Seattle 2013: Planes, trains, and boats

Janice and I vacationed in Seattle, Wash., from June 22 to 29, 2013. Although Janice had attended a conference there years ago, this was my first trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle visitors
Arrival in Seattle

We flew via JetBlue from Boston’s Logan Airport, and we took a train into downtown Seattle. We found it quieter and cleaner than its counterparts in Boston or New York. Janice and I then walked up a steep hill to the centrally located Marriott Renaissance Seattle. Since the weather was nice during our first afternoon in the city, we went to the Space Needle, a landmark from the 1962 World’s Fair.

Contrary to popular belief, Seattle is not rainier than many other North American cities. The Olympic Mountains screen Puget Sound from rain coming off the Pacific Ocean. In the week we were in town, there were several overcast days, but we actually had more sun than rain. We also escaped the heat wave that had started affecting most of the U.S.

Sticking with the transportation theme, Janice and I took a harbor tour aboard an Argosy Cruise Lines vessel on Monday, June 24. The City Pass was a good deal for discount tickets to several attractions. We got good views of the Seattle skyline and massive container ships and cranes.

For the most part, Janice and I did most of our sightseeing on foot, and I’m glad that we didn’t have to drive anywhere or pay for parking. We walked to Pike Place, Seattle Center, and Pioneer Square. I was curious about the monorail, but trolley cars up some of the hills would have been more helpful. On Tuesday, June 25, we took a bus to the excellent Museum of Flight outside the city.

On Thursday, June 27, Janice and I took a Victoria Clipper to scenic Victoria, British Columbia. On the way, we glimpsed otters, dolphins, and numerous sea birds. There were fewer homeless people in the Canadian provincial capital than in Seattle, but everyone was friendly and polite on both sides of the border.

I’ll discuss restaurants and various attractions more in future posts.