Revisiting Seattle in 2017

Made it all the way back to Seattle, but on a slightly tighter budget this time.  But I have more than just 2 days this time.  Skipping the tourist locations I visited last time, ie. Pike Market.

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Tukwila

I’ve only been on the light rail once here and I like it.  $5 roundtrip from Tukwila International stop to Stadium stop.  Well kept modern stations.

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Museum of Flight in Tukwila is right next to an operating Boeing Field (I forget what it’s called now).  Every first Thursday night of every Month is free, from 5 to 9p.  And everyone seems to know it.  You can see planes take off from the airport.  Good gift shop.

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On Aug 3, the Blue Angels were in town for the next few weekends.

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Seattle Chocolates also has a factory tour in Tukwila.  But even if you chose to skip how they make the chocolate, there are free samples, including a new pairing of dark chocolates and hard cheeses.  A kind of deconstructed milk chocolate I guess.  On every second Saturday, they sell their “seconds”, or their imperfect chocolate truffles (I mistimed my visit) for a discount.  Everyday, they sell chocolate by the pound.

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Tukwila also has a great Westfield Southcenter mall, if you want to get your shop on.  But importantly it has affordable food court for those of us on a budget.

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Everett

The Boeing factory tour is in Everett, 30min north of Seattle.  It is called “The Future of Flight”.  For $25, you can see operating factory floor of the largest building by volume in the world, according to Guiness.  It’s not like a car assembly line yet.  No cameras or electronic devices allowed on the tour, but they have free lockers.  The tour will take hour and a half.  But a great gift shop.

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Before the factory tour, you can look through their exhibits on their current model of Boeing planes, and the technology that goes into them, for about 30min to an hour.

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Outside you can see all the new Boeing planes on order, on various stages of testing, on the way to their buyers.  They’ve even been painted with the colors of their airline they are going to.

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Anacortes

Hour and a half north of Seattle, is Anacortes.  Site of where ferries to San Juan Islands live.  You can pay $13 for a individual roundtrip, thru Puget Sound to Friday Harbor, which you have a ever so slight chance of seeing a whale or orca.  But there are dedicated whale watching tour packages in the location, so if you are only there to see the whales, they will go whale chasing (while the whales would feel the need to chase the ferry for you to see them on the ferry).  If you are feeling international, the ferry can also take you to Victoria in Canada.  But added to the price of the ticket, is the cost of parking which is $10/day.

Ferry from Anacortes:

Ferry from Friday Harbor

Seattle Chinatown

Somewhere hidden away in Downtown Seattle, is a small little Chinatown.  But what is truly important about this location, is that it is a 10 walk away from Safeco Field.  And there is food, coffee and tea shops that are still open, when the baseball game is over. $4 ice tea at Oasis.  $9 Cantonese roast duck and roast pork over rice special.  $9 hearty Vietnamese pho noodles.  $9 self cooking premium fried rice on a hot skillet in front of you at Ironsteak?

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Seattle, Starbucks Reserve Roastery

It’s  nice place for a gift shop, but much too busy to sit and relax.  It feels more like Disneyland Food Lines as a child, but for adults.  But you can try out some of their newer roasts, and product trials as higher end productions.  You even get to see a demonstration of one of their packaging machines.

Redmond

Everybody’s favorite software maker chose the lush forests of northwest Washington State to build it’s headquarters.  They have a free visitor center where you can view their next generation consumer technology like facial emotion detection, surface pc’s, and minecraft.  You just might have to sheepishly ask the busy reception desk of a active business where it is. Great gift shop w logo’ed gadgets.  Good for spending an hour of your time.  Unfortunately, geeks don’t do funny things like waddle, hunt for food, or stick their heads out in unison for food, so they aren’t really worth spending photography time.

  1. Life sized Halo, some blue guy shooting Master Chief in the back.
  2. Visitors to Redmond
  3. The Visitor center at Microsoft where you get to see their newest Surface PC’s, and some new tech they got in thr works.
  4. The founders of the Geek-dom
  5. The campus.  Actually the campus is in the middle of a Washington State forest.  It’s very wooded compared to Silicon Valley.

Snoqualmie Falls

30min west of Seattle is the Snoqualmie Falls.  You get to see some fantastic Washington State lakes and mountains on the way there.  To see the falls is free, except if you want to get a premium parking spot.

But free parking lot is just a extra 5min walk over a bridge.

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