This is the first of a series of posts recalling my second annual trip to Seattle. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.
I'm using a book of lined paper as a flip book: One side is notes for these e-mails, flip side receipts and the like. Pardon if this is a little staccato. I don't want to steal too much time from others.
[NOW: I’m pretty sure the receipts/writing format fell a bit by the wayside as the trip progressed.]
There was a slight delay loading the Coho, though you could still go through the first customs and wait outside. Despite being nice out if a little cool, only one person besides me did so.
[NOW: The Coho is the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles.]
Vending machine wanting correct change for a Payday but wouldn't return a dollar bill I inserted. But it gave me coins as change when I added more money.
[NOW: That vending machine is no longer on the ferry and to my knowledge you can no longer get Payday bars on it.]
Wanted to catch the first bus, which left in five minutes so headed straight there instead of looking around (throughout the trip I factored being loaded down)
[NOW: At this point the transit center was still a few blocks east of the ferry terminal; now it’s a shorter distance to the west. Bus is the 30 Commuter; Clallum Transit.]
Saw on bus that my favourite buffet is still closed due to burst pipe (China First).
[NOW: Renovations have been completed for years now.]
Already nice out by 8:30 so grabbed breakfast to go at the McDonald's and changed to swim trunks in the bathroom there.
Visited a pet store with a very friendly cat I'd seen before. Worth visiting the pet store (forget name; right across from McDonald's in a shopping centre) just to meet the cat.
[NOW: The shopping centre is Washington Plaza. The pet ship is now a pet supplies shop; Best Friend Nutrition I think. The cat is still there.]
Slow news day: Sequim Gazette's front page story was the start of lavender season.
On way to Port Townsend there was a car flipped over; sadly this may be the second year in a row I encountered death on the first day of a trip to Seattle
[NOW: No more info there. The bus is the 7; Jefferson Transit]
On shuttle from park and ride to town and later on bus towards Poulsbo there was a husky guide dog on the busses.
[NOW: The busses were the number 11 and 7 respectively. Both were on the day pass I got at Sequim. I no longer take the 7 as part of my trip Seattle due to one of the times being cancelled, but I still take it the other direction.]
Separated from other stores there was a Radio Shack and Subway in front of a mountain.
Nothing to say really; only brief stopover.
[NOW: I can’t recall if I stopped at Poulsbo Village Shopping Center, right by Poulsbo Transit Center before getting on Kitsap Transit’s 90 bus.]
Spent more than usual on a burger on the ferry to save time later; arrived in Seattle 1:45
No real disorientation like last year; a lot was still pretty familiar
Unlike last year's hostel: $20 cash deposit, no towels unless rented, beer allowed in common areas, no pool table, less seats, but free dinner Tuesday Thursday, and Sunday.
[NOW: This time I stayed at the Green Tortoise due to the Youth Hostel International having closed down. The Green Tortoise was in a different location than the previous year, conveniently less than a block from Pike Place Market. However, I now stay at City Hostel Seattle for reasons I’ll get to in later trip reports. Both the Green Tortoise and City Hostel Seattle offer free Internet, so I was able to send the reports the same day, making the reports a bit more “fresh” than in 2006.]
I bought a couple DVDs at Swerve.
[NOW: This is a music and video store that I don’t recall seeing the previous year.]
[UPDATE December 23, 2012: Swerve has since closed down.]
Zanadu Comics keeps comics in the back and has user unfriendly database to search (can search by topics but not keywords so you may have to scroll 100s of pages; didn't bother)
Saw the Chief Sealth (Seattle) statue.
[NOW: This is in Belltown's Tillikum Place, just a few blocks from Seattle Center.]
I wanted to try something different so decided to go on the Ride the Ducks for day one. At 3pm there was still a 3:30 available. Comical ride. Vehicle did have trouble starting. Drive noted that the reason there's a lot of pig statues downtown is due to 50 year anniversary of Pike Market if memory serves. Ride the Ducks is amphibious so near the end of the trip it goes into a lake before returning to land.
[NOW: I wish I had had a digital camera instead of a film camera because there were lots of cute pig sculptures all around town. All but permanent ones like Rachel at Pike Place Market were gone the following year.]
Camera showing signs of wear. I did overdo it today. Hope it lasts out the week.
[NOW: As we’ll see, it did break down.]
International Fountain in Seattle Center not working.
[NOW: It did work before the end of the trip. Renovations are normal.]
I left the area for downtown again just after a Monorail left. I arrived at the Monorail station at the other end as next one was getting there
[NOW: I still haven’t ridden the Monorail due to the poor value for money. It was broken down the previous year so this was the first year I saw it in service.]
Bought DVDs at Borders including Troma films
[NOW: Borders sadly recently closed down all its locations.]
Recommend visiting Left Bank at Pike Place Market just to browse at alternative fare.
I took photos of the remains of last year's now closed hostel.
After a trip to another book store had the free dinner at Green Tortoise Hostel (excluding drink, which I paid for). Really good and healthy too
There's a pub crawl this eve but passed because it's a younger thing and could barely crawl myself after travelling.
Visited Elliott Bay Book Company (open late); fun and extensive book store to visit.
[NOW: At the time it was in the Pioneer Square District. It’s now farther away in Capitol Hill.]