When we set about planning our travels for 2021, it was determined that we needed to add a visit to the Northwest Coast. This is the region where our youngest son, Derek, had relocated and we had never seen this part of the country. Those two points would become the basis for our Epic Road Trip goals, which would land us on the outskirts of Seattle, Washington. By the time we rolled into Sammamish, where he resides, we had already logged over 24 hours of car seat time. The 1800 miles had passed quicker than we expected, as much of the landscape was foreign to our eyes. Now we had three days to soak up as much family time as he would allow.
Twin Peaks Vibe
We rolled into Sammamish in the late morning and met up with Derek for lunch. After refueling our bodies, we set off for some sightseeing with the D-Rock providing guidance. When he first moved to the Northwest, he was living in Snoqualmie. While the name may not be too familiar, the town’s most notable attraction has been seen by millions. Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the state of Washington. The 270-foot drop can be viewed by upper and lower platforms. Our visit occurred during the height of the wildfires, caused by drought. While the water flow was lower than normal, it offered a view of the rocky base that is usually obscured. The balance of our day was focused on the sights of Sammamish.
The following morning, we hopped on a bus and made our way into Seattle. After a tour of the Pike Place Market, we walked to Seattle Center, which is a huge complex of shops, museums, and attractions all inside of a park-like setting. We popped into the Museum of Pop Culture to check out a variety of familiar artifacts. One of my favorite sections was all about sci-fi in movies and television. The museum has pieces that range from classics like The War of the Worlds to modern-day hits like Men in Black. Catching sight of General Sarris, from Galaxy Quest, was certainly an unexpected delight for me.
An Otherworldly Experience
The three of us continued examining collections of items that ranged from extremely familiar to completely foreign. In the Science Fiction Hall, we found pieces easily recognizable. A lightsaber from Star Wars or Iron Man’s helmet was displayed near the mechanical skeleton of Terminator. In the Fantasy Worlds of Myth and Magic, they display weapons from The Lord of the Rings. We also spotted the Cowardly Lion’s outfit from The Wizard of Oz, which reminded us that we were far from our home in Kansas.
Chilling with D-Rock
A lot of the exhibits focus on various forms of music, including some Seattle grunge artists. We expected to see pieces from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but most enjoyed the section about Jimi Hendrix. Passing through the Guitar Gallery, we found instruments once played by artists like Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Slash from Guns and Roses. There was so much to take in, but we gave it our best try. Of course, we still had other places to see, so we wrapped up our visit with a short stop in the gift shop.
A structure that dominates the skyline is the Space Needle. It is definitely a tourist attraction, but we were tourists, after all. The 605-foot tall tower stands high above the surrounding neighborhood. After our elevator ride to the top, we stepped out onto a revolving glass platform. We could see the ground far below and as we rotated, were able to spot the museum we had just toured. The city laid out before us and we watched as ships and ferries navigated the Sound.
Epic Road Trip Goals Accomplished
We moved along and stepped out to enjoy some fresh air. An outdoor deck offers the ultimate selfie spot for those willing to lean back on the glass benches. This was definitely a memorable day filled with family fun. I checked off a downtown visit to Seattle, from our list of Epic Road Trip goals. As we made our way back to the bus stop, Derek led us along a scenic route. Trekking through the blocks of high-rises and skyscrapers prevented views of the waterway. In the end, it gave us time to just chat and hike, and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.