We started at Seattle Center, where museums nestle in the shadow of the Space Needle, which was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. From downtown, hop on the Seattle Center Monorail. Adult fare, $2.50 each way. 206-684-7200.
At Chihuly Garden and Glass (pictured above) in Seattle Center, artist Dale Chihuly’s brightly hued glass reeds and flowers looked as though they were growing among the greenery. Adult admission, $24. 206-753-4940.
At the nearby Seattle Glassblowing Studio, in 30 minutes you can create your own glistening flower, pumpkin, or other object. Prices start at $150. 206-448-2181.
The Museum of Pop Culture, Frank Gehry’s outrageously curvy, aluminum and stainless steel structure houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts from legendary Seattle-born rock ’n’ roll guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Adult admission, $28. 206-770-2700.
A friend drove us to the Fremont Troll, a playful 18-foot-high sculpture with a shiny hubcap eye. He lurks under the Aurora Bridge clutching a Volkswagen Beetle.
On our last day in the city, we walked the winding path around Seward Park, a 300-acre peninsula that juts into Lake Washington. We strolled through groves of Douglas firs and across grassy meadows, ending up at the beach where I learned to swim. I changed into my bathing suit and waded in. “It’s a lot colder than I remember,” I said. But I dove in, immersed in childhood memories.