Having dropped off Henry earlier in the day for watching by Steph's sister Alicia, Steph and I met up after work, packed our backpacks and headed to the bus station. Taking the bus to Seattle is a recent discovery: it is cheaper and faster than driving over to the city. Plus we didn't have to worry about parking once we got there.
We sat on the pivot point on the bus, of course:
Crossing the 520 bridge toll-free (if you don't count the bus fare).
We stayed at the Hotel 1000. The story behind getting the hotel room is fun and could inspire a long tangent. After looking for a few weeks a room at the Worldmark resort in Seattle, we weren't really having any luck. I then remembered an app that I had heard about called Hotel Tonight. The app posts same day hotel deals, with the only catch being that you can only see stuff after noon on the day of your booking. I had been looking on Hotel Tonight at the types of rooms that were available in the days going up to our babymoon, but it was a little nerve-wracking (and exciting) to not know exactly what room we were going to get. First time users also get a $25 credit, so that would help us getter a better bang for our buck.
At 12:00 on the day of our trip I logged on and found quite a few good deals. Hotel 1000 was the nicest of the bunch but still within our budget, so I booked it. The feeling was pretty exhilarating. The reviews for the place were positive and James and Alicia had stayed there for their honeymoon and anniversary, so we knew that we would be happy.
When we arrived at Hotel 1000, the woman checking us in said "Are you visiting us for a special occasion? Is it because you have a 2nd baby on the way?" When she said this I was thinking to myself "Wow, this woman is good", but we later found out that Alicia had called ahead to tell them that it was a special occasion.
When we got to our room there were chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us.
And this nice card. Seriously, these people are so awesome!
We changed into somewhat nicer clothes and began walking to our dinner. We had a hard time deciding where we were going to eat, but in the end we decided on Tom Douglas' restaurant Lola. Tom Douglas is pretty famous around these parts, and I think that we wanted to say that we had tried one of his restaurants before we moved away.
We were definitely a little intimidated by the menu, but our waitress was helpful and we ordered some fun things. Lola is Tom's take on Greek food, and while we wouldn't say that we were blown away by the meal, we enjoyed our time and enjoyed trying something new. Our favorites from the meal were probably pita and spread appetizers, the salmon kebabs, and the chickpea fries that came with our lamb burger.
After dinner the plan was to head down to the Seattle waterfront. I love passing through the Pike Pl. Market after it's closed.
Our reason for visiting the waterfront was this: The Seattle Great Wheel. The wheel is actually pretty new and probably something that we would never go on because of its price and also its touristy-ness. But it seemed like a perfect activity for our babymoon.
We had heard some mixed reviews of the Wheel, and so we were going in with relatively low expectations. We were a little worried that we would have to share a gondola with someone else, but luckily they were letting couples go alone if they wanted to.
Some of the views from the Wheel:
The best view:
We actually enjoyed the wheel quite a bit. The ride ends up being about 20 minutes (the time it takes to load, go around 3x, and unload), and although it may not be totally work the $15 per person admission, it was a perfect way to spend our evening.
Ski-ball on the waterfront followed:
These are the prizes (minus the 1 starburst that I immediately ate) that we got for $1.25 worth of ski-ball and wack-a-mole. I'd say that's a pretty excellent deal.
After Ski-ball we headed back to our hotel.
The bottom of Post Alley.
That evening we got some Ben & Jerry's half baked and headed back to the hotel. We kept our ice cream in the hotel freezer while we got some mocktails from the bar downstairs. Stephanie also randomly ran into a good friend from High School who was a waitress at the hotel restaurant.
Our room at Hotel 1000 was probably the most fancy room that I've stayed in (I guess the bar is low). They had this cool bathtub separated from the room by a glass wall. The coolest thing about the bathtub is that it fills from the ceiling in a perfect cylindrical water flow.
I forgot to mention the best part of our hotel's location -- it was conveniently located next to a video store. We need to really support these small video rental places, they are getting killed by Redbox.
This is the site of our Ben & Jerry's extraction the evening before. It was awesome by the way.
Walking up Post Alley toward the market:
The gum wall:
Worst prom invite ever?
Here's breakfast. Bag of hot doughnuts? Yes Please!
Our plan for the market in the morning was to go on a historical walking tour. I had found a Groupon for the walking tour the week before, and have always wanted to know more about the history of the Pike Place Market, so we thought this would be perfect.
Our tour-guide Ezra. World class.
On the tour we learned tons of nuggets of info about the market. One of the nuggets is that El Gringo imports (pictured) is one of the only places that is allowed to sell non-handmade items because they have been around the market for so long. We also learned that every morning there is jockeying to get a good spot to sell wares, but everyone knows not to take El Gringo's spot.
We also learned that this is not the original Starbuck's but technically the 4th Starbucks. Regardless, it's still a tourist trap.
We learned about the order of the buildings in the market and how they are named fairly literally. The Sanitary Market was named so because it was clean.
We never noticed this monument that was placed on the entrance to the market until this tour.
The tour told us the history of the gum wall (It mostly involves people putting gum on walls).
I learned that the stone on this street was taken from some street in San Francisco.
This used to be a cattle ramp:
Overall, it was a great tour that I would recommend to anyone that is interested in knowing a little bit more about Seattle history or the Pike Place Market. Check em out here: http://www.publicmarkettours.com/
After the tour we had a little bit of time before we grabbed lunch so we headed to the shops underneath the market.
Most of the stuff in the market has been there forever, so I was happy to see Orange Dracula, a bizarro goth / punk / surplus store that was new on the scene.
Our plan for lunch was to have our own Pike Place food tour. We wanted to get some of our favorite things from around the market.
First up, Hom Bow from Mee Sum Pastry.
We got a Curry Beef Hom Bow, which I later learned wasn't Stephanie's favorite.
Next up was Beecher's Mac 'n Cheese:
There's a street called Post Alley in Pike Place Market. Post Alley is short for "hitching post alley". This is the hitching post:
Ginger Molasses Cookie? I'm a sucker for them.
Unsatisfied by the earlier Hom Bow, we returned to get Steph a BBQ Pork steam bun. She was happy.
Well that's the end of the pictures. We finished our lunch and hopped on a bus back to Kirkland. Before we picked up Henry we saw the new Star Trek movie -- which was great by the way.
Thanks Steph for joining me on this last hurrah before we become parents of two!