A Travellerspoint blog

Seattle Day 2: All the Tourist Stuff

We woke up to a rainy, dreary day (it's Seattle after all) but that didn't stop us from getting started on our day. We suited up in our rain coats and walked the mile or so down to Pike Place Market. We were really excited to try out some of the recommended foods.

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The first place we came across was Beecher's Homemade Cheese. It was 930 in the morning but you can eat salmon mac and cheese from this place any time.

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They were making the cheese on site.

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Alex was in cheese heaven and bought several of their handmade cheeses and we split a grilled cheese.

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We left there and went into the main part of the market where we came across the famous fish throwers. They entertained us for a bit and I bought a shrimp cocktail made with huge, fresh shrimp.

I really wanted one of these giant, chocolate-covered donuts but I knew that was going too far.

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We walked around for a while, taking it all in.
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The last bite we could handle was a breakfast pastry for me and an apple filled pastry for Alex from Piroshky Piroshky.
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Before walking back to the condo, we walked down to a store Alex wanted to visit. It turned out to be both entertaining and sad as we witnessed a homeless man getting kicked out of the store because his pants were so ripped that his entire butt was hanging out. He wasn't very cooperative but he finally left before it got too ugly. We walked the mile back to our condo and picked up the car. Alex had a COVID test scheduled for noon (required for the football game on Sunday) and it was too far to walk. Since we had the car anyway, we drove over to the Space Needle complex where we planned to spend the rest of the afternoon.

The first stop in this area, which I was really looking forward to, was the Chihuly Museum. I just love this kind of blown glass and I've wanted to see his work for years, since I missed his exhibit in Dallas.

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Many of his pieces have an ocean theme.

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I have a thing for anything octopus.
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This was the ceiling of an entire room.

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Other of his large scale installations.
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There were also installations outside in the gardens, some with views of the Space Needle next door.

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I was excited to see that the gift shop actually had smaller Chihuly pieces for sale. That excitement quickly disappeared when I realized that the cheapest one was about $8K. I bought a $50 replica instead.

From there we went to the Museum of Pop Culture. This wasn't as interesting as I thought but it was ok for an hour. There was lots of memorabilia related to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix as well as movie memorabilia.

These were all the hoverboards from Back to the Future.

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And the props used in the Blair Witch Project, a movie that scarred me for life.

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The final destination of the day was a trip to the top of the Space Needle. Neither of us really cared that much about doing this. We've both been to much taller buildings but it didn't seem right to go to Seattle and not do it. So up we went.

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By now it was late afternoon and we'd spent all day out and about with lots of walking. We were tired so we went back to the condo to relax before dinner. We started watching "Clickbait" on Netflix which would become our Seattle series.

We did make it to our dinner reservation at 8 at Umi Sake House.
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We had a nice dinner before stopping off at the pizza bar for a nightcap and to pick up calzones for the next day's lunch.

Posted by zihuatcat 23:10 Archived in USA Tagged alex seattle Comments (1)

Seattle Day 1: Weekend Getaway

One of my biggest work deadlines of the year is always on September 15 so I was really excited when we booked a trip for a long weekend in Seattle for the very next day. Alex and I arrived at the airport in time for a mimosa and my usual morning Coke.

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The flight was about four hours and just as we were coming into Seattle, I looked out and saw what I assume was Mt. Rainier right outside the window. I don't recall ever flying that close to a mountain that high before.

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We arrived in Seattle and picked up our rental car, a silver Toyota Forerunner, and headed from the airport to downtown. We rented a condo a couple of blocks off the waterfront. It was very blue.

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It was early evening by the time we reached the apartment so we cleaned up a bit then walked down to the waterfront for dinner. We strolled along the boardwalk for several blocks.

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We arrived at Elliot's Oyster House right on the water and were seated at a table on the patio (next to a heater for Alex) with a nice view of the harbor.

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The server recommended a selection of oysters for us.

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They clearly labeled each kind for us to still forget later.

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And we added some mussels to the mix. Both the mussels and the oysters were fresh and tasty.

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For entrees, we split an order of scallops in a red pepper risotto. These were not good at all. The scallops didn't have a good sear, the risotto was dry and clumpy, and the red pepper sauce just didn't go with the dish.

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I thought I'd try again with dessert and ordered strawberry shortcake with pound cake but the cake was dense and dry.

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We left the safety of cover and a heater to walk the mile back to our condo and discovered it was very cold and very windy. I had planned to take a ride on the ferris wheel before ending the evening but Alex was cold and tired and promised a raincheck.

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So in order to stay warm and avoid climbing up a giant hill, we called an Uber to take us that mile back to the condo. When we got back, we saw that Thursday night football was on at Belltown Pizza, a neighborhood bar next door to the condo. We stopped in to watch the rest of the game and have a drink. This would become our daily ritual.

Posted by zihuatcat 23:06 Archived in USA Tagged alex seattle Comments (0)

St. John Days 6-7: Salty Time at Salt Pond

This was our last full day on the island and I wanted to go to a "different" beach for snorkeling. By different, I meant not one of the North shore beaches that was easy to get to. I wanted to go to Salt Pond. We did get a little lost trying to get there but eventually found our way after asking directions from a nice lady sitting in her yard. Salt Pond has very little shade and no facilities but the worst thing about it is the half mile walk from the parking lot to the beach. It's downhill getting there so we didn't know how bad it was yet.

We arrived about 1030a and found a spot with as much shade as we could (which wasn't much).
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Oher people were able to get their tents to work. We didn't want to carry ours since we weren't sure we could get it standing.
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It was really hot so I immediately got suited up for snorkeling just to cool off. I snorkeled all along the right side of the bay.

This guy had a friend and I followed both of them for a while.
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Trunkfish
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I could have snorkeled for much longer and I would have liked to explore the left side of the bay after a rest but I didn't want to leave Melissa by herself in the hot sun for too long.
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We did our usual lunch thing, trying to eat up any remaining food so it didn't go to waste. By 230p, we were hot, hot, hot so we decided to pack it in. That walk back to the car was uphill and brutal with having to carry all our junk! We were thankful for the great a/c in the Jeep.

We spent the rest of the afternoon packing things up for our departure the next day and then got dressed for sunset dinner at the Terrace. We made our last walk down that hill into town for dinner and were seated on the waterfront terrace.
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Shortly after, we had a quick rain shower which brought out this rainbow.
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Melissa ordered a beet salad with grilled shrimp. I was a little tired of seafood at this point and ordered the hanger steak with a beet side salad. It was surprisingly really good!
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The sun was setting as we finished our dinner.
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We also wanted one last BCBBBC from the Beach Bar across the street so we got one to go. It helped ease the pain of having to walk up that hill again to get back to the condo since Chico was all tied up. We finished our packing, finished our Netflix, and called it a night.

The next morning we were up pretty early and at High Tide by 9a for breakfast. We had a nice breakfast by the water and were able to make the 1030a ferry back to St. Thomas. No problems on the flight home.

I have a feeling St. John might require a return trip some day.

Posted by zihuatcat 23:02 Archived in US Virgin Islands Tagged st melissa john Comments (0)

St. John Day 5: Trunk Time

Whenever you see pictures of St. John, you most often see a picture of Trunk Bay. It seems to be the most recommended beach on the island. For these reasons, I honestly wasn't that excited about it. Experience tells me it will turn out to be overrated. This was not the case. It was totally worth it above and below sea. We arrived around 930a and got one of the last two parking spots. Despite that, the beach didn't look crowded.
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We found a spot with as much shade as we could get and got ourselves situated. I enjoyed the view for a while then suited up and hit the water for snorkeling.
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Lizardfish on the bottom.
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Parrotfish.
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Doctorfish.
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Suddenly I swam into a huge school of small silver fish grouped together in all different sizes. They went as far as I could see. These were the smallest.
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Then there were some slightly bigger.
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I popped up to see what was going on topside and caught this pelican at the right time.
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Flat needlefish near the surface.
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There was a lot to see and I had been gone for a long time at this point. I thought Melissa might be getting worried. As I started my swim back to shore, I followed a stingray for a bit.
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I lost sight of him and another appeared shortly.
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After getting back to shore, we broke out the cooler and had lunch.
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We had to leave the beach a bit earlier than usual today because we were booked for a sunset sail leaving late afternoon. We stopped off at the Trunk Bay overlook on the way back to town.
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After getting cleaned up, we called Chico and he dropped us off at the boat docks in town. Normally, I don't like these large catamaran rides. I would prefer something with less people. But we found a spot off by ourselves next to the captain and really enjoyed the trip. They collected all our shoes and drink orders before leaving the dock.
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We headed out at a pretty good pace.
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The building in between these two hills is Windmill Bar where we watched the sunset last night.
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It was very hazy out so our sunset was pretty hazy as well.
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The cruise lasted about an hour and a half. After getting our shoes back and docking, we walked over to Lime Inn for our 730 dinner reservations. Lime Inn only offers a four or six course price fixe menu. We opted for the four course and started with drinks called Hunter's Passion, a mix of mango rum, pineapple juice, passionfruit, and coconut cream.
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Despite the four course requirement, Melissa only wanted three.

Bubu salad
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Rum ribs
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Key lime pie
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I wanted all four courses, of course.

Tuna tartare
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I don't remember what this dish was but it was good.
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Lobster risotto
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Brownie a la mode
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We were stuffed after such a large dinner but the restaurant had a cute adjoining shop we wanted to explore. We waddled throughout the store, made a couple of purchases, then made our way to Beach Bar. We thought we might have a drink but decided we were too full and tired and we wanted to continue watching our Netflix series. Chico to the rescue again!

Posted by zihuatcat 22:59 Archived in US Virgin Islands Tagged st melissa john Comments (0)

St. John Day 4: Keeping it Dry

After a couple of days in the sun and water, we thought it was time for a dry day. We tried to sleep in but no luck. I guess we were falling asleep too early every night. We drove the Jeep into town and found a place to park near Mongoose Junction. Then we walked down the waterfront to Cruz Bay Landing for some eggs benedict with crab cakes.
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We stayed in town for a few hours, hitting most of the shops. We bought some little things along the way as well as some metal photo art. Our condo was full of this same artwork of turtles, donkeys, and beach scenes. I purchased a donkey and a beach scene and arranged to have both shipped home to the US. When we had our fill of shopping, we retreated to the a/c for a bit to catch an episode of our show. Towards the late afternoon, we made our way to Windmill Bar, high up on a hill to watch the sunset.

With drinks, of course.
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We were joined by a couple of younger women who both worked at the Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas. They took the passenger ferry over to have a night out on St. John. They were fun to talk to and it was interesting to get their perspective of living and working in the islands.

After the sun went down, we were starving, so we made our way to town to try and get a spot at Beach Bar. There was a huge line - people waiting for a table and for to-go food and drinks. While we were waiting outside, we encountered the well-known Greenie, a homeless person known all over the island. Our leasing agent had warned us about him but said he was relatively harmless. He came up to us, speaking incoherently. When we ignored him, he slapped my arm twice, very hard. The cops were already at the bar responding to a prior issue but they didn't do anything about the incident. We were able to get away from him so I let it go. Shortly thereafter we got our seats at the bar.

It took an excruciatingly long time to get our food and drinks. There was a huge group of young tourists taking up half the bar, monopolizing the kitchen and bartenders and being overall obnoxious. I was getting very hangry but finally Melissa's nachos and my buffalo thighs appeared. As soon as the hangry wore off, we got a BCBBBC to go and caught a ride home with Chico.

Posted by zihuatcat 22:57 Archived in US Virgin Islands Tagged st melissa john Comments (0)

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