Tag Archives: Seattle

Dinner at the Space Needle

Downtown Seattle

One of the most popular attractions when visiting Seattle is the famous Space Needle.  So when planning for a trip to Seattle the first stop was Spaceneedle.com. We knew we wanted to view Seattle from the Needle but didn’t realize the different options available to experience this unique structure. Eating at the Skycity restaurant was very appealing until viewing the menus and seeing the prices. For a family of four to eat there it was going to be over $200. Not sure that was in the budget.

How about some time on the observation deck? That was still a little pricey but how often did we plan on visiting Seattle? Probably this one time so better take advantage of being there and go to the top of this famous attraction. The next question – do we go during the day, the night, or both since all of these options are offered? After figuring out that the observation deck was included with a meal, the cost of eating in the Skycity restaurant was not as bad. Especially if we decided that the day and night was what we wanted to do. How about eating around sunset and then going up to the observation deck before dinner to see Seattle in the waning hours of the sunlight.

Everyone in our group decided dinner around sunset would be a good idea, that is of course, if the sky was relatively clear to see the sun. Let’s take the chance and make reservations! Next, finding out the sunset time of Seattle in late August. For that we used timeanddate.com and then made our reservations around that time. Here’s hoping! It was off to Seattle.

A Cloudy and Foggy Morning

Our day began in the Olympic Mountains with plenty of clouds and fog. A sunset didn’t look very promising giving way to a little disappointment setting in. There was most of the day left for the sky to clear but the forecast didn’t indicate a good chance of it. For a different view of Seattle we took the ferry from the Olympic Mountains to northern Seattle. Driving on a boat was a unique and fun experience for those of us that don’t really get the opportunity to do so. I’m sure it’s old news to those who get to do it on a regular basis. Once we exited the ferry it was off to downtown to explore the fish market, the underground, and eventually end up at the Needle.

Location of the Popular Fish Market

As the day continued, and our Seattle adventure taught us about the city, we noticed the sky beginning to clear a little. There is hope! Our reservation time was ticking closer so off to the hotel to clean up, change, and get ready for dinner. We arrived at the Space Needle taking in the uniqueness of this structure that we had seen several times from a far. Where is the entrance? It’s not like there is a definite front to this building. Walking around it we found entrance doors and slipped inside. A huge gift shop is what greats you. How do you check in? Walking around on the inside a reservation desk appeared so we walked up to it and let them know we had arrived for our reservation. Pretty easy once you gain your bearings in this circular building.

The Space Needle

We were directed towards a line for restaurant guests to take a specific elevator near your reservation time. After waiting a short time it was into the elevator and quickly up the Needle. The elevator ride itself is fun as they are on the outside of the building and have large windows to view the city as you climb to the top. It was such a smooth ride and went to fast for us as we enjoyed peering out at our surrounding while the elevator climbing higher and higher making the ground look smaller and smaller. Next stop, the observation deck. Going out onto the deck gave a wonderful view of Seattle, the Olympic Mountains, and Mt. Rainier.  Unfortunately, this view is impeded by cables taking away from the magnificence of it. Still a nice view. After about 15 minutes we were called for dinner and made our way down one level to the restaurant.

Seattle From the Observation Deck

We were quickly seated on this revolving floor and had an even better view of the area because of the complete windowed view giving a panoramic look at Seattle and the nearby mountains without the cables. Everyone in the group had been warned of the prices to be expected for dinner so the shock had was taken care of.  I couldn’t decide what I wanted to eat because I was spending most of my time watching the setting sun. Success! Most of the clouds had dissipated leaving a gorgeous sunset over the Olympic Mountains. This plan could not have worked better. What a blessing.

A Beautiful Sunset

Dinner came and the sun left leaving us with great food to enjoy while Seattle was lit up underneath us. One of the kids dishes comes with noodles in the shape of the Space Needle itself. How fun is that?! And for dessert, how about a smoking bowl of ice cream?

        Noodles in the Shape of the Space Needle         Smoking Ice Cream

For those who may be questioning whether to eat at the restaurant or just visit the observation deck, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to eat at the Space Needle at least once if nothing else for the unique experience of it. I will certainly do it again if the opportunity presents itself.

Night Time From the Needle

For those unable to get to Seattle, here is a live webcam from the Space Needle.

The Space Needle at Night

Making the Most of 1 Day

An Early Start to the Day

Do you ever have a day that starts early and is jam packed with fun things to do all day and ends late? They don’t come around very often it seems but when they do you can look back on it and know you made the most of each hour given to you on that day. That’s how our day going out to Washington was. We knew it was going to be a full day but not quite sure how long.

Arriving in Seattle

Our morning began at 3 AM which was just a few minutes before the alarm would be blaring at us to wake up. Instead of waiting to be assaulted by a noisy little box we got up, turned it off and began the days journey excited for the adventure ahead. Less than an hour later the car was packed and headed to join a few family members on our way to the airport. By 6 AM more family members met us at the airport and we were grabbing a quick breakfast while waiting to board the airplane taking us to Seattle, where this vacation would begin. Shortly after 10 AM beautiful mountain vistas began appearing outside of the airplane windows and before we knew it the popular Mt. Rainier was below us with Seattle just ahead.

Puget Sound

Quickly disembarking, well as quickly as several hundred people can get off an airplane, it was off to get luggage and take the light rail downtown where the cars were. Once everybody was safely secured in their respective automobiles it was already time for lunch. Wow this day seems to be moving quickly! With lunch in the rear view mirror it was off to Sequim to spend the night just outside of Olympic National Park. The route took us into Tacoma and around Puget Sound before heading towards Sequim. It took about three hours to drive from Seattle to Sequim getting us there just after 6 PM.

A Beautiful Spot to Eat and Relax

At this point much of the group just wanted to get dinner and relax from a long day of travels. Admittedly I was tired but adrenaline pushed a small contingent to begin exploring Olympic National Park. A few minutes to grab the camera and a bottle of water before settling back into the car for a 45 minute drive to the nearest visitor center while grabbing a bite to eat on the run. We arrived at the visitor center just as they were closing but decided to finish our meal on one of the nearby picnic tables and enjoy the evening and the surroundings before heading up the mountain the Hurricane Ridge.

A Doe and Her Fawn

As soon as the car doors opened at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center a fawn and mother black tailed deer were there to great us. Most likely looking for scraps from the numerous visitors there early that day. Seeing wildlife really enhances a visit to any national park making the experience feel more fulfilling. The evening was upon us and the sun was heading for the horizon so any exploring needed to be completed soon. Hiking a nearby trail, a spot was found to gaze into the horizon as the sun marched towards it, spreading it’s amazing colors throughout the sky. I couldn’t think of a better place to be during the remaining few hours of this day.

A Mountain Top Sunset

Darkness continued to creep closer and closer to us but not to worry. First of all, we were fairly close to the car and secondly we had flashlights this time, not like in Acadia National Park. Having been practicing night photography I thought this would be a great opportunity to capture a gorgeous night sky so off to a nearby picnic area to setup the camera before it was too dark. Just as the stars were beginning to peek out a bright light appeared on the horizon. It must have been a full moon. The mountainous landscape lit up all around us. Well, photos full of stars and possibly the Milky Way were out of the question. Obviously I did not do my homework on the timing and phases of the moon this night. What do you do when handed lemons? Take pictures of the moonscapes I guess.

Colors of the Setting Sun Spreading Across the Landscape

Spending the next hour taking photos it was time to call it a day. While the camera was shooting away at the night sky I realized a day like this when you take advantage of every minute of breath makes many other days mundane by comparison. The question of how to take advantage of every breath most days arises instead of falling victim to the daily routine we get so use to that we almost lose the appreciation of the day. Arriving back at the hotel it was after 1 AM – 22 hours after the day began. With a smile I quickly drifted off to sleep excited to continue our adventure the next day.

Late Night Moonscape


Life Experience Gained: Mountain landscapes from an airplane, The Seattle landscape, lightrail, downtown Seattle, Puget Sound, Olympic National Park, and most importantly the first time I conscientiously realized how much I enjoyed  this day and all we did.