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Coast Starlight-Space Needle, Monorail, Pike Place Market

Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle, WA and back.

A long distance overnight train trip staying several nights in a nice hotel in a leading city's downtown.

Last Day in Seattle


 Robin Bowers


November 17 2019

Let's start the day with a Bloody Mary

Text and Photos by Author
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    Our day started after a restful sleep in downtown Seattle. Russell awoke feeling no after effects from last night's stroll and so was up for trying to go to Pike Place Market and try again to get breakfast for a good start on the day. Leaving the hotel, we walked down Fourth Avenue to Virginia where Lola was doing brisk business, then walking up the hill on Virginia again passing by Serious Pie and then at the crest down hill to Pike Place Market. The Main and North arcades stretch along Pike Place between Pike and Virginia streets. This is where many of the produce vendors, flower sellers and specialty food retailers are located. We decided to meander from one end to the other checking out the wares and crafts and tried a sample here and there.

    The restaurant recommended by the front desk had stopped serving breakfast and were setting up for lunch so it would be a thirty minute wait. We decided to continue our hunt while looking at the stalls in the market. We had come to the end of the market when we spotted a establishment that was serving both breakfast and lunch. It was on the back side of the market but with big windows overlooking the bay, the boats and ferries. With there being some empty tables along the windows, it was decided this was the place. You order your food at the counter, find a table, get your water and silverware and the meal will be delivered to your table. We both ordered the Breakfast special # 2 and Bloody Marys. We found the perfect table and had a toast. The Bloody Marys were the perfect compliment to the ambience. 


View from the Sounder View Cafe in the Pike Place Market.


Elliot Bay.



Russell enjoying the view.


The Seattle Great Wheel with climate-controlled gondolas.


South end of Main Arcade at Pike Street. The seafood-tossing fishmongers are directly ahead.

    After fuel for our bodies and alcohol for the blood, we were off to see the monorail and explore the city streets and stores. We got turned around a few times but no matter, that is fun part of traveling but we did arrive at the Westlake Center station. The Seattle Center Monorail, built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, whisks passengers from the Westlake Center station to Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne in just 2 minutes. We bought our tickets, boarded the train and enjoyed the short ride above Fifth Avenue and arrived at the foundation of the Space Needle.



605 foot height.


Buildings are Museum of Pop Culture that cover the monorail tracks.


Queen Anne hill with towers.




Display at Monorail station.


We didn't travel to the top of the Space Needle this visit as neither of us are big fans of height plus the sky was overcast so your view would be limited.



Marvelous, just Marvelous.



Glass creation at Chihuly Garden of Glass.


Exhibit hall at Seattle Center.


    After cruising around the grounds, we headed to the Armory building for a sit down rest and a soda. There were a lot of school students around as we found out later there was a robot competition being held here today. We later saw some of same students on the local news. Also inside the Armory workers were beginning work on the model train holiday exhibit. Here are some pictures from my visit in 2012





After resting and restroom visit we decided to head back on the monorail with the station being next door to the Armory.



A Monorail train set at Seattle Center station.


Our monorail car waiting at station for us to board for return trip to Westlake Center. The monorail travels 1 mile in 90 seconds, usually operating at speeds up to 45mph.

Inside our monorail car.

    After zipping through the city's skyscape, we arrived at the Westlake Center station which is on the third floor in a dept store. One of the most unusual venues for stations I have been at in the world. Leaving the station we took a meandering route back to the hotel passing many big stores with their windows being decorated for the winter holidays. One store had this exciting model train layout.







    Returning to the hotel we visited the basement to see the health club and pool area. Then in our room it was decided it was cocktail time and so it was. Discussing how to spend our last night in Seattle, we talked about how impressed both of us were with the city at night view from last night, driving into the city with Bob. Remembering my previous visit with taking the South Lake Union Streetcar to Lake Union and seeing good views of the city, we decided to ride the streetcar and see the sights. The streetcar line starts at Westlake Center so we headed there.


A lighted crane with the Warwick Hotel on right with it's south side.

    Walking to the streetcar stop we went into the Westin Hotel for a pit stop. A nice looking hotel and might consider this for next trip to Seattle. Exiting we stopped at the concierge and had a chat with the nice lady, telling her our plans of riding the streetcar to Lake Union. She said: "Let me check the schedule because on Sunday they stop running at 7pm, I think. Yes she said, today they stopped at 7pm." We were very thankful for her help and information as it was now 7:20pm. So another chance for a plan B.

    Leaving the Westin we hit the Sixth Avenue sidewalk heading toward the hotel being on the lookout for a dinner place. I then spotted the name "Skillet" on a building. There is a Skillet in the Armory at the Space Needle and I have eaten their good food. As somebody once said "This is the place". Earlier Russell and I both talked about having a bowl of soup or chili to enjoy on these damp cold days. The Skillet Regrade had chili but only one serving left so Russell had that, of which I had several tastes. I had the spicy chicken sandwich which was very spicy as I had to refill my water goblet several times. Leaving the restaurant we continued on Sixth Avenue to the corner at Lenora Street. We walked on Lenora to Seventh Avenue to see the building with the spheres. We learned that the spheres are named the Amazon Spheres as this is the location of Amazon Headquarters. If we had another day here, for sure we wanted to try the restaurant inside. We were in a little down mode as we walked back to the hotel on Lenora since this was our last night in Seattle. As we packed for tomorrow morning's departure, we looked out of the window to the apartments across the street and watch life unfolding in the city, each a unique drama within.

Thanks for reading.

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Text and Photos by Author, Robin Bowers

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent

Comments are appreciated