I just returned from my first visit to Seattle where I actually got to see the city. My first visit to the Emerald City was in high school for a swim meet. During that visit, I only got to see our hotel, the pool and a diner called Mitzel's Kitchen. The second visit was a few years ago for meetings where I flew up and returned the same day.
This time, I went to visit a friend who was involved in a gay recreational soccer tournament. I arrived on Friday and went to the opening party, which was held in a strange little bar where a lesbian floater kept yelling at everyone for touching the pool table. It was an interesting introduction to Seattle and I'm sure it wasn't the best indication of gay life in the city.
Saturday was a glorious day - sunny and 90 degrees - and I had several hours to myself to do some sightseeing. I walked to the Space Needle, waited in the line to ascend for two hours and spent approximately 10 minutes enjoying the view. Truly, the view was magnificent, but I'm not sure it was worth the two-hour wait, even if they did play "Alone" by Heart and "When I See You Smile" by Bad English while I was in line.
After the Space Needle, I walked to the Olympic Sculpture Garden, which was pretty amazing. The gigantic sculptures (I recognized a Serra and a Calder) are nestled into a little hillside by the water and created a really neat place to spend some time. People were lazying about, enjoying the warm, sunny weather.
I continued my Seattle tour down the waterfront and went to Pike Place Market, where I hoped to see the fishmongers throwing fish at each other. Unfortunately, there was no fish-tossing while I was there and my patience for the intense crowd waned quickly so I continued into downtown.
Ironically, I'd been searching for a refreshing ice coffee for the past hour, to no avail. I could not find a Starbucks for the life of me! When I finally chanced upon a Starbucks, the line was so long that I decided to pass. Fortunately, I found a Tully's a block away - and ducked inside to enjoy the air conditioning for a while.
After my tour of Seattle, I joined my friend who was playing the last game of his soccer tournament. The game ended abruptly because one of the players was hurt badly. So badly that an ambulance came to whisk him off the field!
Dinner at a local Chinese restaurant followed, then a night out at a few bars. Overall, it was pretty lackluster - I'm glad I got to see the city because it truly is beautiful and I appreciated the lush, green scenery, but I'm not sure Seattle is a city that I'd hurry to visit again. I was more excited to return home yesterday afternoon and see Roommates A&J, Mahogany Sparkle and Beetle for a bit.