Posted by: Sally Ingraham | November 26, 2008

Taking on Seattle

The adventure began in earnest when I arrived in Seattle late Monday night. My first task was figuring out how to utilize the city transit system, and take the bus from the airport to 4th and Pike Street. This was accomplished easily enough, once I determined that I needed bus 194 and $1.50, got on the right bus, and got off at the right station. A nice gentleman helped me out with that last part, for which I am grateful.

Then I found my way to the Green Tortoise Hostel, and checked in to my first hostel experience. This place reminds me of the JPH dorm, and is clean and comfortable, with curtains around the bunks for privacy and several free meals provided – including a Thanksgiving feast tomorrow!

Peeking at the Space NeedleI slept late on Tuesday, trying desperately to shake the cold that was creeping up on me… I rose and left the hostel around 9:30 and headed straight down to the waterfront, where I located Argosy Cruises, and picked up my Seattle Go-Card. This lovely little card gets me into most of the major attractions – I payed a set price for a 3-day card and got a significant savings while making my life as a tourist incredibly easy!

I then wandered through Pike’s Place for awhile, until I found the Sound View Cafe where I had breakfast/lunch and figured out my day. What I like best about this city is it’s accessibility – meaning, I have been able to walk to everything I want to see so far. I did, however, take the monorail that day – to get to Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle and several cool museums.

Lovely MotionI spent Tuesday checking out the Sci-Fi Museum (where I saw Capt. Kirk’s uniform) and the Experience Music Project (where I saw several of Jimi Hendrix’s smashed guitars) and the Pacific Science Center (butterflies and Madagascar 2 in the IMAX theater). I skipped the Space Needle, because by the time I was ready for it, fog and dusk and set in.

I returned to the hostel for dinner, and met Erin from Brisbee, Australia – one of my roommates. After dinner I went back out and visited the Pike Brewing Company – again, within walking distance; in fact ridiculously close. I sat at the bar, and as my XXXXX Stout appeared, the owner also materialized beside me, saying “Now there’s a woman with good taste!”

I didn’t stay long, as my cold was really starting to demand attention. I went to bed early, and slept late again. I am eager to get all the rest I can while there is a bed beneath me!

Harbor CruiseI was out of the hostel by 9:30 again today, and fueled up with some coffee – which I had learned, while reading the complimentary mags on my Delta flights, is actually quite good for you! That is excellent, because working at Amy’s store has destroyed my last lines of defense against the beverage…! 🙂

Anyway, I headed back down to Argosy Cruises, this time to get a ticket for the 1:30 Harbor Cruise. Then I walked to Pioneer Square, to take “Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour”. Being something of a sucker for history, I thoroughly enjoyed the humorous retelling of Seattle’s origins and history, while walking around 15 ft. below the present city streets, at the level of Seattle before the Great Fire of 1889.

Sky Scrapers45 minutes after that tour ended I was boarding the Lady Mary, which took me on an hour long, 8 mile cruise of Elliot Bay, popping out into Puget Sound only briefly. There was a continual view of the Seattle skyline, and I was blessed with something else special – one of Seattle’s rare clear, sunny days (there are only about 90). Mt. Ranier was visible, as were the Olympic mountains. It was quite fabulous.

Back on shore I treated myself to lunch/dinner at The Crab Pot, where I feasted on steamed shrimp and King Crab. I thoroughly enjoyed beating and poking the meat out of the crab shells, and tearing the heads and legs off those shrimp!

I had sniffled my way through the day, determined to enjoy it in spite of the drip, but after eating I allowed myself to return to the hostel. There, instead of going directly to bed, I wrote postcards and chatted with Erin about our day’s adventures. And now I’m writing this, inflicting my illness upon the hostel common room… Evil of me, I know.

Not to worry – I will take myself to bed directly, and will wake tomorrow ready for one more day in this pleasant city before I begin my epic train ride. Begone, stuffy nose and streaming eyes. I have rails to ride!
Sunset over Elliot Bay


  1. I was glad to hear you enjoyed the Green Tortoise Hostel. I stayed at the Green Tortoise in San Francisco and loved it. Seattle is the next stop.

  2. Beautiful pictures as always, Sarah. I hope you’re feeling better. I imagine you’re on your way to New Orleans by now. Tell Nova I said “hi”.

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