Traveling abroad is not always to a foreign destination. From Raleigh, it’s about 2200 miles to Mexico City, yet by adding a mere 600 more miles you can get to Seattle, Washington, right here in the good old USA. We traveled there recently for a family wedding. The wedding was in Pasco, Washington, inland from Seattle about 180 miles.
Nestled on the beautiful Columbia river along with sister cities Kennewick and Richland, Pasco makes up a region nicknamed “the Tri-Cities.” Pasco still feels like small-town America that most of the country only see in Hollywood movies. Back yard cook-outs and warm summer nights at the ballpark combine with loved ones to weave memories that will last for a lifetime. And did I mention there was also a wedding? All in all, it was a wonderful few days in Pasco.
We Did the Seattle Sightseeing Tourist Thing!
Seattle is just great! There I’ve said it. I couldn’t help myself, It has been weeks since we visited that beautiful jewel of a city and I still can’t stop thinking about it. There is so much to see and experience that the three days we spent have forever burned a place in my memory.
Had To Check Out The Space Needle
We flew in on Tuesday and immediately headed to the Space Needle. I’ve been wanting to see it since 1962 when it was built for the World’s fair. At 605 feet tall it is one of the most outstanding and well-recognized landmarks in America. Built with the elements in mind, it was designed to withstand 200 miles an hour winds and an earthquake of a magnitude of just over 9. It costs 19 bucks a head to ride the elevator to the observation tower. ( only 17 for oldies ) From there you can see just about everything.
We stayed at a hotel just about 4 blocks from the Space Needle on 5th Ave. called “The Five.” I have to be perfectly honest, the “five” stand for the avenue – not the stars of the hotel. It was about a “2”. But it was just a few feet from one of Seattle’s brightest spots “Top Pot.” In case you haven’t heard, Top Pot has, arguably, the best doughnuts in the entire fried-dough loving world. My favorite was Blueberry Cinnamon! I quickly realized why God has given us two hands, obviously for two doughnuts. The doughnuts were almost an essential part of the day because of another Seattle favorite-Starbuck’s.
Starbucks, Of Course
There are about one hundred and three Starbucks in Seattle. You have to try hard to be out of sight of a Starbucks. They are everywhere.
Aviation Museum Tour
On Wednesday morning we were met at the hotel by an odd fellow with an old aviator’s hat on who turned out to be our driver and tour guide to the Boeing Airplane plant. They assemble most of their huge airliners in a building that is reportedly the biggest (per volume) in the world. Inside this plant, there are rows of huge 787’s and 767’s and restaurants, day-care, and hospital facilities for the workers. And, when you look up, there is probably room for another floor of the same size. Our guide turned out to be Seattle native and an avid history buff. During our ride to the pant he taught us much about the local history and especially about Howard Hughes. If you ever get the chance take the Boeing tour.
No trip to Seattle would be complete without a visit to the Pike’s Public Market at Pike’s pier. It’s a great place to see large fish being thrown across the room or just to have a quiet lunch in one of the many fine restaurants. Some of the finest produce is on display with many foods I had never even heard of. (at least I think they were foods)
Ride The Ducks of Seattle
We acted just like tourists and took a ride on the famous “Duck Boat Tour.”, also know as Ride The Ducks of Seattle These are strange amphibious boats built to cruise around the city like an open bus and then abruptly drive into a nearby lake or river or an offshore tour. It’s a lot of fun. They have these in many cities and are a great way to see an area from a different perspective.
A must-see in Seattle is a tour of Lake Union and nearby waters. We took a trip on a nice tour boat. It had a top deck for viewing or just soaking up the sun and also a bar for cool adult beverages. Lake Union is the most used little lake I have ever seen. While just standing in one place you can see a fleet of kids in little boats learning the basics of sailing, large sailboats coming in from Puget sound, 100-year-old houseboats, still floating on logs, kayakers, motor-boaters, and, to top it off, multiple seaplanes taking off and landing through it all. It’s like watching a three-ring circus. All of this is surrounded by the bustling city.