After a quick stop at IKEA for their famous Swedish meatballs, we headed to the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Seattle to check in. The hotel was quite nice, but a bit far from the main tourist attractions located downtown. Luckily for us, we don’t mind a little bit of walking.
Naturally, our first stop downtown was to Pikes Place Fish Market. Sadly, this area was a bit of a disappointment. The actual market building was packed with tourists and I was forced to tackle old women and children alike just to get around. Though it did have a lot of nice gourmet food shops, it was a bit too touristy for me.
Between Pikes, and the San Francisco Ferry Building, I think I prefer the Ferry Building. After the market, we took a pleasant walk around downtown and had a requisite Starbucks.
The next day we were off to Vancouver Canada with tickets for the symphony and plans to visit Lynn Canyon Park. We left at 8am on Thanksgiving morning, and drove through wet roads for 3 hours until we reached Vancouver. Being without a map, we instantly got lost and were forced to spend an extra hour attempting to locate a map. Once we did (for 12 Canadian Dollars!) we headed up to the Lynn Canyon Park.
The park was a nice departure from the big city and I thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by forest as I currently live in Las Vegas, and we barely have grass here. The highlight of the park is a wooden bridge that crosses Lynn Canyon, with a raging river below. Also located in the park is Rice Lake, but we didn’t have time to visit due to our plans to see the symphony.
The symphony was held at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Vancouver. We arrived at the symphony a bit late, but I was able to see Swan Lake, so I was still happy. My only complaint would have to be the overzealous triangle player who made it his duty to be heard above every other instrument in the orchestra.
After the symphony, we ran through a dirty, dingy downtown Vancouver to try to get to our sweet Hyundai Accent before our parking expired. We made it in time and began the long drive back to Seattle as evening fell on Vancouver.
Before leaving Canada, we stopped off at the Duty Free shop to pick up a Canada magnet, some snacks and smoked salmon. We ended up getting back at 8pm.
After the brewery, we walked over to Pioneer Square, another tourist-y district in downtown Seattle. Pioneer Square boasts a lot of older building and examples of what the city used to look like in the 19th century. Craving some seafood, we happened upon an Asian tapas restaurant called Tig, and it turned out to be a great find. The lunch specials were great and really cheap. Satisfied and full of alcohol, we hit a third restaurant called the Taphouse Grill. There we had more alcohol and and some cheesecake. We then headed back to the hotel, then stopped off at the grocery store for some snacks and called it a day.
The next day (our last day) was frigidly cold. We started out by visiting the locks, where visitors are able to see salmon and other fish in the wild. Unfortunately, the salmon weren’t in season and we saw nothing. We then started out on the search for the Northwestern, a crabbing boat featured on the show World’s Deadliest Catch.
The night before, we had read on message boards that the Northwestern docks in Seattle during the off season and it had been seen at both the south end of 24th ave and Fisherman’s terminal.
We started on a mad search of both places, and got lost numerous times along the way. It proved to be a fun ride through Seattle. We didn’t find the Northwestern,, but we did find other ships featured on the show – The Sea Star and The North American.
We passed through Queen Anne Hill on our way to the SeaTac airport, and it had some of the best views of Seattle, along with some of the prettiest houses in the city. It was a nice break from the the city and put a nice cap to our trip.
Overall, I had a great time in Seattle and Vancouver. Seattle, to me, was surprisingly similar to San Francisco in feel. It offers a lot of cultural interests, great food and great parks.