Day #24 - Not Sleepless in Seattle

View from Sunny Hill Park
Our first night in Seattle was not sleepless mainly because we were so tired after the travelling plus the jump in time zones as we jumped west across the States.
Out first task was to pick up the rental car and relocate from our airport hotel to a city central hotel. This all went very smoothly and we were given the friendliest and warmest of welcomes by the two staff members at the reception desk. Not only did they make it possible for us to check in super early, they also gave us complementary car parking, saving us a nice $32 and $30 each to spend in the restaurant - sweet.
The hotel itself is lovely and has a quirky boutique style of decor and although our room had an even less interesting view than our airport hotel view, the rest of the room and hotel is so comfortable and beautiful.
Once settled, we head out on the streets. Our first port of call on our list was right behind our hotel - the funky Pike Place Market. This is a bustling hive of independent food, craft and art stalls.
It is also the location of the original Starbucks shop - the very place it all started. It's strange that people treat this place like an major historic landmark when it was only in 1971! We didn't go in and order a latte since the queue to go inside was at least a block long!
From here, we headed to another iconic Seattle landmark - the Space Needle. 
Before ascending the tower, we took in Chihuly Garden and Glass - a museum and garden right next to the Space Needle that is dedicated to the work of Dale Chihuly, a renowned American glass artist. His creative and innovative work with glass is stunning and the sculptures he created are beautifully displayed - some inside in darkened rooms so lights can show off the beautiful forms; others outside "planted" among flowers, shrubs and trees. One of the most stunning is in the Glasshouse - a three-story glass and steel structure that houses Chihuly's largest suspended sculpture, made up of over 2,000 individual pieces of glass.

After the glass garden it was time to head next door to the Space Needle itself. This is left over building from the 1962 World's Fair, stands at 605 feet tall and a clear day, you can see Mount Rainier to the south, the Olympic Mountains to the west, the Cascade Mountains to the east, and Puget Sound below. Sadly for us, the weather wasn't great although we still got some good views from the top and "enjoyed" the revolving glass floor (we both don't really care for heights!).

After all this beauty and excitement, we headed back to the hotel to meet an old friend of James', Alice who had moved over to Seattle from Bristol. She suggested we go to one of Seattle's many beauty spots and take a nice walk up to a view point over one of the bays. We like a good walk and a view, so we drove north out of the city centre to the Ballard area. Here we parked up beside the water and headed up the adjacent hill. Sadly, Seattle's famous British style weather kicked in and we had a wet walk up to the top. This actually was very pleasant and made a refreshing change from the dry heat we had been used to in Florida. 
Alice also very kindly invited us over to her apartment where she cooked us a lovely chicken and vegetable dinner. After all the eating out we have done, it was so wonderful to enjoy home cooked food. Naturally, James and Alice had plenty of catching up to do having not seen each other for many years. It was a lovely evening. She also makes these beautiful wreaths for special occasions and she has made this lovely one for Halloween. If you are in Seattle or the States and would like her to make you one, pop a comment below and we'll put you in touch!