My wife and I went to Seattle for the first time last week. It was just a brief trip and the weather wasn’t great but we enjoyed it.
For various reasons, we flew down, despite the fact that it’s only a couple of hours to drive, which was an odd experience. The flight time is only about half an hour which means it takes longer to get through customs than actually fly and there’s barely enough time to unbuckle your seatbelt at cruising altitude before it’s time to start descending again. Still, it was more relaxing than driving and I got to do some writing in the waiting lounge going out and on the way back.
We arrived Thursday afternoon. It was cool and overcast but dry. As the weather forecast was predicting lots of rain for the rest of the weekend we decided to head straight to the Space Needle. A combination of the weather, high winds and the fact that part of the needle was supposed to be closed meant there wasn’t a lot of people around so we got to do a couple of loops around the walkway and have a drink and a slice of cake without having to battle crowds. It was very windy though, as we moved around the walkway the wind got stronger and stronger until we were being pushed along.
We did take a few photos and as you can see, it was a pretty gloomy day.
After the obligatory look around the Space Needle gift shop we made our way down to the waterfront and walked along past the piers to the Seattle Great Wheel.
Then we wandered around until we found a restaurant that looked good – Icon. I had meatloaf and it was good. Very good. So good in fact that I ate more than I needed to. Thankfully, I resisted the deserts.
I got a bit of a shock the next day. We haven’t worked out whether I was allergic to the linen in the hotel or if it was just my pollen allergies kicking in with a vengeance but when I woke up my eyes were so red I looked like someone from a Hammer Horror film.
By Saturday I’d progressed to modern day horror and wouldn’t have looked out of place on The Walking Dead.
The weather on Friday was actually very nice but the rain came on Saturday so we spent most of the day at the EMP Museum. This was definitely the highlight of our trip and if you’re visiting Seattle and pop culture is your thing it should be at the top of your list of places to go.
Currently there are six exhibitions running and we ended up going to all of them. Top of the list (of course) were the fantasy, science fiction and horror exhibitions. All three of them were packed full of props from TV and film (a lot of which seemed to come from the personal collection of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen), accompanied by some interesting mini-documentaries featuring such luminaries as Roger Corman, Anne McCaffrey, George RR Martin, John Landis and Eli Roth.
There was a lot to look at, read and watch (including original pages from Bram Stoker’s Dracula – the book not the movie) and we could have spent the whole day in these three exhibitions.
In the end, we dragged ourselves away to find something to eat and then took a look at the remaining three exhibitions – Block by Block featuring some impressive Lego recreations of famous skyscrapers from around the world, Hendrix Hits London and Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses.
I was never a hardcore Nirvana fan. We bought Nevermind of course, and In Utero, but I was always more goth than grunge. Still, the Nirvana exhibition was very interesting, filled as it was with dozens of artefacts from the band’s all too brief existence, including the remnants of the first guitar Kurt Cobain broke on stage.
The Hendrix exhibitions was less tragic but no less interesting. Of course there were some more broken guitars.
All museumed out, we grabbed something to eat then headed to an evening showing of the RoboCop remake. It wasn’t terrible.
Sunday was spent exploring South Lake Union and the area around The Space Needle until we had to leave to catch our flight back to Vancouver.
A fun trip overall, if a little bit short. Given how close Seattle is, I’m sure we’ll be back.[Clouds, Wheels and Broken Guitars (and a Dalek) by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 14th March 2014]