Marcy takes on Seattle (part 2)

An Original Crapper
Bathtub Gin Anyone? 
My take on Seattle as a city, I will admit I am not a city girl. Whenever I am in a city I feel a little bit of my soul is being sucked away. I don't like the condensed population, the incessant hum of activity, nor the fragrant mix of cigarette, exhaust and restaurant trash. Seattle, like all cities, has a homeless population, this population is allowed to congregate in the Pioneer Square area. I feel dirty seeing this destitution and it makes me sad. Nonetheless, city living seems so meaningless to me... Everyone working for someone else, needing a higher income because of the cost of living, food, clothing, keeping up with the cubicle next door. As far as cities go, Seattle is quite lovely, beautiful skyline, but I will take 14,000 ft overlooks over 500 ft concrete anyway. 
Underground Tours: This is a must! We took the Bill Speidel Undergroud, there are other underground vendors, however, our tour company was the first in the area. Bill Speidel, in the 1960s, feared urban renewal and loss of original Victorian buildings from the gold rush years, so he worked hard to save this part of historic downtown.  First he gave these tours to raise money and now he hires starving comedians/tour guides to make money. There are just too many details to explain here. Suffice it to say, Seattle's Pioneer Square sits about two stories higher than it's original footprint. All sidewalks and buildings and roads have been elevated up from it's original footing and beneath is a post-and-girder, brick-arched maze of history. This walking tour is so totally worth intermixing amongst Seattle's homeless population. 

Smith Tower
Elevator Works
Smith Tower: Also located near Pioneer Square is the Smith Tower. This art-deco skyscraper was the tallest of its kind on the west coast for nearly 50 years. Standing at 42 stories or 467 feet tall, it's namesake taken from the Smith family typewriter company. It's nowhere near the tallest building in Seattle anymore, but it is a pleasure to tour if you like to revisit history. Ornate mahogany woodwork abound and brass elevators shoot you up to the 35 floor. The elevators are antique and have the original glass doors and not so original lift operators. It is fun to be able to see into each floor as you go up, peeking into different office spaces and different lives.  I liked it for its character and lack of tourists, far better than the observation deck from the Space Needle.  

Klondike Gold Rush National Park: We decided to slip in one more quick touristy thing before we headed back to our hotel for a quick swim, showers, and dinner at the Space Needle. The Klondike NP is a freebie, with A/C, although this day was not as hot as the day before. This museum is about Seattle's contribution as the launching port for the Yukon Gold Stampede in the late 1890s. The history was solid, the short film informative and entertaining, but the displays were too clean. The history of gold mining is mostly about desperate individuals living in filth and harsh conditions. I felt this ideal was not disseminated. But, the visit is free and a nice place for kids to be introduced to the history. I will just have to take my kids to Alaska. (Oh darn!)

Space Needle: The iconic Space Needle is impressive and exists due to the 1962 World's Expo/Fair, I believe coming in a close second behind the Eiffel Tower in notoriety. As a child, I remember the Vancouver World's Expo in 1986 with great fondness. There still exists an excitement and sense of adventure around the huge cultural campus. We dined in the revolving SkyCity restaurant, the girls giddy for the whole meal and the food was excellent. The cost of dinner includes access to the observation deck, but after three fancy-schamncy revolutions during dinner, the deck seemed commonplace. It is a pretty penny but we felt it well-worth the visit. 

Chihuly Garden and Glass: I have a very stylish daughter who dreams of becoming a clothing designer. She spotted the Chihuly exhibit across the parking lot and begged to go see it. It took very little persuasion on my part. I have always loved glass art, especially since visiting Venice and the Murano Glass Factory. The size, details and colors were fantastic, the color-complementing gardens ethereal and the experience as a whole positively enlightening.  I loved watching my daughter absorb the beauty surrounding her, I could sense her absolute immersion in the art of color and it's translation into life. 

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium: Our final day we drove to Puget Sound. It had cooled by this time, a light cloud cover. My fashionista daughter rather enjoys the rain but I don't think we've developed a Seahawk just yet. We visited the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. To be honest, this aquarium was slightly better than Seattle's and the zoo, while small, has a unique selection of animals, camel rides and great big nurse sharks. It also has an adventure course with zip lining, unfortunately we had to opt-out due to airline flight constraints. Surrounding the zoo is a wonderful matrix of wilderness park and hiking trails, all of which skirt part of the sound. I surmise that I probably would have done okay at PSU, but as it is, I met my future husband and father of my children with my USD decision and that is they way it was supposed to be.