I haven't even visited Atlanta's Aquarium, which is right in my backyard, and allegedly the largest aquarium in the world, so clearly aquariums aren't on the top of my priority list. I didn't really care whether or not we made it to Seattle's. Jacob is somewhat of an aquarium aficionado, though, and was apparently on a mission to do some comparing (read: judging), so it was our first stop.
Besides the super bizarre "show" that involved one of the aquarium's staff members underwater in full scuba gear answering kids' questions from inside one of the aquariums, along with the ridiculously adorable sea otters, I thought the aquarium was just alright.
We rode the monorail from the center of town and arrived right in the middle of a cluster of tourist attractions, including the Space Needle and an oddly-shaped, flashy building that houses the EMP Pop Culture museum.
Based on the description in our Seattle guide book - "EMP is a museum dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary popular culture" - I wasn't sure what this place was all about. But when we walked in, Michael Jackson's Thriller video was playing on one wall, a floor to ceiling tower of guitars was in the center of the room and this sign was hanging above the door, so I knew I'd probably like what I'd find.
And I did.
We stayed mostly in the music area of the museum, which included exhibits on two Seattle-born music groups - Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. Since I was already somewhat familiar with both of these acts and am a sucker for history and memorabilia, I was in music history museum heaven.
Also, in addition to his insane guitar skills, Jimi Hendrix had an amazing fashion sense. What's not to love?
No surprise, Jacob's favorite part of the EMP Museum was the Sound Lab where visitors can go into actual sound-proof studios and play instruments as loudly as they want.
The Chihuly Garden and Glass was my most favorite of the touristy places we visited that day, and while I'm not necessarily here to give you my recommendations, I will strongly advise you put this on your list if you're headed to Seattle.
Dale Chihuly is an Washington-born artist and glass blower who has created glass installations all over the world. This exhibit and garden includes eight glass galleries, including a suspended 1400-piece, 100-foot long sculpture.
Having learned all that goes into blowing glass several years ago, I couldn't have been more fascinated and impressed by these installations. The sheer size of the intricate designs blew me away. And talk about color? This place made the Pike Market seem drab.
Our day ended in my most favorite way - with an outdoor concert drinking craft beers. Specifically, Furthur at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington.
This required us to take a 20-minute bus ride from Seattle to Redmond, Washington. Getting off the beaten path was exciting, and made us feel like locals - right down to encountering our first unpleasant Seattle person - the bus driver.
Word to the wise: Do NOT board a bus in Seattle without correct change.