It has always been a dream of mine to visit Seattle, so even though we were an hour and a half drive and then a ferry ride away, Will promised me (with reluctance) we would get there. We made our trip on a Saturday morning knowing that it was going to be busy, but that is just how our schedule worked out.
At first, we considered taking the truck on the ferry and having the opportunity to explore more of the city, but the more we talked about it, the more it made sense for us to pare down what we wanted to see and to rely solely on our feet to get us around.
That decision paid off a million-fold.
We pulled into the parking lot at the ferry terminal about 15 minutes before the scheduled departure, and they announced boarding as we were walking into the terminal. We walked right onto the ferry, found a place to sit, and subsequently scared Bird half to death when the ferry horn blew announcing our departure. The poor thing was slightly traumatized for a few minutes but quickly recovered and enjoyed the rest of the ride.
As we started our journey across the Sound, the cityscape of Seattle was shrouded in fog. We could hardly see the buildings and Space Needle poking above the clouds. Needless to say, Mount Rainier was also completely fogged in, so I still was yet to see it.
When we disembarked, we made our way up 1st Avenue to Pike Place Market. As it was Saturday, you can only imagine how busy the place was. Even though we simply walked through, not stopping at any vendors (yes, we left the fresh fish and the beautiful blooming dahlias behind), it was quite the experience, nonetheless. We intentionally made this our first stop so we would not be tempted to try to carry a beautiful bouquet back with us on the ferry to the camper where we have very limited counter or table space.
From there, we made our way to see a Kelsey Montague mural, which is located in a mall along with lots of other interactive art. Most of the stores in the mall were not open yet, so the place was pretty deserted. This made for a great stop to let Bird run around, make a restroom stop, and eat a snack.
We headed up 5th Avenue from there toward the Space Needle. We planned to find lunch along the way and ended up at a small French bakery where we stocked up on croissants and croque monsieur. A patch of grass at the base of the Space Needle was the perfect spot to enjoy our lunch and have some amazing views.
While there were many activities we wanted to partake in while we were in the city (ride up the Space Needle, visit the aquarium, visit the museums, etc.), we were limited on time and could not justify the average $30/ticket prices to rush through any of these places. I know we will return to Seattle someday, and we can experience them (when Bird is a little older and there is hopefully no longer a pandemic going on).
After lunch, we found a playground for Bird to expend some energy. She is becoming quite the playground connoisseur, and while the big kids’ play equipment certainly looked enticing, even she knew it was too much for her to handle. She did, however, enjoy the little kids’ area and had the most fun running up and down the small man-made hills on the outskirts of the playground. As we played, more and more people continued to arrive, so even Bird was not upset when we told her it was time to move on.
We made our way back to the ferry terminal, stopping for our obligatory Seattle coffee on the way (we did not stand in the minimum 30-minute line for our original Starbucks experience) and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city.
We boarded the ferry with a very tired Bird who clung to me the entire ride like a koala and promptly fell asleep when we started our drive home. Even though it was a rather rushed trip, I am so glad to have experienced a taste of Seattle, including a glimpse of Mount Rainier on the ferry ride back. I hope we make it back someday, not only to experience more of Seattle, but also to simply spend more time in beautiful northwest Washington.