August 19, 2019

For weeks leading up to this summer’s adventures, I had been having some trepidations or mild anxiety that I just could not identify nor shake. It stuck to my psyche and was mildly nagging me to the point I wondered if I should consider this a premonition. After all, I was planning something entirely new for me that was much more than my usual hiking, backpacking or other trekking into the National Parks' wildernesses. It would involve water which may have contributed to my unease. Still, water itself or being on it hasn’t caused me much concern in the past, so what the heck was bugging me?

Trying my best to just ride that wave of doubt, I carried on and did my best to override it and tackle it as best I could. You know - face your fears.

These feelings I confided in with Mark during the several days we toured around in Seattle, then Vancouver, British Columbia. I felt just talking about it might help me get a hold of it so that releasing it to the universe would lessen its power over me. To some extent that did work. But not entirely. 

I will return to that bugaboo in upcoming stories.

SO, there we were in Seattle, where I had advance purchased tickets to see the Space Needle, Chiuily Glass Museum and Gardens, Science Center and a ride on the Monorail. We were reasonably close to the Seattle Center, which had been the area of the 1962 World’s Fair and location of all four attractions The monorail passed right by our hotel although it could only be boarded at either end of it’s short run.  


Before heading out to begin our touristy duties, we stopped next door to our hotel at Top Pot Doughnuts with its wonderful neon sign. 

This place has a history and is a favorite with the locals, so, of course, we had to sample some for ourselves. We both concur, “you gotta stop there if you are in downtown Seattle”.

Speaking of neon signs, on the other side of our hotel, King’s Inn Downtown, was another cool neon sign for the Palace Kitchen Cocktails, where I had dinner and Mark & I stopped for cocktails one afternoon. Not to be outdone, across the street from Palace was another distinctive sign for the restaurant Cantina Leña with its green cougar overlooking the street. There were other neon signs about the city, but those were next to where we stayed.

Continuing on to the Space Needle (which was a highlight of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle), we passed a whimsical rotating gigantic pink elephant neon sign for a car wash. Fun!


Being an overcast morning it seemed we woud not be getting the best views from atop the Space Needle observation deck. Therefore we began our exploring at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. If you have not seen any of the artist Dale Chihuly glass installations, you really must do so. All of his works are outstanding, spellbinding, captivating, marvelous creative art. His glass sculptures are created in the blown glass method with his imaginative mind forming intricate and delicate forms that are then assembled in exactly the shape he conceives as perfection. 

The indoor exhibits were back or overhead lit to truly bring out Chihuly’s genius. The colors are amazing. The shapes wild and intriguing. Outdoors in the gardens, the glass sculptures are thoughtfully planted amongst the flowers and assorted vegetation. Another MUST SEE in Seattle.


From the Chihuly Museum and Gardens, the Seattle Space Needle towers above it all simultaneously contrasting and complimenting the glass art sculptures. This would be our second place to experience.


Luckily we were fairly early in line to ride the elevators to the top of the Needle, as more people were arriving, swelling the waiting line, and extending the wait time.

 We were lucky.

At the top, it was already crowded with many enjoying a meal or outside on the observation deck. The sun had melted away most of the fog so that views were quite good out over the city and all around. Inside viewing was also good as we sat eating a light meal. But outdoors, the slanted glass walls were the only real barrier between you and the ground below. Some were fearful of approaching to look out and down, but others were fearless, me included.



However, one floor below was a rotating deck with glass bottom floor. That was a trip! As the floor spun slowly around, people were either petrified to step on the heavy plexiglass, or fearlessly ventured forth and enjoyed the sensation and view looking directly down below the Needle. Watching young kids perform antics and being fearless was enjoyable.



Watching the exposed elevators going up and down was interesting and fun to watch. It takes 43 seconds to go from ground level to the top. Inside, on the ground floor is a large souvenir shop that should satisfy most everyone’s desire for mememtos.

From above we could see the tiny figures of children at play, which, upon investing on ground, we found them playing in a large spraying water fountain. They certainly were having a blast getting soaked.


Both of us feeling fatigued and Mark’s leg aching, we decided to follow up the next day with a ride on the monorail. We did wander about for a bit checking out the building architecture, some very interesting in shape, color or style. The Spheres or Bubble building near our hotel is an Amazon property where it’s greenhouse, geodesic dome design holds plants growing tall within. With nearly 24,000 Amazon employees, it is no wonder that the predominance of youthful people was so prevalent in downtown Seattle. Add to that the Google offices and thousands of employees to understand the youthful culture.






These two photos below show a ceiling installation in the museum. They lay upon thick plexiglass and are fun to examine for hidden gems that Chihuly has placed amongst all the glass art including several little cherubs.

Original style posters depicting the Space Needle construction progress. Good reading while standing in line.

A Toast to our first day in Seattle. Stay tuned for more.

u © Donald E. Kline 2012