After a great first day exploring this fantastic city, I had another good night’s sleep under my belt and was ready to head out again on what was a clear and glorious day.
I had heard from a friend on Facebook that a trip to Bainbridge was very much worth it, so with no more convincing needed, I headed down to the waterfront and bought my ticket!
Anytime I get to be on the water is what I call a perfect day.
Before even landing in the city, all one knows of this place is its reputation for constant clouds and rain. Well since I landed, there wasn’t a single cloud to be seen and the weather was absolutely perfect. Today was no different and the skies were a perfect shade of pale blue.
With my ticket bought, it was time to board and get this show on the road!
It was a great day to be on the boat as there were hardly any other passengers on board which was just great! Crowds do not bother me in the least, but it’s always extra special to have quiet times like these!
We were off!
I would say that the trip over lasted about 45 minutes to an hour. But while your on top deck taking in all the scenes around you, that time feels to last about 5 minutes. There is so much to look at, from the sailboats to the beautiful landscapes around you. Enjoy, take it all in and remember, you’ll have the ride back to see the other side!
And one last view of the city skyline before taking the last small corner to the docking station on the island.
Shortly after, it was time to secure the boat and head off on foot! You can take a car aboard with you, but there is absolutly no need for a set of wheels once you get to the other side…
One of the first things you will see are all the boats off the shore! Incredible place for a photo or two…
Bainbridge Island has a population of around 23,000 people. It is the second largest city in Kitsap County and in 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine named it the second best place to live in the US.
I spent about 2 hours there just walking around. I had a very lovely breakfast at a little mom and pop place right on the water and it was heaven. Just me, the views and the best little breakfast sandwich I had in a long time.
Here are a few more of the little downtown area…
My mom is a lover of all things purple, so the photo above was for her.
There was a perfect little church right in the middle of town. It was one of those places you imediatly recognize from a movie you have seen, or a picture in your head that you imagined from a book you once read…
And seeing as this was early September, the littlest hints of the incoming season were starting to pop out in the trees around me.
Needless to say, it was a great little adventure! But it was time to head back to catch my ride back.
The little shops are quite spendy, as I knew they would be, but take a little extra time to check them out because there are some great places to see!
And with that, we were back on the boat heading back! This time there was more of a crowd!
And still… not a single cloud in the sky!
Ahh, there is was… that skyline!
A beautiful view of Mount Rainier came into view as we started getting closer to the city.
Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range at a height of 14,411 feet. It is also considered one of the most dangerous in the world because of its large amount of glacial ice, which poses a grave threat to the Seattle area if an eruption were to occur.
Once we made it back to the mainland, there was only one real choice to make… Do I see the aquarium today, or wait till tomorrow? Since it was such a great day so far, I decided to continue and went and bought my ticket!
The Seattle Aquarium is located on Pier 59 on the Elliot Bay waterfront and opened in 1977.
The aquarium promotes marine conservation and sees around 800,000 visitors a year. It truly is a great place to see, so if you are in the area and have time to spare, I would highly recommend a visit… you won’t be disappointed!
You start off with what I would call a “sea-life petting place”!
You get to touch all sorts of neat sea creatures, some of which will even give you a little “hug” back! You just have to touch at least a few!
Then there was the little exhibit of the jellyfish! So amazing to see up close and personal…
Then my favorite, was a really large red octopus! Just awesome!
I think this is the first time I got to see a living one. His eyes were incredible!
And just a few more of the other friendly faces you get to encounter!
A wonderful stop to say the least, and worth every cent.
One more for the way out.
Seeing as I had a few good hours left of this perfect afternoon, I decided to walk a little downtown to see what else I could squeeze in for the day!
I ran into a free concert that was going on downtown… the music was great and the people were taking in the sounds and sun as well! Again, this was one of those picture perfect moments you didn’t want to walk away from!
But I continued… and a little ways down the road I ran into some pretty amazing buildings!
Then there was this building, which was just amazing!
The Seattle Central Library.
I was very tempted to stop in, but I just felt there was another place further on that was going to be great.
And so there was…
I came across the Seattle Art Museum, or otherwise known as SAM.
The museum has grown into a collection of nearly 25,000 items and is also a do not miss site while you are in town. Even if museums aren’t your thing, I would still suggest taking a little extra time to check it out. There are some incredible treasures here…
Here are a few of my favorites…
I probably spent about an hour or so walking around, and then it was time to find something to eat! It was a very busy and productive day and I was getting a little tired. As I headed back in the direction of my hotel, I found a local Mexican place that smelled amazing, so again, with little convincing needed, I headed in for another great meal!
With a full belly, I decided to call it quits for the day. I walked back to the hotel, showered and hit the bed. I was really enjoying this whole getting up way before everyone else thing! Gave me a few extra minutes in the morning where it felt like just me and the city… it was fantastic! So an early bedtime it was.
The next day was yet another glorious and beautiful day…. Where was the rain? Was it just a fluke that I hadn’t seen a drop? Or even a cloud for that matter? I would come to find out later in our travels that we tend to bring unfamiliar weather to places when we visit… (Including England next year!)
So seeing as it was such a great day out, I decided to start day number 3 with a hike to the top of the city! Every time you see a photo of Seattle you are shown a beautiful photo and the entire skyline from a heightened elevation. Well, I needed to go there.
Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill was my destination.
I pulled it up on my map and it was quite a hike… If I remember correctly it was about a 3 mile or so distance, and pretty much all uphill. Now if you remember at the start of this adventure, I promised myself no public transportation. If I wanted to see it, I’d have to walk. And so I did!
It. Was. Fantastic! Every step!
I even ran into this shop along the way that had the most amazing window display… I just had to grab a shot!
After a few hours of walking and snapping away at my shutter, I had made it. Was it worth it? Check it out for yourself…
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Boy was this incredible. Now I know why the weather held out for as long as it did… just for me to get these incredible shots and to sit on this little paint chipped park bench to take it all in.
I think I must have sat up there for a good 30 minutes or so.
After I caught my breath and looking at it for the past half hour, I decided my next destination. The Space Needle!
Off I went. Now mind you, if I could get here in one piece, going down was going to be a breeze!
And it was. A truly wonderful walk.
Not long after, I had made it down… and here it was!
The Space Needle is an observation tower and an icon of Seattle. It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors.
Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi at a height of 605 feet, it was built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitudes.
Another very interesting structure right next to the needle is the Museum of Pop Culture.
The Museum was founded my Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2000 as an Experience Music Project. I never made it inside, because as my Dad always tells me, “If you do everything the first time, there is nothing to go back for…”. So I decided right then and there it was going on the to do list for next time!
I’ve heard and read there are many wonderful exhibits inside, so if you don’t plan on ever being back in the area, do yourself a favor and go in to check it out!
As I made my way back to the vicinity of the hotel, (since I was in the walking spirit, I decided to take a long way around.) I stumbled upon another gem, St. James Cathedral.
Knowing nothing about the church at that time, I didn’t know what to expect when I went in.
I had no idea it was going to take my breath away…
The need for a cathedral in Seattle arose in 1903 when the bishop of the time elected to move the Episcopal see from Vancouver, Washington to Seattle. Construction began in 1905 and was completed 2 years later.
On February 2nd, 1916, the 60 foot dome collapsed under the weight of heavy snow accumulation. The dome was never rebuilt and the cathedral reopened a little over a year later with a dramatically changed interior.
My next trip back to Seattle will include this sight again… it was just too amazing to only see once!
And with that comes the end of my time in this spectacular city, the City of Goodwill.
I plan on making a return journey when I can bring Paul with me, as he would love it here just as much as I did.
Before your visit, make sure to plan out everything you want to see and do, because trust me, there is anything and everything to do.
Take time to visit a museum, spend some time on the ferries… (a true must) and sit down with that nice glass of wine and enjoy everything around you.
Two thumbs up for Seattle, Washington.
And as always, stay tuned for more!
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