PNW Road Trip Day 1

Half a lifetime ago, I went to the Pacific Northwest with my family and we did a variation of the trip I just did with Charley. Over the next few days I'll be sharing our trip day by day. We took a red eye to Seattle on Friday and got in around midnight local time. Instead of paying exorbitant prices for a room in the city (which most charge congestion pricing on weekends), I just booked us a place to crash near the airport since it was 2am before we went to bed anyway.

 The next morning we found some $10 parking near Pike Place Market and left the car there most of the day while we explored. We started with biscuits at Honest Biscuits at Pike. I'd suggest a plain biscuit with some of their homemade jam-STOP. So. good. I also got a lavender and lemonade soda there while Charley nabbed a coffee down at Ghost Alley. Seattle is known for its roasters so he made his way through quite a few cups on this trip. Pike is known for its hauntings. Check out some of the stories here if you're planning to visit-makes things a bit more interesting. 

On the way to Lake Union, we  had passed the Sculpture Garden, Pop Culture Museum, Chihuly exhibit, and Space Needle. Tickets to the last two are expensive but can be bought together at a discount. There are limits to the number of people they let in to each at a time so instead of waiting for another three hours or killing time, we just got tickets for the next morning at 8:30am. Early morning is best because it's not at all crowded and you get the best views from both the Space Needle and of the Chihuly sculptures. I'd say both of them are must-sees but you'll read more about those tomorrow...

After we got bored of running into hundreds of other tourists exploring the market (it was Memorial Day weekend so it was even more packed than normal), we walked to Lake Union to see houseboats.  No such luck on the SE side. Apparently you've got to rent a paddleboat to go see them around the rest of the lake. We opted for lunch instead.

We walked back to Pikes and grabbed a sampler of chowders and large bowl of salmon chowder. At this point we'd walked over 12 miles so we snagged the car and drove to the Fremont area to see the troll, houses, and UW Before heading to the Ballard Locks. We were dying by 7pm so we headed to our hotel. We grabbed salads for dinner at a place called Evergreens. It's apparently a local salad bar chain-so good but only can be found in the city.

Traditional totem.

Signature tourist shot.

Lavender lemonde soda! So pretty and delish.

I'm not even a germaphobe but the wall of gum grosses me out. So nasty.

Honest Biscuits!

This is an enormous piggy bank. Proceeds go to feeding the local elderly.

Right behind the piggy bank you can watch the fish get tossed. Anybody else having a major nostalgia moment wanting to watch old seasons of the Real World? I would LOVE to watch the Seattle, Chicago, and Paris seasons again. Oh my 90s youth.

Look at this awesome tile work! Love that progressive Seattle has the dad carrying the baby. Yay, feminism via bathroom tiles!

Museum of Pop Culture just below the Space Needle.

On the SE side of Lake Union.

Pike Place Chowder. Voted best probably a million times and it's definitely not bad. Expect a 30 minute line and potentially nowhere to sit. Completely satisfied my chowder craving for a while.

I love the rustic modern style of homes in the PNW.

Found some houseboats outside of Fremont. This floating tiny house will put you back around $500k and doesn't even come with Tom Hank. Trash.

There was a traditional PNW heritage festival going on this day. I was in LOVE with that headdress. 

All of these flowers were for sale at Pike. At $4 a stem, I took only pictures and left only smiles for the vendors.

Anybody else remember 10 Things I Hate About You? This guy is the Fremont Troll. We did a drive by up the steeeeeeeep street, appropriately named Troll Ave. 

These are the Ballard Locks aka the Hiram Chittenden Locks. The purpose of locks are to allow for boats to safely move through a body of water that has an extreme difference in elevation. Think of it as avoiding going over whitewater in a sailboat. Park nearby or walk and you can see how they work for free and take a stroll around the botanical park. Don't miss the salmon ladder on the far side! 

When the salmon are spawning, this whole tank will be filled with salmon moving up the fish ladder. This allows the first to get upstream to complete their business even though there are locks impeding the natural flow of the water.

Stay tuned for more about the ferry to Bainbridge Island, Port Angeles and hiking around Lake Crescent!

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