Our family has lived in the Northwest for eight years now, but we've never "done" Seattle. We set that right on Thursday by taking a quick trip up for the day. There's definitely a lot left to see, but we had a fun time looking around downtown.
First stop, Pike Place Market. For anyone who hasn't been there, I think Pike Place really needs to be visited to be understood, but it's basically a shopping district around a year-round farmer's market. It's such a weird jumble of old buildings and little cobblestone alleys--I think it would take a long time to explore it thoroughly. We got a very early start, so most of the stores weren't even open yet when we got there. It was fun looking around the empty alleys and watching the produce and fish stands set up.
I really liked looking at the produce stands. Everything was arranged so nicely.
Because we were at Pike Place so early, we had breakfast. We went to the Crumpet Shop and had--can you guess?--tea and crumpets (and a scone). It was tasty and definitely a new experience. I didn't really even know what a crumpet was before.
Are you wondering what a crumpet is, too? It's kind of like a spongy biscuit and about the size of an English muffin. The Crumpet Shop serves them with various toppings. Mine had smooth, creamy ricotta and chocolate-hazelnut spread (think Nutella).
After breakfast, we wandered around some more.
Post Alley. Pike Place Chowder is on the left. We went there for lunch.
Down Under (another section of the market) wasn't open yet.
Seafood stands getting ready for the day.
We left Pike Place to go take a look at the Space Needle. We didn't go up this time, but we just wanted to see it.
The Chihuly glass exhibit is right next to the Space Needle. A couple large outdoor pieces are visible from outside of the exhibit. It looks pretty fascinating!
Walking along Alaskan Way as we headed to the aquarium.
The aquarium is the blue building on the far left.
I really liked the tidal pool exhibit. All the animals in that area are from local waters, and you're allowed to touch them.
A tiny little sea cucumber.
More sea cucumbers.
Did you know this fact? I thought that was pretty interesting.
This unhappy fish seems to be wishing for some attention.
The sea otters were very cute!
We looked around the gift shop before leaving. I kind of wanted to buy this mug, but anyone who drinks coffee at our house is probably glad I didn't. ;-)
After the aquarium, we headed back to Pike Place, which was now buzzing with people.
The original Pike Place Starbucks and a crowd gathering around some musicians.
After lunch and some more looking around Pike Place, we made our way down to the King Street Amtrak Station to catch our ride home. It was a long day, and we were definitely tired by the end, but we really enjoyed it!