A Travellerspoint blog

Day 18: Perusing Pike Place & Reaching New Heights

Seattle, WA all day

semi-overcast

Today we made sure to wake up early (despite our late night) and groggily ventured back into Seattle to explore the Pike Place Market, one of the largest farmer's markets in the United States.

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The place was enormous, spanning about a mile in each direction, with 8 floors of food and wares being sold in tiny stands throughout. Eccentric dishes (like our favorites: sushi burritos and huckleberry flavored ice cream) were everywhere. People gathered around a small fish stand in a crowd so thick that it blocked the walkway entirely, waiting to see the workers fling impossibly heavy fish back and forth as customers ordered them. Street performers were in every corner and in front of every seating area. Our favorite was a trio of red-headed children playing string instruments like they were professionals.

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We also made sure to stand in the hour-long line for donuts at the Daily Dozen donut stand, where two older women dropped fresh balls of dough into a fryer before the very eyes of their customers. We watched our tasty morsels cook behind the stand's glass pane before they were plopped into bags of powdered sugar and/or sprinkles. Definitely worth the wait.

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Christian hadn't seen mountains yet, so it was time to head to a cafe on one of the higher levels of the market named something along the lines of "The Viewpoint Cafe" which featured enormous windows facing the waterfront and the mountains looming in the distance. Since I had been driving through mountains the last week or so, I wasn't overly impressed by how far away they appeared from the Market windows, but Christian was beyond excited about the view.

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After some more exploring, it was time to check out the infamous “gum wall” where it is tradition for visitors to tack a piece of chewed gum onto a long stretch of brick wall outside Pike Place. It’s supposed to be placed on the wall with your mouth, but we were not about to get sick halfway through our trip and used our hands to stick our tourist-y marks to the wall instead.

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With our visit to the Pike Place Market complete, we had plenty of time to explore the rest of the city before our plans later that night with Christian's friends. We had heard great things about the Seattle Public Library, so we booked it to make it there before they closed (pun intended). It was worth the rush; the exterior of the building was all glass window panes stretching up several stories high and angled in the most fascinating way that was even cooler looking from the inside.

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Throughout the day exploring the city, we noticed construction on every street corner; it seems like the whole city is constantly being updated to fit the growing population of young professionals and eccentric hipsters. Instead of finding the situation annoying, as I do in Michigan when our roads are permanently torn up from April until October, I loved watching the construction unfold in Seattle.

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Our temporary housemates had suggested that, instead of paying big money for a ride to the top of the Space Needle for a skyline view, we head to the Sky View Observatory on floor 73 of the Columbia Center building. It was cheaper, higher up, and had a 360 degree glass window view of Seattle's gorgeous skyline. We got to the top and gasped, and I don't think I ever caught my breath again. I raced around the area soaking in the sights with both my eyes and my camera like a fool, but I didn't care. Standing here, hundreds of feet above the city, I fell in love with the Seattle all over again.

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Christian had to literally pry me away from the window seat where I would've otherwise remained permanently attached in order for us to make it back to Redmond in time for Terina's birthday party we promised to attend. As much as I hated to leave that view behind, we ended up in an equally fascinating place: the AFK bar.

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Since Terina, Jovi, Chris, and my friend Christian had become close through playing World of Warcraft together for almost 10yrs, it was fitting that the bar was a videogame/comic theme for Terina's party. Even better, each drink was named after a character, as was the food. I think I spent about 45 minutes just nerding out over the menu descriptions (and I didn't even recognize half of them).

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The bar featured card game/board game rentals, and our group snatched Cards Against Humanity which we played for hours, our responses becoming more and more inappropriate as we became more intoxicated on delicious cocktails named after our favorite video-game characters. It was a great night, and I'm so happy these amazing people were kind enough to give me a place to stay on my adventure.

It was the perfect way to end my stay in my new favorite city.

Posted by aswoger 23:22 Archived in USA

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