vancouver part 5: trains, pike place, + the space needle (aka my day in SEATTLE)!

okay, ladies and gentlemen. everyone always says that the best way to accomplish a goal is to get a support group/tell a whole ton of people about it. so here goes nothin:

i, sarah kron, pledge to get 100% caught up on my blogging by 11:59pm, friday, november 30th.

i understand that that means a whole heck ton of posts/pictures coming your way (i'm still in august and it's november...whoopsie), but i hope you can bear with me and enjoy the speed-through catch-up over the next week + a half. deal?

phew. okay, now on to the fun stuff!

the conference had come to an end, my bags were packed, and the remaining girls + i said our goodbyes and headed off on our separate ways. i took a taxi at about 6am from our hotel, on over to the pacific central station in vancouver (just like a 5 minute cab ride)...

to board a real, life, amtrak train! SO exciting, i know! and as if waiting in line to get through customs wasn't exciting enough,

i walked right outside like 15 minutes after getting in line to see nothing other than our TRAIN TO HOGWARTS SEATTLE!

what a beaut!! i've always wanted to ride a train cross-country. riding from vancouver, b.c. to seattle, washington will have to do for now. (:

of to hogwarts! bye, mom!

the trip was so, so gorgeous. we just rode right on down the train tracks along the pacific northwestern coast. SO gorgeous. have i mentioned that enough yet?

the best part? not having to get off the train (like i did when i took the amtrak BUS up to vancouver) to go through customs. the police came to US in our seats! totally worth the $15 extra to upgrade from bus --> train.

pretty pretty coastline! so so close to seattle by this point, eek!

before we knew it, we arrived in seattle, back at king street station! i was lucky enough to be sitting by + talking to a kind young chap around my age on the train + across the aisle from his parents, who offered me a ride in their taxi to their hotel! okay okay not to their actual hotel, obviously, but to be dropped off in front of their hotel - because it was right in front of pike's place market - right by the coast in seattle!!

wheeeeeee! PIKE'S PLACE: practically the world's biggest + best public farmer's market EVER! it opened in 1907, and is one of the USA's longest operating public farmer's markets (thanks for the info, wiki). i took SO so many pictures here...basically the more pictures i take somewhere = the more i want to live there/be there/only ever think about there. and i promise, that is most definitely 100% true for my trip to seattle...especially pike's place! let's begin (:

pike's place is right up against the waterfront, and there were just tents upon tents upon tents all along the coast, all of them a part of this wonderful "pike's place market"! i'll stop talking and allow you all to enjoy the following montage of some of my favorite parts of it (even though this is probably only .001% of all the stuff they had there, seriously!):

glass-blown vases:

gorgeous paintings + photographs:

so so so many bouquets of the freshest (+ cheapest!) flowers you ever did see. do you see that $5.00 price tag on that bouquet of sunflowers!? i wished that i lived locally so i could pick a peck of these and take them home to my #1 mama...and snag a few for myself, also. ah! love flowers.

piers galore:

the first-ever starbucks!

the most adorable thrift stores: market rummage hall? don't mind if i do!

(okay, in case you didn't notice, i headed indoors for even more sight-seeing/window-shopping, but it's all still right there by pike's)

the cutest little drinking fountains!

and signs for the bathrooms...seriously. can seattle get any more perfect!?

ooookay and as if the sights weren't enough, the smells were incredible! so many open shops around every corner.

you just can't photoshop a perfectionary blue sky like that.

eek! the face "public market" sign, right in front of my eyes!

okay okay okay, i know there's more to seattle than pike's place. and i had hardly scratched the surface of pike's when i realized i could (would) come back after seeing a few other little sights.

like the famous seattle gum wall! yes, mom, that is all 100% real and chewed-up gum. from who knows how long ago. (:


it looked really pretty + colorful from up close, but from afar it definitely wasn't the cutest sight haha.

holy brightness, batman. did i mention it was one of the nicest days of the year? all the seattle-ians that i talked to all told me how lucky i was to be in seattle today, of all days, because it was the best weather they'd had in quite a long time! not a rain cloud in sight!

and yes, i did add my own gum to the wall. right after this photo was taken. (:

after leaving the germiest place in seattle (and arguably the entire usa), i headed back to pike's place to see the famous fish throwing take place! here's an idea of what was going down (i didn't taeke this vid, but it's pretty accurate of what happens there on the daily):

yumm. then off to snap a photo with the infamous pike's place pig! and yes, i did put some change the in the little chunker. i earned that photo.

ps in case you didn't notice, i'm kinda sorta toting around a little rolling carry-on with me. that (+ my little knapsack on my back) is all i took with me up to vancouver. since i was in seattle from about 10am (getting off the train) and my flight home to ohio didn't leave until 6pm, i was stuck rolling that little guy around behind me all day long. it wasn't terrible...unless i was rolling over cobblestone or trying to fit into tight spaces. but it was all worth it!

okay after enjoying the wonder that is pike's place for quite a long while, i started getting hungry for lunch! i walked around a bit up the streets beyond pike's place, and oh my gosh seattle is way more hilly than i thought it was! got my workout for the day in just walking around all afternooon!

cute little sign in front of one of the millions of cute little boutiques. just lace + yarn. adorable.

as time passed...i passed one too many cupcakeries to be okay with not getting myself one. i knew i'd regret it otherwise, right?

don't worry, mom, i didn't eat it until after lunch. (:

cupcake in hand, i headed back toward the shoreline to find somewhere to get some delicious seafood. i mean, how could i not get seafood for lunch, being that close to the pacific coast?

where i ended up: steelhead diner.

what i got: the sequimbled eggs: poached eggs with jumbo lump dungeness crab meat & hollandaise sauce. aka YUM. x infinity.

my appetizer: not my favorite, but pretty delicious anyway. some kinda bruschetta with some tomatoes/cheese crumbles/other nonsense topped off in there.

and the main event! i promise you, it tasted even better than it looked!

yum. once my stomach was filled to maximum capacity (or so i thought), i headed back to stroll around pike's for just a wee bit longer, with one main goal in mind...

...getting myself a pint of fresh blueberries all to myself for just $3?! don't mind if i do!

more pretty flowers:

favorite bouquet:

so so so many rings! micae woulda been in heaven. (: i bought a cute (i've said cute just about 428321 times this post, just go with it. everything in seattle is cute, okay?) little silver ring with a knot in the middle.

oh, you couldn't find my ring in that wave of adorable rings? here's a close-up (almost exact copy) of what i got for a pretty penny:
post-ring purchase, i knew i had to be on my way. the afternoon was coming to a close all too soon, and i still had one major seattle-esque attraction to attend to before catching the subway to the airport! so i said goodbye to the ocean,

goodbye to the ben + jerry's greek froyo truck,

goodbye to the mario/video game-type characters in the windows of big buildings,

and said hello to the monorail ($2.50 round trip? yes, please!),

and said one BIG hello to the space needle!

wheeeee! i've wanted to go up this ever since seeing shots of it while watching the opening credits of grey's anatomy with micaela freshman year:
i bought a regular admission ticket initially, but soon realized that i didn't have the (four hours!) time to wait in line, so i opted to pay $10 more for the VIP pass that took me straight to the front of the line, how's that for living the high life?

on the way up in the crazy-fast elevator:

+ the view from the top!

wheeeee (:

trying to catch a glimpse of my dublin, ohio home somewhere to the south east...+ check out that 360 vip pass around my neck! aw yeah.

more sights from the top:

when you first walk out of the elevator, you actually walk right into this open area where there is like a pseudo museum/eatery place. it's pretty cool, actually! lots of cute + cool little artifacts from way back when the space needle first got its start --- all the way through the present!

i've always wanted to travel to the space needle + eat something at the top. i think i initially expected something a little fancier than what i decided on, but hey, i was crunched for time. and that soft-serve really hit the spot, okay? (:

more shots of the "museum" part of the top; a timeline!

ah, and how could i forget? right before you hop in the elevator to take you straight to the top of the needle, they take a photo of you standing in front of a green screen...where you can pick + choose your favorite background online later that day! all included in the price of the vip pass (and any other admission). what a deal, lemme tell ya!

i think i made the obvious best choice. i mean, just check out that view! ps did you know that the year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the construction of the space needle? obviously i picked the perfect time in my life to go!

okay. wow. so the space needle was incredible. i called daddy from the top + chatted with him briefly (just as he had called me when he first summit-ted y mountain many a year ago; i felt it was only fair to return the favor when i reached my highest elevation on a solo trip for the first time :), and then realized my time in seattle was running short. i said my goodbyes to the beautiful views in this gorgeous city, pledging my return someday in the very near future.

i hopped back on the monorail to take me back near pike's place, where i took an underground subway system all the way to the sea-tac airport, where i caught the sight of the most beautiful advertising anyone's ever thought to put in those little box thingies you have to put your backpacks/shoes/etc. in when you go through airport security. please, try and tell me that this doesn't make you want to buy ten brand new pairs of brightly-colored running shoes?! i dare you.

and as if that wasn't enough, this was on the second one i used. seattle even has cute advertising! i mean, come on! what's not to love about this place?! it's seriously got everything you could ever want!

ah. well. on past security (doesn't this seem like it's ending all too quickly + abruptly? because that's exactly how i felt when i realized i had to leave this lovely place. i know exactly how you feel. seriously.), and then a brief trip outdoors + onto a little baby plane that would take a handful of us from seattle down to portland....

i love me these little baby planes. just my size. (:

i finished off my beautiful little pint of blueberries (seriously, never had better blueberries in my entire life. hence the reason i need to go back asap.) right before take-off, and then lay back to enjoy the rest of our brief flight.

ps coolest thing ever: seeing the real live mt. rainier poking out through the clouds from the airplane window. double coolest thing ever = someone who was on the better side of the airplane volunteered to take a photo of it with your phone from their window seat. i think the reason i love little planes oh, so much is because i feel like everyone gets to know each other on them (especially when your time in the air is only like 20 minutes total ).

so (like i said), short short flight = we landed practically just as soon as we took off. i headed on into the portland airport to await my first-ever 11pm red-eye flight home.

ps, the portland airport has all kinds of fun stuff inside it. especially artsy/exhibit-like stuff. maybe someday i'll be able to visit the portland area on my way back up to seattle. thank goodness for going to byu and having friends who live all over the usa, am i right? (:

i spent a good little while (1-2 hours, if i recall correctly) running around that not-so-little airport, finding food to eat for breakfast (so i wouldn't have to buy anything sunday morning when i arrived in the philly airport before my last little leg to ohio) and making sure i was dressed comfy enough for the red-eye flight.

i slept like a baby. it woulda been nice if the flight was longer than 4.5 hours, but i'll take what i can get. (:

before i knew it, i was awake + in the philly airport with this lovely sign in front of my eyes:

sunday august 5, 2012. finally heading home to be with my family before taking off on my next adventure - down to kentucky for a week, just a few days later! but that's for the next post.

seattle may have been pretty great. but nothing beats home, sweet, home. (:
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