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Pacific NW and Alaska
Old 08-14-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Pacific NW and Alaska

On 8/17/11 we are off to Seattle where we'll take a 7 day cruise to Victoria, Alaska (Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, then back to Victoria) then back to Seattle where we tagged on an extra day or two to sight-see. We chose not to do serious inland excursions but may take a helicopter or float plane trip.

We've visited Victoria and and Vancouver and loved it.

Any tips, especially Seattle?

P.S. Funny - at one point before I retired I pondered whether vacations might lose their pizzazz after FIRE --- after all, you no longer need the decompression and escape valve components. But it's not a problem, at least for us - we're excited and energized just like we always are before we travel.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Seattle, a start with a Puget Sound orientation:

Cheap cruse: take the Bremerton Ferry RT from Coleman Dock. You may glimpse my former home as you pass through Rich Passage. If you choose the shorter run to Bainbridge Island use the 'walk about' (trail) Walkabout Guide - Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and eat at Dock's outside if weather permitting. In either case don't forget to ask for the senior ferry fare when buying a ticket.

Eat a meal at Iver's Salmon House near the University of Washington. Not only will the food be wonderful but you will see examples of First People's canoes and art at the edge Lake Union: Salmon House Restaurant - Ivars Not all Ivar's are the same.

Continuing on the First Peoples theme: Tillicum Village | Seattle Attraction & Sightseeing Tours

Underground Seattle tours are a kick: UNDERGROUND TOUR
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
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The Museum of Flight near Boeing field is great! Unless, of course, you have little interest in airplanes, jets and rockets.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post

P.S. Funny - at one point before I retired I pondered whether vacations might lose their pizzazz after FIRE --- after all, you no longer need the decompression and escape valve components. But it's not a problem, at least for us - we're excited and energized just like we always are before we travel.
+1 Have a great trip Rich. We are headed to the Dolomites in Italy next week for a bike trip and are excited. If anything, vacations are more fun now since there is no decompression as the end of the vacation and return to work looms.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:16 AM   #5
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If anything, vacations are more fun now since there is no decompression as the end of the vacation and return to work looms.
I think you nailed it with this comment.

Before retiring the thought of what faced me when returning from vacation was downright depressing. It really put a damper on the last couple of days of whatever trip we were on and I had to really psych myself up to jump back on that speeding treadmill. On more than one occasion I can recall asking myself if the vacation was really worth the pain of returning to work.

No more. Now our only worries when we get home are doing the laundry and mowing the grass...
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:51 AM   #6
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I look forward to vacation much more eagerly now than when working. In addition to Donheff's comment about returning, vacations were difficult to plan because timing and schedules limited options and forced compromises, especially during the kids primary school years. Work was stressful and a two week vacation meant the first couple of days were 'wasted" because it took that long to wind down and adjust.

Vacations now are not escapes but opportunities, and our best vacations have all happened since I left work.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:59 AM   #7
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We got a really big kick out of the helicopter flight out to walk on a glacier at Juneau. Expensive, but definitely worth it.

Most people probably wouldn't be interested, but one of Seattle's most remarkable attractions IMHO is what is probably the world's greatest display of bonsai trees at the Weyerhaeuser headquarters.

Bonsai Collection
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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I also recommend the ferry boat ride to Bremerton and back. I can't recommend doing much in Bremerton, just ride back and forth. It's a lovely and cheap tour on a sunny day. Or even on a rainy day. If you are in to music and theater there are a number of good places to hit in the downtown area of Seattle.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:00 AM   #9
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Rich. We took a trip to the Takeau Glacier Lodge (or something like that) out of Juneau (IIRC). You fly out to a remote lodge and have a Salmon bake. Great (but pricey) trip. I took the photo below at lunch. The bears sat in a tree until we went into the lodge and then paid a visit to the grill area.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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If you are staying in downtown Seattle. Walk down to the waterfront and grab the water taxi to West Seattle (from Pier 50 in Seattle - $3.50 per person each way). Then walk about .5 south along Harbor Ave to Jack Block park (Port of Seattle: Parks) and take the trail to the left of the bathrooms along the water for marvelous views of the city and the Cascade Mountains.

Retrace your steps for lunch at Salty's on Alki, or at the fish and chips place adjacent to the ferry dock before your return trip to Seattle.

Here's a photo I took last Saturday along the trail in Jack Block park.

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Old 08-15-2011, 09:29 AM   #11
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Thanks, all, for the suggestions. We'll hope for good weather.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:46 AM   #12
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The Seattle Ducks Ride the Ducks of Seattle - 206-441-DUCK are a lot of fun and if you are into pop bands across the street is the Experiance Music Project: EMP
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:48 PM   #13
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the tripledoor is a good music place in downtown seattle...
as is the jazz alley

The Triple Door - Seattle's Best Live Music Venue - Triple Door

Dimitriou's Jazz Alley - Pacific Jazz Institute - Home
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
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the tripledoor is a good music place in downtown seattle...
as is the jazz alley

The Triple Door - Seattle's Best Live Music Venue - Triple Door

Dimitriou's Jazz Alley - Pacific Jazz Institute - Home
Thanks -- we are big jazz fans (own Jazzfest timeshare week in New Orleans).
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:45 PM   #15
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We did a similar trip in May . In skagway we took a trip into the Yukon . The scenery was unbelievable . I also recommend a stop at "The Red Dog Saloon " in Juneau .Pack an umbrella and you'll have great weather . Enjoy !
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #16
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Hi Rich,

If you like oysters and are downtown Seattle, Shuckers Oyster bar has a happy hour M - F from 3 - 5pm. They don't advertise it much, I found out about it from a review on yelp. We ate there a couple of times and the food was good, especially the $1 oysters. The dining room was beautiful.

Here is a link to the restaurant, it's in the Fairmont Hotel:

Shuckers Oyster Bar Seattle: Seattle Seafood Restaurant

I hope you have a great trip!

-helen
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:00 PM   #17
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Rich, this is all a lot more than you can do in a couple of days and it is all good stuff. The best, in fact.

You might want to consider an hour or so tour of Seattle and the islands by float plane. That p;art of the world is amazing from the air! We like Kenmore Air.

Seaplane tours Seattle

There is also Underground Seattle UNDERGROUND TOUR

Be aware that Seattle is a metropolis and it takes a while to drive around town and parking will drive you crazy.

Have fun!
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
On 8/17/11 we are off to Seattle where we'll take a 7 day cruise to Victoria, Alaska (Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, then back to Victoria) then back to Seattle where we tagged on an extra day or two to sight-see. We chose not to do serious inland excursions but may take a helicopter or float plane trip.

We've visited Victoria and and Vancouver and loved it.

Any tips, especially Seattle?

P.S. Funny - at one point before I retired I pondered whether vacations might lose their pizzazz after FIRE --- after all, you no longer need the decompression and escape valve components. But it's not a problem, at least for us - we're excited and energized just like we always are before we travel.
I guess we'll wave at you!

We are currently camped at a state park in the Gorge (the Columbia River Gorge) near Hood River OR, on our way to Mount St. Helens area tomorrow, and the Olympic Peninsula before too long. Beautiful areas in WA - awesome state to visit.

In Seattle the must see IMO is the market (is it the Pike Street market? something like that). The space needle was kind of cool. But whenever we visited Seattle we always ended up taking the ferry over to the Olympic Peninsula which is so gorgeous.

Audrey
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:37 PM   #19
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Rent a car for a day or two and drive west into the cascades (about 1 hour). Stay here Salish Lodge & Spa - Seattle's Luxury Hotel Resort & Spa. Expensive, beautiful, peaceful, smells good, excellent hikes and 4 star grub.

If you want to stay downtown on the cheap (for city) Stay here Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Seattle Center

It's two blocks from the space needle and more importantly the Experience Music Project and the high speed rail that takes you into city center.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:40 PM   #20
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Rent a car for a day or two and drive west into the cascades (about 1 hour).
You sure you don't mean east? When I look east, I see Cascades. When I look west, I see Olympics

Ha
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