At the moment the Dave Matthews Band tickets went on sale for Labor Day weekend, it was fate. Upon also realizing that the trip would include a stop in a music mecca, and then realizing that two must see 90's classic TV show filming locations were located conveniently along the route between Seattle and The Gorge...it was going to be a priceless experience.
The takeoff song was planned and this kicked off the journey to the Pacific Northwest.
Evergreens. Love. Welcome to Seattle.
Day two became a day to pay tribute to all things grunge. First stop was at The Museum of Pop Seattle (MoPOP for all you cook kids). First up was to see the new Pearl Jam exhibit.
The museum also pays homage to Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, as well and hosts other rotating events. The Chris Cornell statue unveiling was moved from it's August date ... so another trip is needed to see it.
Music history sightseeing makes you hungry so the adventure continued to Toulouse Petit, a wonderful culinary delight in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. Music history sightseeing also makes you thirsty and want to play pinball. Highly recommend this Rudy's-esque Coney Island-themed bar, Shorty's on the lower part of Queen Anne. Of course we met more friends there ... and played some pinball as well!
However, there was still music history to explore and no better place to continue than in picturesque Kerry Park. Gorgeous views of the skyline, but for music lovers, also the location of a famous Andrew Wood photo, arms wide open and embracing all things rock and fabulous.
Day Three: A visit to TV history on the way to The Gorge.
The morning started out the way you imagine a Seattle morning starting out with the cliche rain and fog. But for the drive ahead it was perfect. For this morning, I would visit the homes of two of my all time favorite TV shows: Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure. Both are quirky but one is dark and the other funny. Both had an impact on me growing up. Have you ever visited the town of
your favorite TV show? Do it! If it exists, it is a priceless experience. And if you are a Twin Peaks fanatic, you must check out Twin Peaks Tours. He is a true fan that we met
along the way and will guide you through Agent Cooper's arrival to the final place Laura Palmer was seen by James Hurley. Snoqualmie and North Bend are quaint towns that are worth visiting even if you are not a fan. Don't forget to stop by Twede's Cafe to get a hot cup of coffee as black as the sky on a moonless night and damn fine slice of cherry pie.
The drive from Seattle along route 90 is magical and if you're never seen real mountains before, you will be amazed. Next Stop: Cicely Alaska, real name Rosyln.Walking the streets where the characters actually filmed both shows was unforgettable and quite priceless. Walking into The Brick for a beer and strolling along the main street was a highlight.
Day Three Continued: The Gorge
The landscape shifts drastically from green and rocky mountains to the desert. Close your eyes and you can make yourself believe you're in the Southwest. We made our home for the next three days in Ellensburg. A college town that also hosts a rodeo on Labor Day weekend.The anticipation was growing to see the venue. Touted as one of the best live music venues, the Gorge Amphitheater sits above the Columbia River, giving the concert goer a magnificent view before enjoying the show. And magnificent it truly is.
On to the show. This year's DMB shows included The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Moon Taxi, and Margo Price. And as the sun set, the Big Dipper could be seen sitting perfectly above the stage.
Three nights and 63 Dave Matthews Band songs. Perfect weather. Perfect crowd. The experience was worth traveling thousands of miles. Seeing families, couples, friends, all gather to enjoy music under the stars and create memories seems to be the goal of shows at The Gorge.
The drive back to Seattle via Route 2 was just as stunning and breathtaking as driving on Route 90 through Snoqualmie Pass. Slow, the desert scene shifted back to evergreens. But there was still one more music adventure to take in Seatttle.
Easy Street Records in West Seattle is probably most famous for the Mother Love Bone Mural (re-painted a few years ago by Jeff Ament). You can go there for food and to shop for some great music. They also host many live events. And if you're in the neighborhood, I suggest you take a drive to Alki Beach. Totally not expecting this gorgeous beach oasis. BUT so worth visiting.
Vacations are for relaxing I suppose, so a visit to one of Seattle's sensory deprivation floating tanks was in order. While there are several, Level Float Spa caught my eye because they also offer neuro spa, light and sensory therapy (and they also offer unlimited packages!). Not familiar with sensory deprivation floating? Check out this post for more information.
Of course we dined at Pikes Place Market but we wanted somewhere that the locals frequent. A nice dinner before heading back to reality. It was ironically named The Brooklyn. Once we were inside, I understood that they were trying to replicate the 50's Brooklyn diner with a bit of Dick Tracy - like mystique and exaggeration. The food was amazing.
Let me repeat this ... the food was amazing. No egg creams, but they do specialize in local fare full of flavor and originality.
It's always very sad leaving a new place that your soul totally is into, but alas, that time arrived. Two more stops before the airport.
Dicks. Admittedly, very good for fast food. I also regret not getting the shake. But save room for your amazing meal and wonderful service in Georgetown's Nine Pound Hammer. We never would have found this place if it was not for our hotel concierge. Funky and out of the way makes Nine Pound Hammer a new favorite.
The trip, over too fast. New friends. Old friends. Lots of music. Evergreens. An adventure with my best friend. Highly recommend Seattle.
|PMCarlson 2018 - Kerry Park|