A late idea we considered for our trip was to rent e-bikes for exploring some of the great parks that Seattle boasts (and to work off some of the calories too). However, we sadly found out that reservations were required and being Labor Day weekend, none were available. So, we decided to do the next best thing (and possibly more aerobic) and take some long walks.
Our early Saturday morning walk was in Centennial Park with a great water view along Elliot Bay and Puget Sound. As we walked further up the bay, we could see huge cruise ships moored for their next excursion, probably to Alaska.
Our next walk took us over to Ballard Locks where on a busy holiday Saturday, we saw many huge yachts and pleasure craft lining up for the drop down to sea-level. Once closed, it was amazing to watch how fast the water drained from the lock lowering the boats down. Then it was over to the fish ladder which is a part of the locks. Walking across the dam, we could see schools of salmon near the entrance in almost a bull pen-like fashion warming up for their multitude of jumps necessary to scale the many stairs.
Inside is an underwater glass window that you can see them as they make their journey up the ladder.
With two good walks under our belt, we felt like we had earned lunch and another flight of beer…
… before hitting our second craft brewery of the day. It was here that I first noticed we were the oldest people there, something I began to watch for after that. Good thing there is no upper age limit on enjoying good beer.
Needing to work off more calories, we took our third walk of the day at the nearby Gas Works Park, so named as the site of the former coal gasification plant from the early 1900s. Interesting remnants of the old plant are still there…
… along with nice views of Seattle and the water.
With continuously gusty winds, it is a popular site to fly kites.
Now with even more steps to our credit, we hit one more craft brewery before sitting down for dinner at our fourth brew pub of the day…
… overlooking Puget Sound.
On Sunday, we took a short drive down to Tacoma, birthplace of Dale Chihuly where some of his artwork is on display in public settings. Many of his now familiar shapes grace the old train station—now courthouse, the university across the street and a walking bridge that goes over the highway and connects to the Museum of Glass. Here you can see scores of priceless pieces secured behind glass.
Obviously, we had a couple more rounds of local beer in Tacoma before returning to our dinner brewpub in Seattle.
Monday being Labor Day, we took the day off from our “work” and spent a relaxing day with my daughter and her family. In the afternoon, we took the boys to a nearby park where having enjoyed flying a kite with my granddaughter earlier in this year, I tried to have a fun session with my oldest grandson. Unlike the high winds at the Gas Works Park, the wind here would not cooperate.
That night, being our last full night together, we decided to pick up pizza and enjoy some of the local beer we had purchased at the grocery store while watching the sunset from our rooftop deck. Picture this lovely dinner view with soft jazz music playing from that small orange speaker while the sun went down. It was a perfect capping off for our visit.
Tuesday morning, we took in another long walk along the waterfront grabbing breakfast from a tasty biscuit shop before returning to our condo to pack up and check out. We then ran by my daughter’s house to drop off some items and a chance for one last goodbye.
My brother had a red-eye flight back to Philadelphia that night but that left us plenty of time to stop at one of my favorite museums near the airport, the Museum of Flight or what my grandsons simply refer to as the “airplane museum.”
With grandkids in tow, we often spend a good bit of time in this play area before exploring the many planes in the museum. We usually take in lunch over a two to three hour visit sometimes running from one display to the next to keep up with the grandkids. But this visit would be different as my grandsons were in school/preschool and it would be just my brother and me.
In one huge hall, there is a fleet of historical airplanes either parked on the carpet or suspended from the ceiling. We spent almost an hour just in here before breaking for a healthy lunch.
After lunch, we explored the military wing with WWI planes on one floor and WWII planes on another floor.
The museum also boasts a reproduction of the original “Red Barn,” the first Boeing plant where wooden and then later metal planes were built. Across an elevated bridge is the space exploration wing along with their outdoor static display of historical planes.
There we got to walk through one of the few remaining SST Concordes, the very first Air Force One jet airplane which carried presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon, the very first Boeing 747 ever built, and a most impressive modern 787, the Dreamliner. We both hoped one day we would be able to fly on one of those.
We had a great time but in spite of spending over four hours there, still could not read all of the information about the planes.
Leaving there we had just enough time for me to check into my hotel for the night and grab dinner at one last brewpub close by before dropping off my brother for his overnight flight.
Obviously, beer featured prominently in this BroGo but being in the Pacific Northwest, seafood was our typical meal fare. I lost track of the times we had a delicious Salmon BLT along with salad or chowder. If you have never had a salmon BLT, you should definitely try one.
In our drive and over dinner, we were able to discuss what a successful trip it had been. Thanks to my brother’s extensive upfront research and careful planning out of our days, we hit 13 breweries/brewpubs on his list over our six and a half days together. At seven of these, we enjoyed a flight of either four or six samples (most just 4 oz. samples) and along with the pints we had at the others enabled us to try at least 50 new beers (an unaudited count).
And we got to have a couple of nice visits with my daughter and her family as well.
As always, part of our discussion focused on what our next BroGo would be. We have a couple of ideas for 2022, one of which got canceled last year because of the pandemic. So, stay tuned to find out what our next beer adventure will be!