Our fourth and final activity included in our Seattle City Pass—after the Seattle Aquarium, Space Needle, and Chihuly Garden and Glass—was a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo.
I’m a big fan of animals, and I enjoyed the aquarium, so I thought the zoo would be one of my favorite attractions of the trip, but unfortunately, it was massively underwhelming.
A lot of it probably had to do with the fact that it seemed like over half of the zoo was closed due to COVID-19. There were signs everywhere directing human traffic in one-way directions so people wouldn’t have to walk in close proximity of one another. On top of that, for the exhibits that were open, it seemed like the animals just wanted to spend the day hiding out today.
Apparently the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is frequently rated as one of the best zoos in the country, so I imagine that I would have to come back some other time if I’m ever in Seattle again after the pandemic, but for now, based on the very limited zoo experiences I’ve had, I’d say that the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha was much, much better.
Monica and I spent a total of over three hours at the zoo, and towards the end, I was getting a bit discouraged and started taking random photos of signs, placards, and empty habitats because there was seemingly nothing else to photograph. I think the following picture captures the core sentiment of what I felt like I got out of this experience:
After our visit to the Seattle Aquarium and the Space Needle, our final stop of the day was at Chihuly Garden and Glass, a museum and exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glasswork.
I adore animals, so out of today’s three attractions, the aquarium was my favorite, but the glass museum came in a close second. I had never seen anything like this before, and it was interesting seeing something seemingly as plain and boring as glass be sculpted into such interesting art pieces.
Similar to the aquarium, the glass museum also had both an indoor and outdoor portion. The outdoor segment had glass art pieces mixed in with the garden, and it was interesting not only to see man-made art mixed in with nature, but to see the reflections of surrounding attractions on the glass.
After our trip to the Seattle Aquarium, our next stop was the Space Needle, a spire and observation deck in Seattle Center.
With a name like “Space Needle,” I thought this would be an astronomically tall structure with explosive views in every direction. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed, as it was actually only 605 feet tall.
To put that into perspective, the condominium I live at in Las Vegas stands just shy of 500 feet tall, and the Stratosphere nearby on the Strip stands nearly double the height of the Space Needle, at 1,149 feet. I had actually also recently dined in at the Top of the World restaurant on the 106th floor of the Strat. Considering that, coupled with the fact that the view of my balcony is about the same height as the Space Needle, and you can imagine that I’m pretty desensitized to heights.
With that being said, it was still a nice view, and I think anyone who doesn’t already live the high-rise life would definitely appreciate it.
These are photos of Seattle from the observation deck, going counter-clockwise.
I still haven’t managed to figure out which mountain is which, and every time I ask, I usually get the answer of “I think that’s Mt. St. Helens, but I’m not sure” … so here is a picture of downtown Seattle with a mountain in the background, and I think that’s Mt. St. Helens, but I’m not sure.
And here’s Monica. I’m definitely sure that this is Monica.
I tasked Monica (Tempo‘s mobile esports manager) to build us a fun itinerary for our stay in Seattle, so she got us some city tourism passes that lets us see a handful of different attractions for a discounted price. Our first stop was the Seattle Aquarium.
I had my first aquarium visit over three years ago at the Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (this was back when I still lived in Southern California). Then about a year ago, I went with Monica and one of my former co-workers to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, NE. Today, Monica joined me again for my third aquarium visit.
This aquarium was an interesting hybrid of a multi-building indoor/outdoor aquarium. I don’t recall the Shark Reef Aquarium too well, and the aquarium in Omaha was mixed in with a zoo, so I’d say that this aquarium in Seattle was the most memorable aquarium experience I had. I have a lot more photos from the visit, but as you’d imagine, it was pretty dim inside the aquarium, so not too many of my photos came out nice and crisp.
Out of the three attractions we visited today, I’d say that this one was my favorite one.
This is probably pretty obvious from my blog posts from the past few days, but in case you’re reading this standalone—I traveled with Tempo Storm to X Games Minneapolis 2019 because our Apex Legends team was competing in the EXP Invitational.
Unfortunately, I can’t actually watch first-person perspective gameplay, as I get severe motion sickness. But, I decided to attend anyway for two main reasons: (1) Jordan King was attending and I don’t get to see him in person too often, and (2) I got excited about the greater X Games event, broadcasted on ESPN.
I’m sure this goes without saying, but I enjoyed checking out the other X Games events better than the EXP Invitational, because I was able to actually watch and experience them, instead of just looking away from the big screen during Apex Legends gameplay and taking quick naps in hopes of not vomiting from getting too dizzy.
Tempo Storm’s Apex Legends team fell short of earning a medal, as we placed 5th, two positions shy of bronze. However, there were 20 total teams competing, so I guess I can’t be too
upset, as things could’ve ended up being a whole lot worse. This fifth-place placement was with a substitute player as well—our regular in-game leader lives in Mexico and could not get his visa sorted out in time—so with all things considered, I actually probably shouldn’t be upset at all.
Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157710145589612
The EXP Invitational – Apex Legends at X Games Minneapolis 2019 is taking place in full force, but the games don’t start until later on in the afternoon. Although I’ve mostly been a night person all my life, I started waking up quite a bit earlier, and this morning, I joined my friend Jordan Kelly (who also accompanied me on my hiking trips in Las Vegas) and visited St. Paul, Minnesota.
I’m pretty terrible at using public transportation, so I just followed Jordan around as he brought me on a train and got me accustomed to using the Lime scooter rental system. We went and visited a handful of historic landmarks and other points of interest.
Usually, I’m not really a fan of “old stuff,” but after visiting St. Paul, I realized that old stuff can have its own kind of appeal. Those who know me closely know that I essentially ragequit my former Master’s program because my university forced me to take a ton of history classes that I was not interested in, as a mandatory requirement for my degree. Even with that kind of mindset, I felt like what I saw in St. Paul was rich and deep enough to pique my interest.
We wanted to get back to Minneapolis in time to watch Tempo Storm compete, so we were on a pretty fast-paced exploration path and I didn’t really get to remember where we went. So, unfortunately, I don’t have labels or captions for any of these photos, as I don’t quite recall what anything actually was.
Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157710146931707