Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part VI): The Seattle Aquarium (CityPASS)

June 4, 2019

The Seattle Aquarium is only a few piers north from the Argosy Cruises. Kevin and I decided, we would go to the aquarium first, because it closes at 5 pm. And then we would have dinner at Ivar’s. At the Seattle Aquarium, we saw a lot of cool sea critters. Most of their families live either right in the Elliot Bay, Puget Sound or in the Northwestern Pacific. Of course, there were also some species from Hawai’i and across the ocean all the way down to Great Barrier Reef. But mainly we learned quite a few facts about the sea creatures close by. First we wanted to the feeding of a Great Pacific Octopus. But our girls rather had other ideas, and wanted to play with sea urchins, sea cucumbers. sea anemones, “Mr. Krabs”, some of “Patrick’s” family and a hermit crab at the “Life on the Edge” exhibit. The girls were so busy and fascinated touching and playing with spongy and stingy animals, they forgot almost about the rest of the aquarium.

The Seattle Aquarium has two big sections. One is with the fish tanks and sea critter interactions; and then there is the second part with the sea bird, sea mammals and the Underwater Dome. This was my first experience, with fish and mammals swimming above my head. At the harbor seal tank, I would hold my hand against the glass. And the harbor seal came as close to me as it could in the water. The sea otters snoozed until it was dinner time for them at 5 pm. The entrance of the aquarium closes at that time. But there is still plenty of time for the visitors to watch the feeding of the otters, and look around for a little bit. It is encouraged slowly making the way to the exit.

Once, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I made our way to the sidewalk at the Waterfront, we got hungry. Our dentist’s receptionist gave me a tip at our last cleaning visit. Since she lived in Seattle, she was telling me about all the little side places. Oh boy, I definitely have to go back to Seattle …. Anyway, she mentioned Ivar’s at Pier 54. Since Katelynn and I love seafood, we had to go there. Even Kevin ordered a dish with shrimp. Sara was more satisfied with having a burger. The “Acres of Clams” was huge and so good. We had berry lemonade with our food. While we ate, we watched the seagulls fighting over some fresh caught fish between two piers. Darn “sea rats” with wings! 😀

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“Acres of Clam” – Ivar’s at Pier 54

After dinner, we walked back to the monorail, rode to the Seattle Center to get to the parking garage. When we were in our motel in Everett, we weren’t quite ready to rest. So, we went to Denny’s next door. There we all had a milk shake and talked about the adventures we’ve had in Seattle. Katelynn and Sara talked about what they liked best. There are too many “liked best” moments to mention them all in this blog. But we made it possible to see all the CityPASS attractions hassle free in one day. If you being as a tourist with children in Seattle for the first time, I would always recommend the pass. We saved tons of money and we had a plan. Therefore we were not walking around clueless in the city. I know, next time I will get the CityPASS for New York City as well. But this will take longer than one day. 😉

… to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part V): Argosy Cruises -Harbor Cruise (CityPASS)

June 4, 2019

When Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I walked from the Pike Place Market to the Waterfront, we had to weave our way through some construction zones. The Alaskan Way Viaduct is in the middle of a demolition to make place for a much nicer street with a pedestrian bridge and to pretty up the Emerald City’s Waterfront. On a good note, when we finally made it to the Waterfront, we were standing right in front the Argosy Cruise at Pier 55. What a coincidence?! We just wanted to go there, and we were were lucky with the boat as well. Five minutes after our arrival, the vessel was setting for nice one-hour cruise around the Elliot Bay, where we had a nice panoramic view of the Seattle Skyline, Puget Sound, the shipping port, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.

… to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part I): The Seattle Space Needle (CityPASS)

June 4, 2019

Tuesday, we’ve started very early in the day, because we wanted to get as much out of the day as possible. The forecast promised sunshine all day. So, it would be a perfect day to walk around in the city, without worrying about a poncho or an umbrella. In Seattle, we exited the Interstate 5 for Mercer Rd. If I remember it right, it was Exit 167. We parked in a parking garage, which is a stone throw away from the Seattle Center.

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Seattle Space Needle from below

Our first destination was the Space Needle. Being one of the first visitors, we didn’t have to wait in line. Once the Ticket Sales Agent explained to me, how the CityPASS works in the city, he scanned our tickets on my phone, which I had stored in a email folder.

The elevator took less than 45 seconds to transport us from the bottom to the observation deck at 520 feet (160 m) above street level. The guide told us some cool facts about the Space Needle, while we were on our journey to the deck. Katelynn and I went outside to see the city, the suburbs and Puget Sound through the glass panels. Sara, on the other hand, wanted to stay in the lobby for a little bit. Once she got used to this height, she stepped out for several steps, before she said she would rather go back inside again. Kevin an Sara rather watched some fun fact videos about Seattle on the screens inside the lobby. While Katelynn played with the thought sitting on the glass bench (I rather sat on the edge of the bench), I heard a couple taking in English and what kinda sounded German. I asked the lady from what country they came to visit this part of the world. She replied, they were from Austria. Since I’m from the northern parts of Bavaria (Lower Franconia), we can understand each others slang. We were standing and talking about Seattle, the Crater Lake, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Texas, Austria and Germany for quite some time. It doesn’t happen every day, I can practice my home language. This was a welcomed opportunity. During this conversation, we found out we share the same first name.

After Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I signed our names and the city we are living on the World Wall, we went to the rotating lower level, which is at 500 feet (150 meters) above street level. The rotating part of the floor is made of thick glass. And fun to walk on it, when there is barely any fear of heights. Katelynn watched the glass floor moving for a few minutes, before she put her hands on it. Since the floor rotates so slow, she had time to adjust her lower body with it. Shortly she sat on the glass. In the meantime, I laid with my back on the glass. I did it twice, because I wanted Kevin to capture photos with both, the Nikon camera and my cell phone. Kevin and Sara rather stayed on the carpeted non-rotating part of the floor. Katelynn and I had so much fun, we walked all around the lower level to see Seattle under our feet.

When it was time to go back down to the base of the Space Needle, we waited for the elevator. The lady that took us down to the souvenir store was from Denton, Texas which is northwest across Lewisville Lake from The Colony. She mentioned, she was going to school in Carrollton. Sara replied: “Oh, I was born in Carrollton, Texas! That is so cool!” In the souvenir store, I purchased some items. Come to find out, if I had gone to the store across the Space Needle, I had paid $6 -$10 less for each item. But hey, I live only once. 😉

… to be continued …