Feelin’ sky-high in Seattle
Sara Tesch of Roy High School poses against the glass walls of the Space Needle in Seattle on a recent visit.
The Space Needle in Seattle.
The view below from the glass floor of the Space Needle in Seattle.
The entrance to Pike's Place Market in Seattle.
Sarah Tesch of Roy High School blows a bubble in front of the gum wall near the entrance to Pike's Place Market in Seattle.
A section of the gum wall, located in an alley near the entrance to Seattle's Pike's Place Market.
When I first heard that my performing arts group was going to Seattle, I thought of two things: the movie ”Sleepless in Seattle” and the Space Needle.
Now, I’ve always wanted to go to the top of the Space Needle, and I will definitely not pass up on an opportunity to go on vacation, so I jumped at the chance to go on this trip with the Roy High School choir, drama, orchestra and band.
We first embarked on an extremely long bus ride, broken up by many breaks at lonely truck stops. Eventually, we made it to Snoqualmie Falls, east of Seattle, which was a great place to rest for a few minutes. The falls were so pretty. It might be helpful to take some binoculars so you can see the waterfalls better!
Next, we got back on our buses and headed toward the capital city of Washington. Once we arrived in Seattle, we stopped at Pike’s Place Market, which was an amazing cultural experience. There was so much to see, I could have spent days there.
One thing that intrigued me at the market was all the fresh produce in the farmer’s market section. I had heard that Washington is known for its great apples, so of course, I had to buy some. They were the best apples I’ve ever tasted. Besides the apples, I discovered some of the best mac and cheese ever and tasted lavender ice cream for the first time. Yes, lavender ice cream! It was very delicious.
The market was also full of unique, funky art everywhere, which constantly caught my eye.
The next day, we visited the Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP. This museum was so exciting and unique — I’ve never seen anything like it. There was a large music recording section, which was filled with interactive instruments that drew the attention of many of my classmates. We recorded our own songs, and I got to tinker with some exciting remixing equipment!
Another thing that I really liked about the MoPOP was how the building was built. It is truly an architectural marvel! The museum is very colorful, inside and out. I got to explore a large horror movie exhibit, and I saw a huge collection of cool guitars. It was so interesting to see famous objects from movies, like a black witch hat from “The Wizard of Oz.”
After the MoPOP, we headed to the Space Needle! I got my first glimpses of it from our bus and I felt so happy! It’s one thing to see the Needle in photos, but it’s completely different to see it in person. It was much taller than I thought it’d be.
The Space Needle was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. Something amazing about the Space Needle is that it was built in just one year! It cost $4.5 million to build. During the World’s Fair, nearly 20,000 people per day rode the elevator to the observation deck.
Just a few years ago, the Space Needle underwent lots of renovations. There is a newer section where the floor is all glass! I had the chance to go on this floor, and it was so exciting! Everything looked so tiny below my feet. It took 43 gut-wrenching seconds to climb all 605 feet of the Space Needle (thankfully we were all packed tightly in the elevator!).
When I finally got out of the elevator, I was astounded! The view was beautiful! I could see Seattle, mountains in the distance, and the bay was also an amazing sight. It was a little disorienting at first, because the “walls” are completely made of glass! That meant I had an unobstructed view of Seattle, but it also made me feel a little dizzy. After a few minutes, I started feeling better. I began taking photos, and then I started to get brave.
I climbed on top of a bench and actually leaned — front facing out — against the glass wall. This was crazy! Then, I turned so my back was against the wall and I started talking with my friends. I felt very safe but scared at the same time! My experience of conquering the Space Needle is something I hope to remember for a long time.
Another exciting place we visited was the University of Washington. This school is beautiful! The buildings on campus had stunning architectural details and there were large trees everywhere. At the campus, we had a choral workshop, which taught us about tone and dynamics while singing.
Next, we had a little more free time at Pike’s Place Market, where we discovered many murals that were hidden all across the market. Later that night, we got back to our hotel, which was very bittersweet. It was our last night on tour, which was sad.
What made me happy was the fact that I had gained many new experiences and met several new friends. On our trip, we performed once at an amazing cathedral in downtown Seattle. We just sang for pleasure, but the acoustics in the chapel were phenomenal and I will remember that performance for many years to come. The opportunities I had on this performing arts tour are things I may never get to see or experience again. I am very grateful for the chance I had to visit Seattle.
As the line from the “Sleepless in Seattle” movie goes, “It was like coming home, only to no home I’d ever known.”