We took a 6:30AM flight from San Jose Airport with American Airlines (operated by Alaska Airlines).
Arrived at SeaTac Airport on time around 8:30AM and we headed straight to Pike Place Market after getting our luggage and obtaining our rental car (through Alamo Rentals). We arrived at Pike Place around 9AM and found parking in one of the garages nearby.
We made sure to get to the first Starbucks store on Pike Place and then walked around and took in the sites in the Market including Pike Place Fish, etc. It is an amazing open market place with plenty of fresh produce, flowers and interesting items for sale. This summer marks it's 100th anniversary so there are banners displaying this occasion in/around the market.
We bought some souvenirs and some food (fresh cherries and hot Chinese pastries) while taking in all the things happening in the market.
After checking out Pike Place Market, we made our way down the hill to the Seattle Waterfront and passed the Aquarium and other stores, etc. and decided to have lunch at Ivar's Acres of Clams.
After finishing up our lunch of Ivar's Dungeness Crab Fondue Dip, Ivar's World Famous Chowder (white) and Ivar's World Famous Fried Fish 'n Chips we headed out to the Columbia Center (formerly known as Bank of America Tower).
The views from the Columbia Center were amazing! The Space Needle is dwarfed in comparison to the Columbia Center (that is a picture of the Space Needle taken from the observation room). It was a little tricky finding the right elevators etc. to get to the 73rd floor (where the observation room is), but we found it. Although, as mentioned, it does not have 360 degree views, you get a very clear view of the majority of the city and surrounding areas.
After the tower, it was time to check into our hotel. We were staying at the Doubletree Hotel in Seatac (right next to the airport).
It was a nice hotel which we got a great deal on for room rates via Priceline. I would consider staying there again if visiting Seattle (if we didn't choose to stay in the downtown area). For quite a bit less price (than staying in downtown), you get a decent room to sleep in and your only about 15 minutes or so away from getting back to downtown Seattle. Of course, if someone was to stay here, you would need a rental car.
To cap off our first night in Seattle, we headed back downtown to catch a Seattle Mariners game. They were playing the Cincinnati Reds this weekend.
Friday night's game was the first of the series and was definitely a special night/game as it was Ken Griffey Jr.'s first game back since being dealt from the Mariners to the Reds after the 1999 season. He was given a presentation before the game and was wildly cheered during every at-bat. It was a little surreal being at a game not in Oakland or San Francisco (the two teams that we see, since we are from the SF Bay Area), but was very exciting and memorable. Safeco Field is very comparable to ATT Park in San Francisco and I might have to say it may even be more "prettier" too (although, very close) due to its clear views of the city's skyline, etc. The Reds ended up winning 16-1! Griffey only went 1-5 and was out of the game after the 6th (because the Reds were beating the Mariners pretty bad already), but it was still exciting to see him and the reception he received in Seattle.
After the game, we decided to catch a movie since it's hard for us to go to the movie theatres nowadays due to two little ones (haha). We watched "Knocked Up" at the Regal Meridian 16 on 7th Avenue. It was a hilarious movie and luckily it was, because if it wasn't I for sure would have fallen asleep (the show we caught was a little after 10PM).
We went straight back to the hotel afterwards and crashed as we had been up all day practically (had to get up at about 3AM or so to finish packing and get ready to leave the house for the airport).