Seattle & Orca Whale Watch

If I could doctor up my own dream city, it’d be Seattle. 

There is great coffee, one of the countries oldest running farmers market – Pikes Place, amazing views over the Puget Sound, great Asian restaurants, fish fries, shiny buildings, an amazing sky line, a baseball team, a football team (maybe a future hockey team?), the home of incredible TV surgeons, mandatory compostable straws, recycling bins, City Target packed my groceries in a paper bag, the Space Needle, lots of Ubers, my kind of fashion, warm but not humid weather, rain (although not as rainy as its cracked up to have), more coffee, donuts, trees and hilly streets that make going to the gym less important when you’re walking up and down steep hills all day long.

This was my second time coming to Seattle but it has been three years so I still felt like a tourist with a little more experience this time a.k.a – I didn’t need to go up the Space Needle because I’ve already done that. Chris flies to Seattle every summer for his annual kids hockey camp, Rumble in the Rink in Wenatchee, Washington (where he played junior hockey). So, I take advantage of the opportunity to see more of the amazing state of Washington.

Our first day in Seattle consisted of going to Pikes Place Market in the morning to check out the local vendors and of course, the infamous fisherman throwing their fish to each other when someone finally decides to buy one. Huge crowds gather around their stands, waiting for a big slimy fish to be thrown. Chris’ favorite stop at the market is at the little donut stand. They serve up the best mini cinnamon sugar and maple frosted donuts. There are so many good looking bakeries here that if I tried them all I wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale.

A funnier part of going down to the market is seeing the Original Starbucks – the line is a mile long…to get the same drink you can order anywhere else in the country. We all know that Starbucks originated in Seattle and the one located right at Pikes Place market is known for being the very first one. However, we learned that not to be true. While it was one of the first locations its not actually the first. We heard one of the market vendors tell someone the original actually burned down and “if only people waiting in that line knew that.” Side note though, Starbucks in Seattle has completely converted to compostable straws and compostable throw-away cutlery. It was announced today that they are going to incorporate this movement into all of their locations! Exciting news!

After the market we walked down to the waterfront and strolled along the piers. Theres lots of little touristy shops and museums here that always have fun things to look at. Theres also a giant ferris wheel that both of us are a little to frightened to try. One day we’ll make it to the Seattle Aquarium (located right on top of the water) to watch the octopus get fed. Next time!

That night we decided to go to a Seattle Mariners game. While I by no means am a huge MLB fan, I do love going to their games. While I assume the role of being a Toronto Blue Jay’s fan since its the closest team to Buffalo, I found myself being a cheerleader for the Colorodo Rockies after my road trip stop in Denver with my uncle and grandpa. We went to the Rockies game one night and since their logo is “CR” for Chris Rumble of course, I decided they were my favorite team. But, when we found out Seattle was playing Colorado Friday night, I had to choose. We ended up buying cheap tourist Seattle t-shirts and Chris bought a Mariners hat so it looked like we kind of fit in. On our way to the game we got off the monorail at Pioneer Square and grabbed a drink at a bar named Sluggers. It was a Buffalo-esque sports bar with all the TVs with MLB games on and people wearing their jerseys.

The game of course, was fun and filling. The entire stadium smells of Kidd Valley Garlic Fries – just about the best garlic fries I’ve ever had. Chris said they would order these fries for kids at the hospital that were having a hard time eating because its one of the only things they were excited about getting down.

The next day was the day I had been waiting for – Puget Sound Orca Whale Watching.

I laugh about my fascination with killer whales because when I was two years old, my family took me to Sea World and I fell in love with Shamu. I came home with a Shamu stuffed animal and he was THE stuffed animal for me the rest of my childhood years. I never slept without him! Fast forward twenty-two years, after watching Blackfish and becoming more aware of what Sea World really is, I was excited to see Orca whales in their natural habitat – the ocean.

It was an early start to our day, needing to board the ferry boat at eight am. We found a window seat at a table with a mother and her daughter and awaited our three hour treck out to sea.

The Puget Sound is the water that Seattle is on and the boat journey took us up north through the Salish Sea – the waterways between Seattle and Canada that house many different islands that our boat had to weave in and out of.

It was a beautiful boat ride all the way up to Friday Harbor, Washington (San Juan Island) where we stopped our boat to begin the Whale Watching portion. Our ships tour guide and captain were told a family of Orcas were spotted up in the Canadian waters near Victoria, BC. So, we crossed into international waters and found the pod ranging from a couple calfs and adults.

Before I go any further, let me point out that there are two types of killer whales. Resident Orcas, ones that stay in this area, feed on salmon (which is why protecting our salmon from chemicals is the most important part or saving the whales!). Harmless, right? Well, we came across Transient Orcas who travel between Washington and Alaska – these guys feed on Harbor Seals.

We actually ended up witnessing this pod of Orcas hunt a poor Harbor Seal. They circled around the seal and the seal didn’t come up for air for probably thirty minutes. We thought for sure we would witness a National Geographic-esque hunt down. Luckily for the seal, he ended up escaping the Orcas surrounding and popped up onto land in probably his last minutes. Craziness!

It was really cool seeing killer whales in real life and in the ocean like this. They are such beautiful creatures and so interesting in the way they function  – nature is so amazing.

We boated back to Friday Harbor where we got off the boat to walk around town for a little bit. At this point we had sea legs and couldn’t really do much except sit and people watch. It wasn’t until almost nine o’clock at night until we got back to our hotel. It was quite a long day on a boat. I actually forgot how to walk when we got off for the night.

We only had those two days in Seattle so thats about as much as we did. But I can’t leave this post without honoring one of the best doughnut places I’ve ever been to (Sorry Paulas!) – Top Pot. If you ever go to Seattle, go here.

 

See you later, Seattle!

 

 


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