Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunny Seattle Trip - Day 1 - Pioneer Square

  **This is the first installment of our trip to Seattle. I'm going to apologize in advance for some of the images and the horrid black spots. Our camera was biting the dust. **

The Hubs and I have been wanting to go to Seattle FOREVER, however my fear of flying has always been the limiting factor.

After realizing that I maxed out on my vacation after not taking one since our Honeymoon two years ago, we decided it was high time to take a REAL vacation and that my fear of flying was NOT going to get in the way.

So on the Sunday before Labor Day, the Hubs and I arrived bright and early at the Oakland airport to make our maiden voyage to Seattle. I was obviously a nervous wreck and almost in tears before the flight. But a suggested cocktail of Xanax and a glass of wine did the trick and before I knew it we were in the sky.

I listened to blaring country music, watched part of 27 Dresses and soon we were descending into Washington State. At this point, I was feeling relaxed enough to look out the window. I was so glad that I did because Washington is beautiful from the sky on a sunny morning. All the lakes and trees were amazing! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture, but just so happens Molly Mesnick (from The Bachelor and one of many I stalk on Twitter) just Tweeted a picture of Seattle from the sky. Perfect timing!

Image Source: Molly Mesnick's Twitter
We decided to rent a car so we had the freedom to explore the greater Seattle area at our will. I had a few major activities that we knew we wanted to do planned, but I left plenty of extra time for some exploring.

Our first stop was our hotel in Pioneer Square. I chose the Best Western at Pioneer Square because it had good reviews, was close to the waterfront and relatively close to some of the attractions we were interested in (within a couple of miles and I considered walking distance). It was an old time hotel since Pioneer Square is the heart of "old-time" Seattle, but I was really impressed with the hotel's quality. The bathroom was REALLY clean, probably one of the cleanest I've seen!

View from our hotel - across the street

View from our hotel looking West

 After settling into our hotel we took a drive around Seattle. We were so surprised to see how hilly it was! I don't know what made me think Seattle would be flat, but that is sort of what I pictured in my mind. We drove straight through downtown Seattle and our first impression was that it was like San Francisco except cleaner and with a lot less traffic. I love SF, but Seattle was really nice! Seattle had these beautiful hanging baskets that really brightened things up. The Hubs and I were amused to see maintenance crews going around and watering them. The upkeep we saw city workers doing REALLY impressed us!

Beautiful flower baskets hung all over Seattle.
Downtown Seattle

Friends had recommended trying out Ray's Boathouse for dinner so we decided to make that our first dinner of the trip. We procured a table right by the window and enjoyed looking out a the sparkly blue water and bright blue sky.

Bright Sparkly Seatle Day!

For our meals, I had halibut with a cous cous side, while the Hubs had a fish sampler with salmon, crab cake, and black sablefish. Neither of us had ever heard of sablefish, but I had read reviews about it on Yelp about it being yummy. Boy were they right! It was melt in your mouth delicious! We wanted to savor every last bite! We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and both of us thought it was the best of the trip!


Fish Sampler - The sablefish in the center was delicious!

The views on the dock by Ray's were amazing. We got out of dinner just in time to see the sun setting. (We'd see many beautiful sunsets on this trip!) We also saw some standing paddlers enjoying the weather. We wondered how they were able to do it with no wetsuits in what we thought would be extremely cold water, but when we later put our hand in the bay, it wasn't so bad.

Sunset over Puget Sound
Standing Paddlers

After dinner we headed back to Pioneer Square for our first major activity. I scheduled us to take the X-Rated Underground Tour. Not many people know that Seattle was once set at a lower elevation than it is today and that when the city was rebuilt after a major fire, the original street level in Pioneer Square was preserved. The tour we took was for adults only, included a cocktail and gave some history about the debauchary that took place in Seattle during the 1800s and early 1900s. Although what we saw wasn't really what I expected (basically just a dirty basement, with some staged items), we still enjoyed it and had a good laugh.

A picture from the underground

 After the tour. we were fairly exhausted, so we headed back to the room to catch some zzzz's.

Next up, I'll recount our Labor Day trip to the Boeing Factory (perfect for nerdy engineers) and two spontaneous unplanned excursions, one which became our favorite activity of the whole trip!


  1. This is awesome, thanks for sharing!

  2. Ok I am finally commenting! Seattle looks amazing. I have only been there once as a kid but I would love to go back. :)

    I have a question: What is it about flying that scares you? I know a few people who are deathly afraid of flying. So much so that they refuse to fly. I'm glad you were able to get on the plane!

  3. Hey Michelle! Thanks for commenting! Seattle was AMAZING! You should definitely go.

    I think my biggest fear of flying is not being in control and worrying about all that could happen (no matter how unlikely). I also haven't flown much in my life. My first flight was when I was 23 and I've only flown a handful of times since (the furthest was to Seattle!). I'm hoping as I fly more, that I get more used to it. The drugs definitely made the flight more comfortable for both me AND my husband! haha :-)