Seattle | Holiday Visit | 2016

by Jim and Melanie

Before Christmas we traveled to Washington, with Seattle our first destination. We arrived late to the Mayflower Park Hotel for our three night stay. The next day dawned sunny and bright. It was a positive omen for things to come. The window of our tenth floor room faced south, and we had a good view of the heart of town.


The first goal for the day was to find breakfast. We headed toward the Pike Place Market and found three places serving breakfast, one for each of our three mornings. They each had views out over the bay like this. We watched ferries cross the bay, and tankers and tugs chug through.


After breakfast the first day, we wandered through the Market, intent on filling Christmas stockings with small treats. Vendors were setting up, giving samples of fruits and pepper jellies. Crafters arranged their wares with care, ready to sell to holiday shoppers. The fishmongers sang a call and response while tossing fish to fill orders. They put on a fun show as people watched with cameras poised.


We returned that evening after dinner, well after closing. The vendors were gone. The stalls were cleaned and empty. It was an eerie sight, one that not many people see.

The next day we headed for the Market for another breakfast with a view. Afterward, we visited the Seattle Art Museum. We enjoyed the exhibits, especially of the Native Americans of the northwest.

The day continued with fair skies. Our next goal was to visit the Space Needle and surrounding venues of the Seattle Center grounds. Going up in the Needle is pricey. We used to bypass tourist opportunities like that, but we’ve learned that some things are worth the price. This was one of them. The viewing deck gives a 360° panorama of the Seattle area. We could even see Mt. Rainier, almost 60 miles to the southeast. After rounding the outside deck at least once, we sat inside and shared a bowl of chili. It was fun to watch other tourists, including several who spent a lot of time posing for selfies, trying to get just the right slant of chin for the photos.

As we waited for the monorail to take us back to our hotel, we noticed a young man with a strange looking camera. Jim knew it was an older model Polaroid. He went up to ask him some questions. The young man was happy to tell about his prized camera. He asked if he could take our picture. We said it was okay. He pointed and pressed the button. Out came the film which developed slowly over the next 30 minutes. We chatted more on the monorail ride.


That evening we enjoyed dinner with old friends, long missed. The next morning we headed south to spend several more days with our son.

Seattle was fun and interesting, with much more to see and do than we had time for. We’ll look forward to visiting again.


19 thoughts on “Seattle | Holiday Visit | 2016

  1. jimfetig

    I am enjoying the analog renaissance. The Millennials love our old technology. Our daughter and her friends have practiced long-hand correspondence since I can remember. This holiday season I noticed a large number of instant film cameras and record player/turntables on offer in the stores. Then we had a presidential election… Time seems to be truly regressing.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, in some ways we long for the past. The real problem is when we get it. Long-hand correspondence: Son’s girlfriend is teaching him the pleasure of writing letters. She even bought him a fountain pen for Christmas. I’ll admit I don’t send many paper notes or letters anymore, but I still send out a few.

    2. Jim Ruebush

      I still have a VHS and cassette players that work when needed. I have a cassette of Dad playing the dulcimer he made. I will copy it onto a CD soon. As to the camera, on the front was a ultrasonic transducer that was used to determine distance to the subject. One of the creative physics teachers in the country used that device and technology to make motion detectors for classroom use. They were great.

      I don’t send many long-hand notes any more. Sometimes I add a page of comments in a birthday or holiday card. Remember them?

      Regression: noun
      1. a return to a former or less developed state.

      Yup…it’s sad. We can do so much more and better if we try.

  2. BJ Good

    So appreciate your photos & commentary. Seattle is one of my all time favorite city visits. In my front foyer I have framed 3 small water colors by Seattle artist Sarah Yaeger I purchased @ Pike Place Market depicting the fish & flower stalls. And I loved the Art Museum. So much you can do, taste & see in that metro area whether street level or from up in the Space Needle!

  3. shoreacres

    I’ve never been to Seattle, but a long-time blogging friend and artist lives there. You might tuck away this link to her blog for future reference. She currently has 123 posts in the category “Seattle Travel,” and also writes about wonderful places ot visit in and around the area: outdoor sculpture, gardens, flower farms and markets, and so on.

    The photo is great. I followed a film photographer for a while who still was using Velvia and some other films i didn’t know. Her photos were just exquisite, but she’s disappeared now. I have just a few Polaroids left from the 1964 New York World’s Fair, but they’re fading away.

    I did pull out my Samsung flip phone in a meeting the other night, and gave everyone a good laugh.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thank you for the blog link. This evening we were with neighbors who are planning a trip there, so we will share it with them, too.

      They shouldn’t laugh too hard about your flip phone. We’re only short months out since having one! And the smart phone is too smart for us. 🙂

    2. Jim Ruebush

      Why would they laugh at your phone? Jethro Gibbs still uses one on NCIS.

      I still have a film camera. I should buy some film and see if it still works or if I can still work it.

  4. Carrie Rubin

    I just visited Seattle over the New Year’s too. I have family out there. I don’t get there often, but I love it. Strolling through Pike’s Place Market–even in the cold–is such a treat. So many interesting things. And I was lucky enough to have perfect blue skies while I was there. First time that’s happened for me, and also the first time I could see Mount Rainier from the top of the Space Needle. Love your pics. They took me back instantly. (Saw your comment ‘like’ over on Elyse’s blog and thought I’d come visit. 🙂 )

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks for coming by, Carrie. We had pretty good weather, too, for the most part. I would not say “perfect blue skies,” but “mostly clear” and only one day with lots of rain was just fine! It was my first time there and I’m looking forward to another visit. Thanks again!

  5. melissabluefineart

    A number of years ago my family took a similar trip. You’re right about the Space Needle. Even though my kids were little, they still talk about that trip. You’ve brought back happy memories for me 🙂


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