We left the train station at 5:45am. I was really impressed with my first train ride. I can see why people prefer it to driving or even flying when they don't have to go long distances. For interstate travel, It's perfect!
The only problem I had was that the restrooms were a bit small, but other than that, it was great!
We arrived at the King Street Station in Seattle at 12:45pm and headed up to catch a bus to get us a bit closer to our Hostel. I really didn't think that a mile and half walk hauling our luggage was a great idea. Fortunately for us, there were many street teams in the area dispensing helpful information about the bus system. One wonderful gentleman steered us to the right bus that would take us within a block of Green Tortoise.
We checked in at the Green Tortoise, and were taken to our room. they hadn't finished making the bed yet, but we were able to drop our luggage there and head out to explore the city. It was a basic room with a sink and a fan, and Dad would be excited about the bed construction. It was mostly 2X4's, 2X6's and plywood. :)
We decided to head over and ride the monorail to Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is located. While waiting in line, we bumped into a fellow Kentuckian and his wife. Jim Johnson, we found out, not only were from Bowling Green, but knew my Uncle Bill very well when he worked with Big Brothers, Big Sisters there. Small world!
We left them after we got off the monorail at Seattle Center, and started exploring. It was the last day of the Seattle Festa Italiana, and we saw lots of great activities. Our favorite was the Bolla Grape Stomp. We got to see three teams of four or five kids each stomp grapes in a barrel until they were so messy they had to spray them off with a hose afterward. It was great! Their little knees and elbows were flying as they stomped the juice out of those grapes.
After exploring the Festa, we walked all over the Seattle Center Campus. We saw the sculpture gardens, the peace garden, Fun Forest amusement park, the Experience Music Project, and we saved the gift shop at the Space Needle for last. After we left there, we got tickets and rode the elevator 520' up to the observation deck of the Space Needle.
It was amazing! We got up there just a little before sunset and killed some time by writing postcards. It seemed like everyone else had that idea, too. Sunset is a very popular time for visitors. We walked around and took some pictures, and then we found a seat at a little table for the actual sunset. That's when Melissa elbowed me and asked what I thought about this couple standing outside the window on the observation deck. I looked around and this girl was bouncing up and down and hugging and kissing her boyfriend. That when we realized we had just witnessed the aftermath of an engagement. It was so cool. I wanted to write "Congratulations" on a sheet of paper and press it up against the window, but Bug wouldn't let me. They probably wouldn't have noticed anyway...they were in their own little world that night.
We finally left the Space Needle after a couple of hours, and took the monorail back to Westlake Center. We had some time to kill before bed and hadn't found dinner yet, so we started walking toward Pike Place Market. We wandered around down there, but there was very little open at that time of day. We headed back up toward the Green Tortoise and stopped at a Subway to have dinner. Then we headed back and got ready to spend our first night in the hostel.
More to come soon!