Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Seattle Vacation-Day 5

Itinerary: Space Needle, EMP Museum, Pacific Science Museum

Today we slept in to recover from the long day of travel yesterday. But still, if you're from the central time zone, sleeping in on the west coast means you're likely going to wake up early by west coast standards. At least I will; Patrick has an uncanny ability to sleep. I was up an hour before he was.

We grabbed some breakfast at the hotel and set off for a day in Seattle Center, the location of the Space Needle, EMP, and science museum, to name a few attractions.  The museums opened up at 10 am so we went first to the Space Needle, which opened at 8 am.  The Space Needle was the showcase attraction of the 1962 World Fair and was thought to be the design for all future skyscrapers.  Of course this didn't pan out because the design is horribly inefficient.  We learned in the harbor tour that after the World Fair, the city wanted to tear the tower down.  The architect and builder rallied the city and petitioned to save the tower, foreseeing that it would become a major tourist attraction. The pair succeeded but the stipulation was the city didn't want to own the structure. So the pair bought the tower from the city and it has never been publicly owned. 

From the outdoor observation deck of the Space Needle you can see in every direction. The mountains off in the distance were a beautiful site to see. We had hoped to spend some time during this vacation in the mountains, but without a car and staying in downtown, we were limited in our abilities to travel to the mountainous areas surrounding the city. Next time.  Oh and there will be a next time.


Pattykate looking out over Seattle at the Space Needle. 


After the Space Needle we headed over to the EMP museum, which stands for the Experience Music Project. This museum is amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Seattle.  Patrick is the musical one in the team, although I'm coming around after years of positive musical influence.  The first floor of the museum held exhibits on Jimi Hendrix, the history and evolution of the guitar, a sci-fi/fantasy exhibit, and a horror film exhibit. 

The second floor was the "experience" portion of the museum.  Here there were hands on stations where you could try your hand at a wide range of musical instruments, each which had a mini prerecorded lesson to teach attendees the basics of that instrument. There were even sound booths you could go into and have jam sessions.  I played on what was very near to a theremin but which had a wide range of sounds. 

There was also a tower of stringed instruments, some of which where connected and wired to play a song.  Patrick was in heaven.  

View of the EMP from the Space Needle's observation deck

Patrick in front of the tower of joy
 
Drum set for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, specifically Mitch Mitchell






The outside of the EMP museum.
After the EMP museum we headed over to the Pacific Science Museum.  This museum is excellent, if you have kids with you.  If you're an adult fairly well educated in terms of science, you'll probably be disappointed.  We were.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to frequent this museum with the future kiddos but for just Patrick and I we were bored and sorely disappointed.  There was a giant chair and tables I took a picture with and a giant guitar Patrick took a picture with, and there was a butterfly garden, which was interesting to a point.  But overall, I wouldn't go back to this museum unless I had young kids in tow.  There was an IMAX theater we had tickets to through our City Pass, but Patrick's stomach was flipping by late in the afternoon, so we headed back to the hotel to let Patrick rest before heading out to find dinner that evening.  


Can you see Patrick?




After Patrick's nap we went out to visit the Olympic Sculpture Park near the waterfront.  It wasn't quite what we expected but it was still nice.  We ended up getting there near the end of the day so the light was just right.  There is a pathway that leads from the park around the shore for miles.  Had we had bike, or hadn't had walked miles already, we would have liked to run the trail.  As we walked along the waterfront we saw of all things a raccoon peeking through at a pier.  There wasn't any sort of solid around so this was a pecicular sighting but quite interesting.  The racooon walked along a beam between two piers and then disappeared under the pier in the rafters.  I wasn't expecting to see that kind of wildlife in the city.  
Olympic Sculpture Park looking out to Elliot Bay


Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park

Olympic Sculpture Park

Unexpected urban wildlife

After that it was getting late so most of the places we tried to eat at were closed. It stays light until nearly 10pm so it's a bit deceiving as to how late it really is.   We somehow ended up at a 4 story mall hidden in the middle of the city. We had no idea it was a mall from the outside. It was like a Mary Poppins carpet bag trick.  Oddly enough, Patrick ended up with a burger and fries. I saw this is odd because since last semester when I worked late on Tuesday nights, Patrick officially made that evening "Burger night".  So even in Seattle this tradition persisted.  It wasn't until after he was halfway through his dinner that I pointed out the coincidence.   
I had a parfait that night.. "Everybody loves parfaits"