We have been on a few overnight trips, day trips, celebrations, etc but with one thing and another we haven’t been away for what I would call a proper vacation. We haven’t really been away for more than a few days at a time. Some of that was pandemic, some of it was moving jobs (the first time), some of it was crazy inflation, some was moving jobs (the seconds time). A little impulsively perhaps we decided it would be fun to do another west coast trip, , and for good measure decided to check out two cities.
We started out in Seattle, WA, I have been there once before but my wife and family had never been. It was always a place I had wanted to see more of, and we wanted a big city fix. We got our first every city pass and did all of the things a tourist does, so day one was a harbor cruise that the above was taken on. We really lucked out on the weather too where it was unseasonably warm and sunny the day we went out.
We saw the skyline, some of the history, the commercial fishing ships, the ice breaker and the huge container ships getting loaded. Later that day we went up the space needle and saw some spectacular views of the city, and in the evening we went up again. It was near perfect timing where you can see the fog coming in, ten minutes later we couldn’t see a thing! We checked out the Christmas Market, it was pretty over-priced and small with New York City doing it much better.
We went to Pike Place Market, which was way more fun, interesting and bigger than the Christmas Market. We went to the aquarium which was pretty small and tough to fill a day with but it was raining that day… We checked out the glass exhibit and watched a glass blowing demo that was a lot of fun. Then cocktails in the attached bar, the glassware was run of the mill but they made good cocktails! Then we went to the zoo that was OK, and on the last day squeezed in an underground Seattle tour that was lots of fun.
We stayed at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle, I had stayed there last time I was in Seattle. In truth that was about the biggest disappointment, it used to be a really great hotel (or I was very lucky) and has lost a lot of the great service with the rooms being in a sorrier state than I remember. It was fine, but I would avoid in the future and it wasn’t worth what we paid for it.
Next was San Francisco, which is an old favorite for us. The first time my wife and I visited America together we stayed in South San Francisco and couldn’t rent a car because we were too young and it was a whole thing. We have been back numerous times, with the last time being 2019. This time we stayed at the Stanford Court on Nob Hill, and we got a nice corner room with a view of the city. This hotel was what we had hoped with great views and a nice room.
We had less time here but it was a great end to our vacation. There was a 60s style diner around the corner, we were near the big square with Macys and the Christmas tree. We checked out Chinatown, the food is way more expensive that I remember but still very good. We were shocked by how busy everything was around Christmas, and this was the first time we have ever been away on Christmas day.
We got an all day cable car pass that included buses mainly to ride a few cable cars. We realized we could just grab a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge and ended up walking across the bridge. This was my favorite memory of the trip and something we didn’t plan for as I didn’t know if we would have time or if our kids would be able to walk it. We also got a cable car from one end to the other where the kids stood up and held on which was their favorite memory of the trip!
It was lots of fun being tourists and getting away. I haven’t looked at any code in a week and a half, and had a great time checking out something new and something old. Next time I am pushing hard for a much more beach-centric vacation, but I enjoyed being a tourist in a couple of cities with my family too. It is also great to be home!