore you with flight details. Nor with torrid stories of the infamous LAX. (Border Control who carry guns, batons, and stun guns!!)
Firstly to the eating! That's what we did first in Seattle so good place to start. Thanks to good old social media I found us 2 delicious dinners for our nights in Seattle. One was a gastropub type bar called Quinns Pub . Delicious meal and lovely people. Seattle residents are delightfully friendly and warm. Our second night we dined at a restaurant called Cascina Spinasse with an open kitchen. It was full and we were lucky to get a table even later in the evening!! Chockers and humming on a Monday night is a good sign!! And the food proved why. Authentic Northern Italian, right down to the beautiful little amuse bouche (not sure of the equivalent word in Italian, CV you can let me know) of a flat crostini served with an anchovy on top. Delicious and I don't like anchovies! The ragu in my dish was full of deep flavours and heavenly! Phil was into the seafood and happy as a pig!
We crammed a fair bit into our one full day in Seattle. I was very excited to meet up with a long-time online friend who happened to be in Seattle at the same time! She collected us from our hotel and we all went to Chihuly Gardens and Glass. STUNNING is the only word. An amazing glass artist Chihuly has pushed all kinds of technical boundaries to create amazing and life-like glass pieces and installations. If I could get those photos you'd see but I will post them never fear!! Just later! [Ed: Ok coming up now as promised]
The art installations were stunning, and the COLOURS unlike none I have ever seen in glass! Standing below a low roof filled with enormous colored flowers felt like you were a liitle ant in a normal sized garden bed and your ceiling and protection were these amazing flowers and plants. Quite a meditative space that faintly reminded me of the blissful peace that was part of visiting Monet's garden for me.
Outside is a landscaped gardenfilled with flowers trees sculptured plants and glass. One of the Glass trees was 4 or 5 metres tall and looked similar in color and shape to the Yucca in our courtyard. Both Phil and I didn't realise it was made of glass on that first glance!
The tricky part was balancing getting as much time to talk with my lovely friend Sharon and immersing in the glass. Needless to say this event was the highlight of my day! (Well dinner was pretty close too!)
After coffee and more talk, we parted from Sharon and headed next door into the Space Needle. It gave us that great perspective on the city that only a high building with a 360 degree balcony can do. And despite my fear of heights I felt safe enough on the balcony to actually look at this lovely city by the water.
Pike Place Market followed, where we caught a glimpse of the famous fishmongers throwing their fish around and bought some fresh fruit for lunch. But like the Needle was just a tall building (albeit a highly organised one), the market was just a market with nice looking fruit and veges and too many people.
Deciding to eat our fruit in the shade outside we wandered over to a tiny little park and sat under the covered area - sadly with our backs to the view. It was quickly obvious when P got abused for tripping over a man's foot and received a tirade in return (despite his immediate apology) that had made a naive tourist error! We started our lunch and started to register that we were sitting amongst the stoned and homeless and sticking out like ... We ate a few of our strawberries and quietly decided we might move on! That was the sad side to Seattle - the astounding number of beggars and homeless we came across on every corner and everywhere we walked.
And boy did we walk that day!!! More than 19000 steps on the pedometers by the time we hit our beds.
But we had one more little bit of excitement in Seattle to go.
Despite our exhaustion we decide to take a ferry ride across to Bainbridge Island - 35 mins each way - and it had seats and there were no more bloody steps! By that stage I found that quite enticing!! It's quite hilly in Seattle.
It was the journey back that was most delightful really, looking at Seattle's hills and skyline from the water was terrific but unexpectedly there was the top of this whopping big snow-capped mountain peeping out from above the clouds. Awe-inspiring is the only word. Little Mr Pappa-Razi as Phil has taken to calling himself was in seventh heaven trying to get photos that would do justice to this awesome site. Apparently we got lucky. Often Mt Rainier can't be seen! And the next morning it could also be seen out our hotel window.
And so on to Alaska we adjourned the next day. That will be my next post as it's nearly time to head off on our Wilderness Tour into Denali National Park. Maybe I will get the time to write that tomorrow.
And in the meantime I'll try and get my act together with the photos! Done! Tick!
See you all in the ether soon!