Our week in Seattle

We arrived in Seattle on Saturday and went to two thrift stores. The first one was a Value Village on East Lake Sammamish in Issaquah. Loved this store! Got a couple Starbucks mugs and some Pyrex. Women’s jeans prices were about $5. Pretty normal prices and lots of non-clothing items. Our son found an early model GoPro for $4 here!

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The second thrift store we went to was a Goodwill in East Bellevue. This store was full of people and the prices were ridiculously high. I saw a bunch of Pyrex that I would love to have bought but they wanted $12.99 and $14.99 per bowl. Also saw some Seattle Seahawks foam item. Maybe worth about $5. They had for $25!!  A Starbucks mug was marked $9.99. For things they got for free! Did not buy anything here.IMG_0648[1]

We went to the first ever Costco in Kirkland. That was different than the one we have near us in Columbus. They had an entire aisle of bread products, a room just for milk and eggs (you have to buy the gallons of milk in 2 packs here) and a separate entrance for the pizza and hot dog snack area.The lines were really long and the return line was out the door. We did not want to stand in line to buy anything.but it was fun to compare it to our store. We then went out to dinner for dumplings and pot stickers at Din Tai Fung.  It was so good!IMG_0637[1]IMG_0638[1]

Sunday we went to Pike Place and walked around the market. We ate at Ivars and had Fish & Chips. We toured the Seattle Aquarium which was very people friendly. Not just looking at tank after tank of fish. Late in the day we went on The Underground Tour of Seattle. They took us under the streets of Pioneer Square. Seattle is really built on top of the original Seattle! I would definitely recommend this tour!

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On Monday we ate lunch at XXX Burgers in Issaquah. Fantastic hamburgers and onion rings. The entire inside is covered in eclectic 50’s and 60’s decor. Barely an inch of ceiling or wall is bare. It is fun to look around and see what you remember. There were things like side mirrors, head lights and tail lights, juke boxes, and records. There were a lot of outside tables but it had rained overnight and the seats were wet. I enjoyed eating inside so we could look at all of the “stuff”!

After lunch we went on the tour of the Boeing factory. The size of the buildings is so hard to imagine. They have planes lined up as they are working on them and doors that open up and are big enough for the planes to go through.It is hard to picture what goes into making an airplane. Employees that have been there 25 years and longer get to park up close to the building. It was surprising to see how many people were parked up close! We were only allowed to take pictures on the observation deck.

We stopped at 3 Value Village stores on our way back to Bellevue. They were in Everett, Kirkland, and Redmond. They all were priced about the same. Didn’t find any more Pyrex but I bought a Starbucks mug at one of the stores. These are all nice, clean well organized stores. The prices are reasonable. They all had way more “household” knick knack items then I see in the Columbus, OH area.

On Tuesday we rode the bus to downtown Seattle and went through the Chihuly museuem and the EMP museum.The Chihuly museum had his work displayed in the building and also in the landscaping. (I think we have some of his pieces in the Franklin Park Conservatory displayed in that manner.) Love the colors. Wish I could afford some of his work!

The EMP stands for Experience Music Project. It is a hard place to describe. My favorite exhibit was about horror films. And I don’t even like horror movies!  The science fiction section was good too. Lots of movie props in both sections.

We rode the Monorail to save us some steps to get to the bus stop. Wish that had lasted longer.

We stopped at the Jubilee Reach thrift store. This store had 2 levels. Lots of non-clothing items. Lots of coffee mugs. Just didn’t find any that I couldn’t live without! The clothing prices were reasonable. There were bins scattered around that you could sort through if you wanted. There was lots more here than I expected from the outside! Clean, well-organized too.

On Wednesday we met Gavin in the afternoon and rode the bus into Seattle to watch the Seattle Sounders play Vancouver. The fans meet in Pioneer Square and then march down to the stadium chanting and singing. I wish the Columbus Crew stadium was located in a neighborhood like the Sounders stadium. It was nice to walk around before going into the stadium. Lots of coffee shops and bars and small businesses to visit within walking distance. I also am very impressed by the Seattle area bus system. We drove to the park-n-rides and rode a bus into town. Very easy, very accessible. Nice clean busses. And they are extra long with an accordion middle that swivels around corners. We did encounter a couple that were very high on drugs that sat directly across from me on the ride to the game. That was an experience that will take a long time to forget. I now know what an addict “twiching” looks like. She couldn’t stop moving her arms and legs. They both fell asleep and when she woke up and started punching him, he got up and they left the bus. I know that can happen anywhere but it left such a sad feeling in my heart.

On Thursday, we met Gavin for lunch at Microsoft. I imagined a company headquarters where there is one entrance and someone checks the cars in and out. NOT AT ALL!  This is a cluster of normal looking buildings that look like a nice college campus. You do have to have a badge to get in or be a guest like we were. We ate in the cafeteria in his building. So many choices! It is like a mall food court but on a bigger scale. There is an area that they let local businesses come in for the day. They then rotate through the different buildings  We chose artisan pizza. Of course, you have to order on a computer. Big surprise. You pick the kind of pizza you want and the toppings. They had an oven that they put the pizzas in. This was not microwave pizza! Really tasty. We got to go to the company store and the visitor’s center. Again, big surprise, the visitor’s center was very interactive. We waited for Gavin at an outside eating area that had round tables with umbrellas and gorgeous landscaping, including running water. We got to see the area where Gavin works. They can adjust their desks to either sit or stand while they work. The inside of the building has walls that are all plants to improve the air quality. So hard to describe. There was contemporary things on the wall and then one staircase had cartoon characters drawn on the walls. Lots of ping pong tables and foos ball tables. They encourage the employees to get away from their desks when trying to solve a problem.

Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to Gavin that evening. We had a good time and are so glad we were able to visit him. We loved visiting Seattle!

I have been unable to upload the pictures with the WIFI in the campgrounds. I will add the pictures after we get home!

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