I gallivant all over the world, but some of my favourite karaoke adventures have come in my home country, the United States. For example, this past summer, I had an incredible time visiting, and singing in, Seattle. Although I was in town for less than 24 hours, I made every second count.
It came about as follows: in July I spent several days in Alaska. My return itinerary from Anchorage to Newark included a connecting flight in Seattle; and never having been to that city, when I was booking the trip I’d made my layover there into an overnight stay. This would enable me to add a new city to my World Karaoke Tour. 🙂 My arrival in Seattle was planned for a Saturday night, and I knew that would be a prime night for singing opportunities. Also on my agenda were seeing some of the distinctive architecture for which the Emerald City is famous; and feeling the vibe of a town that’s often regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world.
Seattle joins the World Karaoke Tour
Naturally, karaoke was my very first activity after I rolled into town on Saturday evening, July 6. After landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, I rushed to my downtown hotel to check in and change into a fresh set of clothes for my karaoke appearance. Then I headed to the Hula Hula Lounge, a tiki-themed bar in Seattle’s Queene Anne neighbourhood that I’d pre-selected for the occasion based on its very promising Yelp reviews. Joining me there was my friend Haley, who lives in Seattle and whom I’d met just a month earlier at a travel bloggers’ conference in Toronto. My flight from Anchorage had been delayed, so I didn’t get to the bar until about 11:30 pm.
Due to the combination of a large crowd and my late arrival, I only had the chance to get in one song in my Seattle karaoke debut. My selection was “True” by Spandau Ballet — a one-hit wonder from the 1980s that I consistently enjoy singing. Among my other memorable renditions of “True,” I’d previously done that song in Frankfurt, Germany in September 2012. Here you can watch my performance of it at Hula Hula in Seattle:
Haley deserves credit, by the way, for the excellent job she did serving as videographer. As she captured so well, the crowd was totally into this song; and their enthusiasm made my time on stage even more fun than usual.
When I returned the mic to its stand, Washington State had just become the 16th U.S. state in which I’ve sung karaoke (to go along with a total of 30 different countries in which I’ve performed). U.S. state number 17 for me will be Florida, when I hit Miami in February 2014.
Checking out Seattle’s downtown
The following day, I embarked on a self-guided walking tour in Seattle’s highly walkable city centre. One of the highlights was the main branch of Seattle’s Public Library, which has to be the best-looking library I’ve ever seen. I also rode the monorail to the Space Needle, a tower that, along with the monorail, was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. I made sure to take in the view from the Space Needle’s observation deck; and I hiked up a steep hill to Kerry Park, from which there are dramatic vistas of the Space Needle. Incidentally, the photo at the top of this blog post was not taken at Kerry Park; it’s a cheesy souvenir photo that I purchased at the Space Needle. They snap your pic in front of a white background, and then superimpose you on top of an image of your choice. 🙂
As with so many of my excursions, my exploration of Seattle was over far too quickly. I can’t wait to get back there for more quality time! That could happen as early as 2014; I’m looking to plan a visit to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle — being a scant 164 miles south of Vancouver — would pair well with B.C.’s most populous city. Plus, I now know from experience that Seattle has excellent karaoke. 🙂