A couple weeks ago I went on a whirlwind sightseeing trip to Seattle with more activities crammed into two days than the body count of the NYC Subway at rush hour.

Early Bird spaces in the parking garage just one block from the Space Needle are $8 for the whole day. A Seattle-area attraction coupon book saved me $2 to $3 per activity. The Space Needle observation deck opened at 9 a.m. The Experience Music Project (EMP) and the Science Fiction Museum (SFM) opened at 10. I hit all three and did a round-trip Monorail ride before stopping for lunch!

It was a brilliant sunny day in Seattle, so a trip to the food court for a slice of pizza and a Strawberry Julius was the perfect picnic to enjoy in the outdoor fountain area. After lunch I boarded “The Duck” for a 90-minute land/sea tour. “The Duck” is advertised as a “party on wheels” and they aren’t kidding! The drivers keep things hopping with popular (what some might call cheesy or cornball) music to enhance the sights and a fast-paced narration of area trivia.

“The Duck” is a 1948 WWII amphibian land/water craft. The Seattle tour begins on the corner between the parking garage and the Space Needle. It proceeds down Broad Street to the Elliot Bay Waterfront, south to Safeco Field, north again through Pioneer Square and “the downtown,” up Capitol Hill and across the Aurora Floating Bridge. Then it winds down through the eclectic Fremont District (more on that in my next blog), and finally “The Duck” goes right on down the boat ramp and splashes into Lake Union, where it paddles right by the “Deadliest Catch” television show boats, Gasworks Park, and the “Sleepless in Seattle” movie house. The views of bridges, mountains, and marinas from the water are spectacular!

The balmy temperature at game time was still in the high 70s with a lovely little breeze as I cheered on the Mariners’ from great seats behind the home team dugout. A baseball connoisseur’s gourmet dinner of garlic fries, Major League Mariner Dogs, caramel corn and strawberry squishies wound up a near-perfect day. It would have qualified as a perfect day if they’d only managed to win that game!

Day two, I found another parking garage special down on the waterfront. “The Hill Climb” up to Pike Place Market is steep and exhausting, but oh so worth it! I spent two and a half hours perusing the various stalls and displays and the time just flew by! With fresh bouquets of flowers, the famous fish market, samples of pepper jellies and juicy nectarines, an assortment of piping hot mini-donuts, colorful produce displays, arts, crafts, and music, every sense is fully employed, and nearly overwhelmed!

Then after the decent back down (stopping halfway for gelato!) to the waterfront, I boarded the Argosy Harbor Cruise for a tour on Elliot Bay. Again, the sun shone brightly and “the mountain” was clearly visible. After the boat ride, I enjoyed Ivar’s fish and chips at a picnic table right on the docks. Souvenir shopping (did I mention I rode a black pony with a gold saddle on the carousel?) wrapped up my adventure, and it was an easy 3 1/2 hour drive home.

Another super-stellar two-day mini-vacation thanks to pre-planning on Google, and some very cooperative weather!