Up to this point, Susan and I have been in Seattle a little over twenty-four hours. The day before included travel from Atlanta, our visit to Pike Place Market and watching my favorite Broadway show. The theater was right around the corner from where we were staying. We were awake for over twenty-two hours and when I hit the bed, I crashed.
The next day was devoted to sightseeing before the conference started. So we rose early Seattle time, which meant we actually got to sleep in, and headed out. Susan is a big fan of Rick Steves’ – Europe Through The Back Door – so she rented a car and drove us up to Edmonds, WA for the morning. The scenery was breathtaking. So much green. Then we caught the ferry and spent the afternoon in Bainbridge Island.
As the sun set, we grabbed a taxi and rode over to the Space Needle. It was the last item to check off our sightseeing list. Walking toward the entrance, we noticed bursts of color through a row of trees. A sign pointed left for The Chihuly Glass Garden & Exhibit and right for the Space Needle. Both of us went straight ahead and took a peek through the privacy block of trees. Different pieces of glass artwork held our attention, so we decided to check it out. (For those of you who follow the blog, you’ll know this attitude developed during my Year of No Regret.)
I was blown away. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Color, shape and texture are brought together by Chihuly to make glass into beautiful, detailed, realistic, moving pieces of sculpture. Highlights of the exhibit part include, chandeliers taller than I am, a fifteen foot Sealife Tower that showcased Chihuly’s love of the sea and a “Garden of Glass” inspired by his mother’s garden.
Next we strolled out to the glass garden. I was awestruck by the shear size. A clear greenhouse (for lack of a better word) type structure as large a double story house, took my breath away. Crawling along the ceiling a vine of colorful (red, orange and yellow) flowers dipped toward you. It was magnificent. Once outside of the greenhouse and no sun to keep us warm, the wind whipped us, but I was glad to see this exhibit at night with the lights making the glass glow. I took picture after picture trying to capture the magnitude of what we were seeing. Thankful that Susan was as engrossed as I was, we toured the garden twice. We headed back in the greenhouse and sat, taking in this artist’s gift to mankind.
Right above us stood the Space Needle, calling. Like I said, the cold was a deterrent for some, but I’ve been on the top of the Empire State Building in December, so Seattle in October should be okay. There was no line as we brought our ticket and walked up a spiral incline. Thank you, cold. We only had to wait for one elevator to go to the top. A warm and comfortable restaurant greeted us as we took the few steps out to the Observation Deck. Seeing Seattle from 520 feet up in the air, was quite a treat. And the wind, no problem, maybe because the Space Needle is round.
We still had to go back to our downtown hotel, gather our luggage and ride over to the conference hotel. Next week I’ll wrap up with an unexpected visit to the tallest waterfall west of the Mississippi. I hope you’ll join me then.