Dec 3, 2012

Visit Seattle

John and I made our first trip to Seattle but; hopefully, it won’t be the last. There is so much to see and do.  Luckily, we stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel, a chain that we have had the pleasure to experience in several Asian countries. Not only is the hotel first-rate but it also offers free shuttle within five miles of the hotel.  That was golden given the traffic and fees at the parking garages near the Space Needle. 
On our first evening we had a lovely private dinner in our room.  It really set the tone for our stay.  The next morning we took the shuttle to the Space Needle, the gotta’ do when visiting Seattle. Luckily there was no line because the lines can get long. The 605-foot Needle was built as the cornerstone for the 1962 World’s Fair. Even though the weather left something to be desired the view was still impressive. We walked around the outside deck supplemented with telescopes and inside the videos and displays were informative. Seattle has a great location between the mountains and Puget Sound.

So many of the sites we wanted to visit are located next to the Space Needle in Seattle Center.  Next to the Space Needle is the EMP Museum in an impressive building with a design that reminded me of the bowls I made in Girl Scouts by heating 78rpm records over a bowl. The museum was the brain child of Paul Allen a co-founder of Microsoft.  Some of the music – even what was considered retro – was after my time.  However, I found the exhibit, “Born to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket” fascinating. I never thought of the black leather jacket as an indication of cultural change. On display are jackets that were protective gear for aviators during the World Wars and later evolved into revolutionary wear starting with Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley.  I will always look at the black leather jacket in a different light. Actually, there are many interactive things to do. I enjoyed watching the closed-circuit TV of groups who entered On Stage to create their own music video. The instruments and sound tracks are provided complete with bright lights and screaming fans. I chatted with a family visiting from Croatia. They loved the experience and ended up with their own CD and poster. There is always something of interest for everyone in a museum.

Also near the Space Needle is the Pacific Science Center. I must admit it is more to our liking.  No matter how many science centers I visit I always find something interesting. The Insect Village was excellent offering an up close look at a bug’s world but I am always intrigued by the displays robotic dinosaurs.  Science museums often have IMAX movie, which, for me, is a chance to sit back, relax and learn while being entertained.

One day we headed to Pier 55 for a narrated Argosy boat tour of Elliott Bay past the city center, grain elevators, and ship yards. Heading south out of Seattle we stopped at the Museum of Flight located next to Boeing Aviation. John was in his glory.  There were a slew of flight simulator experiences plus a talk by a former WWII bomber pilot.  The William M. Allen Theater had several informative movies on the Hubble, Mars exploration, and many other topics which I found interesting.