Alright the first trip on my own, well not quite as there will be 6 family members and 3 friends going along on this Alaska Cruise but I still count it being my first vacation trip since my wife’s passing. On this trip will be my son, his wife and 1 year old son, her mother, father and brother and 2 fun friends from Casper, WY I met at my sons wedding. The Wyoming friends are also bringing another friend along, also from Casper. So I won’t technically be alone but at times I will be exploring the towns we visit alone as I am not taking any ship excursions with the family.
I was up at 4:30AM Saturday morning to have my daughter take me to the airport for the 2 1/2 hour flight to Seattle, WA. Flying out at 7:30AM we landed at 9:45AM after flying a large circle around Seattle, as we were way early due to a tailwind.
I have good directions for the Light Rail line between Sea-Tac airport and downtown, buy my $3 ticket and board the train for a 40-minute carefree ride to town. Very easy system to comprehend with clean train cars. Getting off at the downtown Westlake Station I walk the ½ mile to my room for the night.
This little motel was not the best place in downtown but it was clean, safe, inexpensive and my room was actually ready for me when I arrived. So I placed my carry-on bag in my room, got my camera gear for the day packed in the shoulder bag and head out for a walking tour of downtown Seattle.
First stop was to walk the 1/2 mile down to the cruise terminal and see how the walk would be in the morning. Well a 15 minute slow walk got me there to see the sister ship to mine, disembarking and embarking passengers for the sailing later that day.
OK, now knowing how to get there and how long the walk would take, I start my second part of the journey along the shoreline to Miners Landing – Pier 57 to see what this is all about. A ferris wheel is outside and a small shopping mall is inside the old pier building.
Walking quickly through this crowded shopping area I stumble upon an interesting antique shop across the street and go inside to look and see if there are any interesting subjects to photograph. Yes there are but the lighting was very poor and I had to really work the camera just to get any shots worth processing.
Continuing on I head uphill for Pikes Place Market to see this world famous fish market. Well it was interesting and there was a lot to see but it is so overrun with tourists in the afternoon that it is impossible to get any good photographs or to enjoy the sellers stalls. I wish I could have gotten there early in the morning before everyone was up. This place is soooooo crowed I found the first exit point to get outside and get a breath of air.
Done here with the crowds I walk over to the small Victor Stein Brueck Park, resting and gazing over the harbor for a while as I eat a small snack and have some water.
Rested I decide to walk the approximately 1 mile to the Space Needle to check it out. I am still very hungry so I decide I need a lunch, the snack did not satisfy me. Finding a Subway sandwich shop I go in to get a quick 6″ Cold Cut Sandwich, chips and a drink.
Finishing the meal I continue my walk searching for a place to have dinner along the way. Several restaurants interest me so I at least have a pick for my meal later.
Arriving at The Space Needle it starts to rain, yes we are in Seattle and I must get a little wet. After a brief hour-long shower the skies open to a beautiful sunny day and sky. As I walk around the park I enjoy getting shots of the Space Needle, other museum buildings and play areas. Sitting and relaxing for a while, I just unwind from my flight and walk.
I am finished exploring and it is about 4:30PM so I head back to the room to drop my camera gear off, clean up and decide what I want for dinner.
I decide on the Bahn Mi sandwich I saw in a little shop a few blocks away on 5th Ave and head down the street to eat. Sitting there enjoying the sandwich I think about the day I have had, write down some notes and contemplate what is upcoming the next week on the family cruise. The sandwich is good and filling but I have had better Bahn Mi. Finished with dinner I head back to the room to rest and get ready to board the ship in the morning. But first I must see what Top Pot Donuts has in store for breakfast tomorrow morning. OH good, everything looks so YUMMY.
Back at the room I get everything ready for my embarkation and jot down my walking information for the day: a little over 10 miles and 25,174 steps, quite a day of plane travel and exploring. I fall fast asleep for a good nights rest, I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow at somewhere about 10PM.