Sunday, July 24, 2011

Seattle, WA. July 20 - July 22, 2011

After Vancouver, I went down to Seattle. One of my best friends from high school, Patty, has been living in Seattle. We haven't hung out since 1991 after I went away for college. We briefly saw each other in January 2009, but we were with a group of high school friends and didn't get a chance to catch up. Patty had been inviting me to visit, and I'm glad I did!

Patty works in downtown so I rode with her in the morning. Seattle has FREE buses running from 6am-7pm through downtown in the tunnels. It's great! I wished LA had something like this.

I went on an underground tour in Pioneer Square. I learned a lot of history about Seattle on this tour. This used to be the street level!

We were right underneath the sidewalk. There were people walking above us throughout the tour.

I didn't know that Seattle was named after an Indian Chief.

Madam Lou Graham and her four "seamstresses." Notice the one in black. Lou was actually a very shrewd business woman. She was the first person to lend "sub-prime" loans. Upon her death, she had contributed large sums of money to the public education system than anyone else in Seattle. However, she was not recognized for her contribution publicly because she ran a brothel.

After the tour, I was getting hungry. Upon Patty's and the tour guide's recommendations, I went to the famous Pike market. This market is over 100 years old.

I went to Beecher's cheese. I was in heaven! Do I want to bathe in cheese or sleep on it? Hmm...

Their award winning Mac n Cheese featuring their flagship sharp cheddar. Very tasty!

Also their popular grilled cheese. Yum.

Of course, I had to visit the first Starbucks store and wait in line like an idiot like everyone else. :D

I wished I could take these home!

I had this oyster shooter 3 days in the row. The guy working the counter knew me when I showed up the second and third day. It was so fresh and sweet. It was refreshing on a warm sunny day.

Holy lobster tails!!!

I stopped by to see the famous fish throwing.

Gotta try some award winning Pike Place Chowder.

It was PERFECTION. Best chowder I've had, seriously. No wonder it won so many awards throughout the years.

I strolled around the waterfront afterwards enjoying a beautiful sunny day. I looked in the water and saw this. I looked closer and realized the water was infested with jellyfish. This was my first time seeing "free range" jellyfish (not in an aquarium). I made sure that I didn't fall in the water.

I checked out the Aquarium also. I love petting sea creatures. I told the worker there I was taking this sea cucumber with me for dinner that night. LOL!

I met up with Patty after she got off work. Here's Patty and her cute doggy Ogie. Ogie looked like a stuffed animal!

Patty and her boyfriend Jordan took me out to their favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Habesha, for dinner. Patty and I both had the honey wine. I finished it all!

This was my second time having Ethiopian food. My former colleagues took me to a restaurant in Little Ethiopia here in Los Angeles as my farewell dinner last year. I fell in love with Ethiopian food then. Yes, we ate with our hands and with the yummy injera bread. We were so full.

After dinner, Patty took me up to Queen Anne Hill for a stunning view of Seattle.

The next day, I went down to Pike Market for brunch. I tried some Russian Piroshky in a flaky crust.

Then, I took the monorail out to the Space Needle. Here's looking at Paul Allen's EMP designed by Frank Gehry. This was my third Frank Gehry building after the Walt Disney Concert Hall here in Los Angeles and the Dancing House in Prague. While this building looked fun, it wasn't my style. I felt like it was a knock off of Disney Concert Hall.

It rained a little this morning, which completed my authentic Seattle experience. :D

Next, I checked out the Science Center. This place is mainly for kids, but they had this nice butterfly house. Here's an owl butterfly.

EMP again.

Seattle's native Jimi Hendrix, heck yeah!

A cool sculpture inside EMP.

The monorail actually goes through the EMP building. It felt like Disneyland to me.

A cool spaceship inside the Battlestar Galactica exhibit.

Learning Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You" in the Sound Lab. I also learned how to play hooks on a keyboard.

Inside the Avatar exhibit, you can perform a scene from the movie and have it uploaded to EMP's YouTube site. This guy was goofing off big time. Hilarious. I did one too but I haven't gotten the link to my video yet.

The Space Needle says, "I'm looking at you!"

Patty and Jordan went camping on Friday, so I checked in to Hotel Five in downtown. I got upgraded to a newly renovated room. It was trendy, hip, yet cozy.

I was looking for some live jazz, and found the Jazz Alley was only a block away. Steve Tyrell was in town performing that week, so I spent an evening enjoying some nice Sinatra-esque tunes.

The next day, I went to the Seattle Art Museum aka SAM. Here's the hammer man in front of the museum. They have a decent collection of Native, European, and Asian arts.

Then I went down to the waterfront through Harbor Steps. While this was no Spanish Steps in Rome (I'll re-post blog from that trip soon), it was pretty also.

I went on a Harbor Cruise before leaving town. It was such a gorgeous day!

While on the cruise, we saw a Boeing 787 flying by us. Normally, it's no big deal, but this was actually a Boeing plane with the name Boeing 787 on its body. I've never seen it like this.

Looking at the Smith Tower by Pioneer Square. Once upon the time, this was the tallest building in Seattle (see the newest tallest building to the left), and the fourth tallest building west of Mississippi.

The evil empire, um, I mean, world HQ of Starbucks.

While walking back to the hotel, there was a protest going on in front of the Westin. I found out it was the hotel worker union protesting.

Patty told me about this doughnut shop right across the street from my hotel called Top Pot Doughnuts. It has received raved reviews. I followed all the tips and tried their old fashion glazed and glazed chocolate cake doughnuts. OMG!!!

Spending a lovely afternoon in downtown Seattle before heading home.

Seattle is a compact city. I love walking and exploring a new place by foot so I had a great time walking all over town. I'm very happy to have made this trip. I was able to catch up with my old friend. We still clicked like we always did. I am grateful to have such a wonderful friend in Patty. When 20 years had gone by and you can still connect with someone like it was yesterday, THAT is true friendship. :)

View Seattle photo album here:

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