We left the tour and walked upstream of hundreds of people pouring out of Safeco Field with our ultimate goal of more world-class seafood at FX McRory's. An iced mountain of raw oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp, marinated mussels, smoked salmon and Dungeness crab forced us to delay dessert until we had worked off dinner with a game of pool in our hotel's lobby.
On our last day in town, I wanted to visit the Needle, a part of the 74-acre area called Seattle Center. We splashed like children in a thin sheet of water that is the focal point of the Kreielsheimer Promenade and then headed to the much larger International Fountain, where we watched families scamper and laugh at the jets it emitted in varying patterns.
Before we headed up the Needle, we wanted to explore the EMP — Experience Music Project — museum. The sculpture-building was designed by Frank O. Gehry, who was inspired by shapes he made from sliced guitars. Inside was a two-story sculpture on which a white string bass crowned a tower of more than 500 instruments. In a darkened room, we traced the guitar's history from its first 1700s versions to today's.
In other galleries we learned about the history and influence Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and AC/DC have had on music and society. Upstairs we slipped into mock sound studios to make our own music with instruments and mixers. In Sky Church, a 70-foot-tall room with the largest LED screen in the world, we watched concert clips and music videos while giant flowers moved up and down from the ceiling to the beat of the music.
We stepped out into the sunshine and spotted the Needle peeking around EMP at us. I had come a long way to take the elevator ride to its top and celebrate my walking success. From our window table, we could see the Olympic Mountains reigning over sparkling Elliot Bay, and the view of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier was crystal clear as we raised our gold-flecked cocktails and toasted to a lovely weekend.
WHEN YOU GO
Cougar Mountain has nearly 40 miles of year-round trails:
Lowell's restaurant offers three levels of waterfront dining and a full bar: www.eatatlowells.com.
The Great Wheel operates rain or shine. Tickets range from $8.50 to $13 with a discount for seniors: www.seattlegreatwheel.com.
Shuckers Oyster Bar is located in the Fairmont Hotel: www.fairmont.com/seattle/dining/shuckers/
Seattle Art Museum is closed Mondays and some Tuesdays. Tickets range from $11 to $17: www.seattleartmuseum.org.
Bill Speidel's Underground Tour operates year-round. Tickets range from $8 to $25: www.undergroundtour.com
FX McRory's oyster bar, sports bar and world-class whiskey bar is walking distance from the Seattle Seahawks CenturyLink Field and Seattle Mariners Safeco Field: www.fxmcrorys.com.
EMP and SFM are located at Seattle Center. Tickets range from $14 to $20: www.empmuseum.org.
Seattle Space Needle's observation deck tickets range from $12 to $20. Admission is free to the Needle with the purchase of a meal at SkyCity restaurant: www.spaceneedle.com.
The Arctic Club Seattle is a Hilton property located near Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle that features fireside bar with billiards table and a restaurant, JUNO, that serves Dungeness crab cake Benedict for breakfast: www.arcticclubhotel.com.
Crowne Plaza Seattle is located near Interstate Highway 5 and only four blocks from Pike Place Market. North-facing rooms have a clear view of the Space Needle and Elliot Bay: www.cphotelseattle.com.
Lesley Sauls is a freelance writer. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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