Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Road Trip, Day 12--Sight-seeing in Seattle

Tuesday, we met up with a friend of mine from Maine who moved to Seattle area several years ago. She is a little homesick for Maine, even though she's originally from Seattle, and was glad to get together with someone from "home." We decided to have lunch at the Red Robin Restaurant which is right on the waterfront. You can see the Red Robin piloting the airplane below:

There were clouds hanging from the ceiling, and the view of the water was lovely. We had burgers and fries and the most awesome onion rings! It was great to see Anne; I felt like the years since we'd last talked just disappeared.

The plan was to have lunch and then she would direct us on a sight-seeing tour of Seattle.

The Red Robin is on Alaskan way, and this fountain was at the end of Alaskan Way. I managed to grab a shot of it on the way by.

We saw the Space Needle in the distance.

Then I got a closer shot of it...It's quite impressive--but Hubby has an extreme dislike of heights (no one said "fear," did they?) so we just looked at it from the outside!

There were other interesting-looking buildings. . .

I especially liked this church; I think it was Greek Orthodox.

In the heart of Seattle is Volunteer Park, situated on 40 acres purchased by the city for $2000 from J. M. Coleman in 1876. Over the years, some forest was cleared and the Seattle Asian Art Museum, pictured above, was constructed;

there is a large reservoir with a waterfall which is really quite beautiful.

From the side of the reservoir you can see the Space Needle and Puget Sound in the distance. Of course I saw this as a photo opportunity!

There was also a huge sculpture that looked very much like a large tire for a wheel on some piece of road equipment!

Or maybe a licorice doughnut that didn't quite turn out right! But, of course, I'm no art critic, and am of very limitied culture, being trailer trash and all!
There were beautiful flower gardens everywhere you turned. There was also a children's play area. But the flowers were breath-taking.

There was also a fish pond. It was loaded with all kinds of colorful fish. I tried to photograph them, but the skies reflected on the pond made it difficult.

I did my best to try to catch them when the sun's glare did not obstruct the view.
I apologize that my efforts didn't turn out better than they did. Several shots I didn't post at all, because of the reflections.

I loved the gold-colored one, but he was very elusive and hard to film!

There was also a monument to William Seward--Remember Seward's Folly? At the time his purchase of Alaska was considered a frivolous act. But if he hadn't made this deal, we might have never gotten to know Sarah Palin! (It's debatable whether or not that would have been a great loss!)
His statue stands in front of the Volunteer Park Conservatory, home of many unique and tropical plants.

The building is surrounded by flowers, all blooming brightly.

And the varieties inside! These had beautiful leaves of a reddish hue. I just had to share them.

So many different colors, sizes and textures!

And virginal pretty!

One section of the Conservatory was filled with Rain Forest plants. You truly felt like you were in the jungle; and they keep the temperature hot and humid.
The poster above refers to the bell below, which was quite delicate.

We were instructed to not touch it for fear of damaging it.

And everywhere. more blossoms!

Every color and variety imaginable!

Even different types of Cacti.

In all, it was a really amazing collection. There was a room full of orchids which was not open that day, but we could peek at them through the window glass. They, too, were breath-taking.

We left Anne at the dock to catch the ferry home to Bremerton and headed back to Kirkland, where we were staying. Good bye to Seattle--and Lake Washington.

Lake Washington was strange; the bridge spanned the middle, and on one side of the bridge the water was extremely choppy; on the other side it was totally calm.

BTW, I kept an eye out for Jason and Molly from the Bachelor, but they were nowhere to be seen!

Tonight we have dinner with the munchkin and her Mom and Dad before heading down the Pacific Coast highway. Today has been a total Veg day.....We needed to chill and relax a bit before striking out for our first view of the Pacific Ocean!

I hope you will come along as we follow the west coastline of Oregon and California...

Road Trip Day 11

I'm sorry I'm late with this post, but Monday and Tuesday were busy days, and to tell you the truth, I was just too pooped to blog. But now I'll get caught up.

The plan, as you know, was to take the catamaran/ferry, The Victoria Clipper, to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for a day of sight-seeing and a whale watch. We boarded the Clipper as planned.

Got comfortable in our just slightly roomier than airplane seats, and left on our trip.
We left the shore of the USA behind. . .

The Clipper left a pretty good trail in the water. . .

And after a two hour and thirty minute ride, we arrived in Canada. We were asked to show our passports, and we passed through customs.

As soon as we got through customs, we decided to find a place for lunch. We'd been up since 5:30 am, hadn't had much breakfast, and we were starving!

Views of the harbor were around us everywhere. We settled on a place named

Nautical Nellies for lunch. The signs and the menu promised good food, and we were hoping they weren't lying!

The decor was very attractive; lots of dark wood, the bust of a mermaid above the bar, and beautiful blue glasswear.

Lunch was terrific; Hubby had seafood chowder, and I had French onion soup; both were accompanied by a wonderful, crusty French bread. Yummy!

Then it was on to the Whale Watch. I thought it a little strange that the meeting place was 3 blocks or so from the docks, but we waited on benches to be told what was up. I assumed we were waiting for a shuttle bus to take us to the pier. Wrong. A tour guide came. . .

and gave us badges to wear arournd our necks that bore a picture of the boat we were taking, and instructed us to fall in behind him and head for the docks on foot. Now Hubby has severe arthritis in his knees and needs the assistance of a cane to walk, but he was game, so off we went.

When we arrived at our almost destination, we were faced with 2 flights of stairs to get down to the pier, and then a long ramp to actually board the boat. At that point Hubby bailed out. There was no way he was going to get down all those stairs, not to mention having to climb them all when we returned! So, we canned the whale watch idea. (Sorry to disappoint those who were hoping to see whales! (Although, we were told later by a cabdriver that the chances of seeing any whales after the first of September are slim at best, so you might have been disappointed anyway.)

We decided to do some sightseeing in Victoria instead. We took this shot of a musician dressed as Darth Vader and playing the violin!

There were a variety of architectural styles around.. .

Old and modern, mixed together as in most cities.

Apparently there was a cooking school nearby, as we caught a shot of this group of chefs apparently headed for class.

Finally, at 6:00 pm, we boarded the Victoria Clipper again to return to Seattle. The munchkin expressed how we all felt! pooped!

There was fog settling down on Victoria as we left, which made for some pretty photos.

We arrived back at our hotel around 10:00 pm after a long, fun day, even though we didn't make it to the whale watch.

Once again, thanks for coming along!