Trip Report: Hyatt Olive 8, Altura, Eden Hill, and more in Seattle

Ed. Note: This is the final post in our six-part series of “Trip Reports” from our recent trip to Seattle, British Columbia and Alaska aboard the Celebrity Solstice. You may also enjoy parts 1234, and 5.

Once we’d disembarked and said goodbye to the Celebrity Solstice, it was a quick cab over to the Hyatt at Olive 8 hotel in downtown Seattle to check in for our post-cruise stay. We had booked the trip with the two free nights available through the Chase Hyatt Visa card, meaning our room (which ordinarily would have run for around $350 or higher) was totally free.

Our King room at the Hyatt at Olive 8 in Seattle

Our King room at the Hyatt at Olive 8

The bathrooms at the Hyatt at Olive 8 in Seattle.

The bathrooms at the Hyatt at Olive 8. I’m so not a fan of all the hotels replacing their soaker tubs with standing showers.

Even better, because I’m a Hyatt Diamond member, we also received a free breakfast credit each morning that covered our coffees and scones at the onsite coffee bar. So all, told, between our flights, pre-cruise hotel, post-cruise hotel, and onboard MLife benefits, we saved roughly $2,200 on the total cost of this vacation through travel hacking.

After dropping off our luggage, we decided to take advantage of the sunny day and headed over to the Washington Park Arboretum.  The arboretum was pretty, but many parts were actually under construction, so we tired out after about an hour or so.

The duck pond at the Arboretum in Seattle was full of lilypads.

The duck pond at the Arboretum was full of lilypads.

The Japanese Maples set among the pines at the Arboretum in Seattle.

The Japanese Maples set among the pines at the Arboretum.

The next stop on our agenda was famed food-trailer-turned-greasy-spoon, Skillet. I think I first heard of Skillet years ago on the tv show Eat Street, and with mention of their homemade “bacon jam”, I knew it was my destiny to visit this restaurant.  And we were not disappointed.  I ordered the “Ultimate Grilled Cheese” with bacon jam, which was tasty, though a little overly-sweet for my tastebuds. The hubby ordered the fried chicken sammy with added bacon, and poutine in place of fries.

The grilled cheese sandwich at Skillet in Seattle.

The cheese overflowed from the grilled cheese sandwich.

The BLT with poutine fries at Skillet in Seattle.

It may look like dogfood but this stuff was fantastic.

The winner of the meal? The poutine. It was totally delicious. Some of the best I’ve ever had.

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The guitar chandelier at the EMP.

After lunch, we headed over to the Experience Music Project (EMP) to take a look at some music history. After exploring the history of the guitar, Nirvana, and Jimi Hendrix exhibits, we headed up to the special traveling exhibit on Star Trek.  And man, was the hubby in nerd heaven!

The stairs leading to the Star Trek Exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

The stairs leading to the Star Trek Exhibit.

The hubby as Borg at the Star Trek Exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

The hubby as Borg.

The Star Trek Exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

The hubby with scale models of all four starships.

Once we’d finished at the EMP, we headed down to waterfront for happy hour — oyster happy hour, that is. At Elliot’s Oysters, we sampled a dozen local oysters from their impressive selection for only $1.50 an oyster. Not wanting to spoil our dinner, we managed somehow to stop after the first dozen.

More than 20 different local oyster varieties at Elliot's in Seattle.

More than 20 different local oyster varieties at Elliot’s.

And it was good that we did. That night, we dined at Eden Hill Restaurant, and this would immediately become BY FAR the best meal we had this trip.  We did a sampling of small plates that were all fantastic.

Crab cake appetizer at Eden Hill in Seattle.

Crab cake appetizer at Eden Hill.

Lamb tartare at Eden Hill in Seattle.

Lamb tartare at Eden Hill.

The crispy pig head "candy bar" at Eden Hill in Seattle.

The crispy pig head “candy bar” at Eden Hill.

My favorite was the “crispy pig head candy bar” which was succulent, unctious shredded pig meat stuffed inside some sort of sweet-ish fried dough.

Salmon with seabean chimichurri at Eden Hill in Seattle.

Salmon with seabean chimichurri at Eden Hill.  This one wasn’t my favorite.

Lick the Bowl at Eden Hill in Seattle.

Lick the Bowl at Eden Hill.

The hubby’s favorite was dessert, a dish called “Lick the Bowl,” came with a sweet and buttery pound cake with a foie gras/cake batter “frosting” that you could spread onto the pound cake. It was then topped with a strawberry syrup and rainbow sprinkles.  It was so good, he can’t stop talking about it ever since we got back.

Finally, we ended Friday night with a trip to the Can Can Cabaret in the Pike Place Market.  it was a great show, but sadly, pictures weren’t allowed 🙂

The next morning, we awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed for a trip down to Everett, Washington for a tour of the Boeing factory. My aviation-loving hubby thought it was really cool to see where all the big jets were made, and we were able to see 747, 777, and 787 production areas.

The hubby in the cockpit of one of the original Boeing 707 aircrafts on the Boeing Factory Tour near Seattle.

The hubby in the cockpit of one of the original Boeing 707 aircrafts.

After the tour, we headed to the Pike Place market to try to find some lunch, but what we found was a zoo instead.  Whether because it was a weekend, or because the sun was out, the market was totally packed and we eventually retreated to a lackluster tourist trap for lunch, before heading back to the hotel to rest a bit.

That afternoon, we decided to check out the Capitol Hill neighborhood and take in the lovely weather at a bar called the Lookout, which indeed offered a great view of downtown Seattle below.

The view of the Space Needle and downtown from the Lookout Bar in Seattle.

The view of the Space Needle and downtown from the Lookout Bar.

For our final meal of the trip, we met up with some friends at Altura, a small Italian restaurant with a focus on local ingredients.  It was also very good, though no particularly standout dishes like at Eden Hill.

The beef crudo with bone marrow chip and poached egg at Altura in Seattle.

The beef crudo with bone marrow chip and poached egg at Altura.

The duck liver pate with biscotti and whipped Campari at Altura in Seattle.

The duck liver pate with biscotti and whipped Campari at Altura.

The duck breast with pickled cherries at Alturra in Seattle.

The duck breast with pickled cherries at Altura.

Finally, to close out the evening and our trip as a whole, we headed over to the Pacific Science Theater where they were doing a special edition Prince Laser Light Show.  It was a fun way to end what had been an incredible trip, and we were very sad to climb on a plane the next morning to head home.

A great view of the Space Needle from the Pacific Science Theater in Seattle.

A great view of the Space Needle from the Pacific Science Theater.

So, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed my series of trip reports from our 2016 Alaska trip, and I look forward to sharing about some of our other upcoming trips soon!

Whitney