First stop: Archie McPhee. It's a gift and novelty shop. That is the girls imitating the mannequins in the window in front of the store. Do you need bacon scented air freshener for your car? You can get it here. And pretty much anything else oddball flavored or scented, obsolete, useless, kitchy and hysterically funny. This place was an absolute kick in the pants. This particular carousel had a ton of figurines, including GI Joe heads. We were naughty and got admonished for putting GI Joe heads on the display people. When the guy turned around, I put the monster head on the bride. Teehee. Get it? Bridezilla...yeahhh. Next stop ~ The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (aka The Ballard Locks) This beautiful metal sculpture was so impressive! It depicts waves and apparently two of them have flashing lights inside that, at night, make it look like the tiny smelts darting in the waves.
The locks connect the saltwater Puget Sound to the freshwater Salmon Bay, Lake Union and Lake Washington so that all sorts of sea-going vessels can travel between the bodies of water. Picture the Panama Canal...only smaller!
Along the side of the locks is the Fish Ladder. Right now, the salmon are returning to their spawning grounds and they travel up a series of "ladders" to get back home. These salmon were enormous! This shot was taken through one of the viewing windows. Under the fish, you can see the current pulling the sea grass almost horizontal, yet the salmon seem suspended in the water. Tough cookies, they are. As we were approaching the ladders, we saw a salmon jumping in the water and I could have sworn it was a seal...he was quite the fattie!
After a quick bite at Dick's for burgers and fries, we headed down to the Pike Market. Did I mention yet that it was un-Godly hot in Seattle yesterday? And I believe half the population of Seattle was downtown with us. No matter. I've learned if you want the picture, you have to speak up and "excuse me!" your way to the front! So, the fishmonger threw the stuffed fish at the wrong girls, (though we got them with the monkfish trick) but he did let our girls hold some salmon. Then they washed their icky hands off back behind the counter. Trust me, they were icky.
We walked a little bit through the throngs of people, checking out the fruits and veggies and flowers. The produce is nothing short of impressive. These onions were the size of softballs.
We strolled up the street for Piroshky's. We are not done at Pike Market until Hayley gets a Marzipan piroshky. Sadly, they were all out of them, so she had to settle for a different flavor and the resulting dissatisfaction of not having the MARZIPAN! People, the anguish! We then stood and listened to these awesome guys (click on that link...it was recorded in 2004 but they sound the same) singing again. Pure joy. Last time, there were only three guys. This time, there were five of them singing and it was amazing. Dude in the red shimmies back and forth. Tall dude in the middle starts each song. He strolled up to the girls and sang directly to them. Awwwww. Dude with his hand on his ear is the bass. They just wouldn't sound the same without him. So, we stood there, baking in the hot sun and took in their awesome talent.
Next ~ The monorail over to the Space Needle (or as some people refer to it: The Needle Point.) Beautiful. I tried to get each of the girls gazing off into the distance without them knowing it... Hayley... Jane...
Finally ~ The Cheesecake Factory for dinner! Dude, I'd never been there. I will return though! We all had something different and it was ALL GOOD! As soon as our food arrived, we all took in the amazing aromas! Heavenly!
With doggie bags in hand, we strolled our way back to the car and headed back home, iPod blaring on the car stereo, everyone singing along! I snapped this out the car window at a stoplight. Not bad, eh?!
And there you have it. We were gone for a good 12 hours. It was so much fun to show the girls around Seattle and we got to see new some new sights, too!
Now, I have to go soak my aching feet! =)