Our jacks were up, truck hitched and we were on the road before 10am, the day we headed to Seattle! Again, a fairly short drive day was in front of us, and most of it was interstate, which makes it even easier. While the more local roads, like Rt 199 we took from Crescent City, CA north toward Grants Pass, offer great views, they can be more stressful due to the single lane each way and sometimes narrow windy areas. Interstate driving is easier in that its not usually so windy and narrow, but can have a lot more volume and people cutting in/out.
We arrived at Tolt-McDonald Park and Campground and found the office to be closed. I had not received an email confirmation from them (they don’t do that) so I had to look at the CG map and thankfully I remembered which site I choose, and that was confirmed by the ticket on the pedestal at the site. We were originally supposed to stay at a Thousand Trails park (even though we aren’t TT members anymore) b/c it was the best I found at that time. Their prices were higher than I wanted to pay, but in line with what others in the area were charging. Sometimes you gotta do what you’ve gotta do, right? Well, when searching for something else, I just happened upon a link to a new CG review site called Campendium. I decided to check it out, and in doing so found this awesome little gem! I mean it when I say little, as there are only 17 sites and one is the host. All sites are pull-through, very easy in/out. Plenty of grass! Quiet! AND – saved $90 for the week over going to the other CG! AND – only 6 miles further away from our target area – no big deal! I totally recommend this place to anyone wanting to stay near Seattle!
As soon as we were set-up, I texted my cousin Eric to let him know. We made plans to meet in Seattle the next day. We were to drive the truck to the bus terminal and take the bus to Westlake Center.
The initial plan didn’t go quite as smoothly as we hoped, as the first place we drove to had a full parking lot. There were a lot of people parked illegally and there wasn’t even an illegal spot available if we wanted one! So, we headed back to a different bus terminal and found parking there, at Issaquah Transit Center. We hopped on the 554 bus and met Eric and Jodie at Westlake Center, about an hour and a half behind the original schedule, no big deal! After finding a ladies room, we walked to the monorail, which took us to Seattle Center. The only other place we had ridden a monorail was in Disney World, FL, it was cool to ride one in a city setting!
Our first stop in Seattle Center was the EMP Museum. Jodie used to work there and was able to get us passes to get it! What a fun place!
Our next stop was the Space Needle! Can’t visit Seattle without going to the top of the iconic Space Needle! The views were amazing!
We also saw the International Fountain. The whole area was very pretty – lots of flowers and greens!
We talked briefly about going to Chilully Glass, but it was quite pricey and we decided to pass. Instead, we were all getting hungry so Jodie led us to a food court for some food. Bill and I had some meat pies, which were very good. Eric had BBQ chicken and Jodie had a Gyro. That’s the great thing about food courts, everyone can get whatever they want from different places.
We took the monorail back to the Westlake Center area and walked our way to our next stop – the Underground Tour! Before we start the Underground Tour – some scenes from around town! Some of the buildings have interesting architecture.
Bill and I had heard about this from friends, Jo & Ben and it sounded very interesting! Well, it did not disappoint! Our tour guide, Jacob, was very funny and kept us laughing while he told us how the whole underground came to be.
Here’s a link that explains how the underground area came to be – it is very interesting – Wikipedia can explain it better than me! Seattle Underground
Next stop was the Merchants Cafe, Seattle’s oldest restaurant. Eric knows the bartender there. We decided to have a few drinks and some snacks, it was Happy Hour after all!
I was getting pretty tired at this point, we decided to call it a night! Eric and Jodie helped us find the right bus stop, and we said our “see you soon’s!”
We took a break the following day, as it was very rainy and we had some chores that needed to get done, including some food shopping. We finally replaced the heat registers with new ones, as 2 out of 4 had broken from being stepped on. If they are on the floor, they should be strong enough to be stepped on. No problem, we replaced them with residential ones. Also, Bill had to reattach the frig to the slide, it had moved out of its spot during travel. Please ignore the dust!
The following day, with chores complete (well – mostly caught up on – never fully complete!), we once again parked at Issaquah Transit Center and hopped on the 554 bus. The whole process went a lot smoother this time! We met Eric (Jodie had a family obligation) at Westlake Center, and walked down to Pike Place Market – our first stop of the day. Wow – what an awesome place! I would love to go back and buy one of everything! We stopped at a few of the shops – Bill got some Mac & Cheese, a meat filled donut kind of thing (can’t remember the name of it – sorry). I would have loved to pick up some seafood, which all looked fabulous – but we had no way to keep it cold, plus, I did not want to have to carry it all day either! It was fun anyway, just seeing all the variety!
After seeing what there was to see there, we walked down the waterfront area toward the ferry. On our way, we came across the Curiousity Shop. That sounded interesting, so we stopped to see what it was about.
We took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island. The views from the ferry were awesome! Eric had suggested we take it the other night, after the Underground Tour, but I was getting too tired, but he may have been right – I bet the views with the city all lit up would have been amazing! Save it for next time!
After the ferry, it was almost time to catch the bus to meet Jodie, but first we stopped in at Eric’s fav martini bar, Olivers, for martini’s. I am not a fan, but Bill is, he had a difficult time choosing from their huge classically made martini’s. There is an interesting story to go along with Eric hanging out at Olivers. Let me start by reminding you (or telling you for the first time) that I am related to Eric on my Mother’s Mother’s side. His Mom is my Nana Harriet’s sister, my Aunt Aura. This side of my family is Jewish, you may remember we went to Noam’s Bar Mitzvah in November 2014. So, Eric is Jewish – guess I took the very long way of making that point! Ha! Anyway, a long time ago, when Eric first moved to Seattle, he was sitting at Olivers looking across the street at the HUGE tree, a , which used to be the Seattle Christmas tree. It wasn’t being used for it anymore b/c they put a new tree a few blocks up in the newly opened Westlake Center. As Eric sat there with his Vodka Martini with a lemon twist, he thought to himself, I’d like to see that tree lit up again! But, he wonders to himself, is is “ok” for a Jewish guy to want to light up a Christmas tree? So, what does a Jewish man do when he asks himself this question? He calls his Mother in Israel to ask her! After she tells him that its ok if it makes him happy – he tackles all the red-tape and gets the tree re-lit! Here’s a story about it that’s posted on the Seattle’s Community Holiday Tree FaceBook page: Seattle’s Community Holiday Tree. I had heard the story from him before, but Bill had only heard my condensed version, so as we sat and the men enjoyed their martini’s, and I my Myers and Coke, Eric told the story again. I am so proud of him for taking on such a huge thing!
Martini and story time complete – we hopped on the bus to meet up with Jodie, heading to their house. After stopping by to meet Jodie’s brother, we walked up a few blocks to the local micro-brew Reubens Brews, so Bill and Eric could have fun choosing from the MANY beers on tap. After a few beers, Eric says, lets head to Chuck’s for a different type of beer. After Chucks – Eric asked if we wanted to get a burger. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was til Eric asked if I wanted a burger! My mouth started watering as he said how good they were at Lamplighters! YES – I wanted a burger! Off to Lamplighters we went! The burger was delish – as were the tater tots! After a while, it was time for us to say goodnight – Eric made sure we got on the right bus back to downtown Seattle, with instructions on how to get to the bus we needed to get back to the truck in Issaquah and away we went! We were getting good at this getting around on buses thing!
The next day we had agreed to go about our separate business, we had stuff we wanted to get done around the rig, the weather was “iffy” and to be honest, I was tired! While being a tourist (especially with our own personal tour guides) and seeing new things all the time is a really great thing – I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything! – its also tiring! I know – I know – first world problems! I’ll shut-up now!
The following day, we woke to sunny and warm and beautiful skies! Eric came out to the rig and we had sandwiches before heading out for our day of touring. Our first stop was supposed to be Snoqualmie Falls, but there was not one parking spot at all! So, we just headed to stop #2 – we are experts at being flexible! North Bend is an adorable little town, complete with an ice cream stop! I had to get some ice cream! YUM! After checking out North Bend, we drove to Snoqualmie, another small town, but this was where we were going on a train ride! We bought our tickets and got on board. The train took us to a railroad museum that housed several old engines and cars. I was disappointed that we couldn’t climb on them and see the insides of the passenger cars. Oh well! The train ride also went by the top of Snoqualmie Falls, which is where we had wanted to stop. The train stopped for us to take some pics, but we didn’t get a direct view of the falls – we would have to try again to park at the overlook! The train had 2 different kinds of cars, one was the older style and one was the “newer” style. See the pics below for the difference! We actually preferred the old style car – a lot b/c of opening windows!
Our second attempt to park at the Snoqualmie Falls was a success! I LOVE waterfalls! Could stand there and look at them all day long! And so many beautiful flowers blooming all over the place!
Touring for the day complete, we headed back to the rig for some dinner – Bill was making chicken wings! YUMMY! I had made some potato salad earlier in the morning, so we enjoyed that as well!
The following day was our last full day in the Seattle area. Our last day with Eric and Jodie. They came and picked us up – we had been invited to Jodie’s sisters house for the afternoon. Martha and April live on Ames Lake, and they have a amazing home, beautiful flowers all over the yard and most impressive is their view of the lake! They took us all out on their electric pontoon boat. I had never heard of an electric pontoon, but it was so nice and quiet! We enjoyed our drinks, guacamole, queso and chips while we circled around the lake. When we got back to the house, we had some lunch while sitting outside watching the lake. It was a perfect relaxing end to our time in Seattle with Jodie and Eric. They dropped us off at the rig and after hugs and thank you’s for an awesome week, we said our “see you laters”.
I have to say, I’m sure Bill and I could have muddled our way around Seattle on our own, even probably figured out the bus by ourselves, we are smart that way, but – having Eric and Jodie show us around made our time in Seattle that much more special! Sharing things with those we love is the best part of doing anything, right? I am one lucky lady, that’s for sure!
p.s. the pic of me standing in front of the wall with stuff all over it? Its gum! EWWW GROSS!
Our next stop, Bellingham, is our last one in the USA for a while. I’m not sure what kind of signal and/or wifi we will have, but I promise to keep in touch as best I can.
I will leave you today with this quote from a Prince song