Seattle's Underground Tour

You must understand that the last two posts, on the Seattle Wheel and to Chihuly Glasshouse and Garden and this one all happened IN ONE DAY! What a sensory overload! But I loved every minute of it. This is something I have wanted to do but never got around to, since I moved up here to the Pacific Northwest 26 years ago. It's taken me this long to go Underground Seattle.  Years ago, when a group of us came over from Port Townsend to do up the town, we were at a jazz club in Pioneer Square and I saw a sign for Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour. That was when I learned that the current city of Seattle is built right on top of the original city!

But I learned more from the tour - that the original city fathers neglected to factor in the tides when building the original city, with major consequences. Some not too pleasant, like sewage backing up and exploding uphill in the houses on the bluffs; building being swamped on the incoming tides and the eventual rebuilding of the city after a disastrous fire wiped it out.

Walking through the dusty corridors, listening to our chipper tour guide, you can imagine what it must have been like. Of course, the rooms and old sidewalks are all reinforced and there is electric light down there, but looking up, the old purple-tinged glass lights or prisms are a reminder of times gone by.

Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

608 First Ave, in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, between Cherry Street and Yesler Way.

[206] 682 4646

Ticket Prices

$16.00 Adults (18-59 yrs) $13.00 Seniors (60+ yrs) $13.00 Students (13-17 yrs or w/valid college ID) $8.00 Children (7-12 yrs) Kids 6 and under are admitted free, but may find the 75-minute tour challenging

Eye Candy

That same weekend that Ryan was visiting, I was trying to keep pace with what he wanted to see and do. Our next stop in Seattle after the Great Wheel was the Chihuly Glass House and Garden. I had seen the Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma but hadn't even heard about the Glass House and Garden! Shows how isolated and out of touch I have been. This place should be on every person's bucket list. What an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, spectacular place! The colors, the art, the the the the ....just everything! How beautiful!

And to be able to see it with my wonderful son was the icing on the cake.

This is a place that defies description. It is eye candy for the soulr. It is a place you have to experience. And although photos don't do it justice, I took a lot of pictures. Interior lighting was spectacular, illuminating the art so it stood out from an often black infinite space.  Impossible colors pop and even though there are numerous people around, I felt as if this was done just for me.

The gardens were a mind-blowing experience, and I can only wonder what it would have been like if the sun had been out! Complementary colors, shape against shape, impossible colors glowing among nature's own, natural flowers.

How could I have missed seeing this place? Now I know it's there and whenever a visitor comes to my house,  this is on the  list of must-sees.

I do have one suggestion, though. DO NOT take small children! There is just far too much priceless glass around for exuberant youngsters! Send them to Grandma's house and show them the pictures later! You will be so on edge and nervous, making sure they don't touch anything, that you won't be able to enjoy the beauty.

Chihuly Garden and Glass


Sunday - Thursday 10am  –  9pm
Friday & Saturday 10am  –  10pm


Regular Ages 13-64 $19
King County Special Ages 13+ $15
Senior Ages 65+ $17
Youth Ages 4-12 $12
Child 3 and Under Free


Being Brave

I've been a real slacker, not posting in the last month. Now I will try to catch up. So my adventures may not be in chronological order and I might do several shorter posts.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do one thing everyday that scares you."

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan came to visit for the weekend and as he just can't sit still, we were on the move ... a lot! And the first thing he wanted to do was to ride the Seattle Great Wheel. Ferris wheels scare me. Heights scare me. So to get on that thing took a lot of talking to myself! And of course I did it because Ryan wanted to, and Mum's usually end up doing what their kids want, regardless of age!

Ryan-wheel-sm wheel-and-ferries-sm wheel-sm

I had no idea we would do that many revolutions! At the start, the attendant pointed out the red panic button in the gondola and I was sorely tempted! As the wheel started to move, my knees went weak and I thought I would either throw up or pee myself! Lucky for me, I did neither. But I could not look down! Looking out the side was ok and each rotation, it got a bit easier. When I was able to look out, the view was phenomenal! From the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound in the west, north up the Puget Sound and east looking out at the beautiful Seattle skyline to the Cascades. Then south over the dock area and the big cranes and ships that line the waterfront.

But I did it and I could probably do it again - if I absolutely had to.Finally, after five big long times around, we were released and boy, was I glad to be on terra firma.

Hours of Operation:

1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA

Monday-Thursday      11 AM-10 PM Friday                               11 AM-Midnight Saturday                          10 AM-Midnight Sunday                             10 AM-10 PM

Adult $13 Child $8.50 And if you are very brave you can get the VIP package - Great Wheel VIP $50.00 / each The VIP gondola is the special luxury gondola with four leather bucket seats and a GLASS floor.

Granny Susu Has Been Busy!


It's been a busy week! Although I wouldn't classify them as "travel" adventures, the most stand-out event which definitely helps the travel agenda, is a I bought I new car!

Me at the dealer with new Honda

Not new, but new to me. Due to a lot of circumstances, which I won't go in to, I have been driving a borrowed Jeep for the last year. And bless my dear friend who let me use his spare vehicle for what was going to be a month and turned into a year! So the Leaky Beasy was put out to pasture and I ~gulp~ bought a used Honda CR-V which suits me completely. It is a major stretch for me, but signing on as editor on the magazine, with a bump in pay, I knew I had to take the leap and just "do it."

Having reliable wheels - and economical wheels - allows me to venture out for more adventures!

So I am planning a trip up Vancouver Island at the end of the month or the beginning of May. I think Susan can go with me - it's always more fun to do something like this with a friend - and we will go across the Straits of Juan de Fuca on the Blackball Ferry and drive up to Parksville/Qualicum Beach, about 100 miles. I expect to have three nights of a variety of accommodation, tours, adventures and dining in the media trip. Ostensibly, this is for the magazine, but I will be posting here every day.

Oh, the other thing that was a bit of an adventure, but not one I would choose is I had to go to Seattle for a meeting with the magazine people. Really, pretty much a wasted day, but I did meet the money man and the others involved. But it was a long day, with not a lot to show for it.

From now on, with my new wheels, I will definitely be a travelin' girl, so stay posted!

Another OH! Just two days til Zoze finds out that I am going to New Zealand to spend Christmas with her! Can't wait!