Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 4 Thursday July 24, 2008


This is the fourth of a series of posts recalling my third 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.

Yawn.  Very sleepy this morning.  Someone (I think the same guy who wants to have sex with every girl he meets but not really) got up at around 3 am to pack.  Unfortunately this proved to be about an hour long process with his bunk light on and his curtains open.  I think he's an alcoholic because I heard him drinking something, he put on something like Vaseline as if to cover another scent, and at one point he locked himself out and when he pounded to be let back in rather than asking security for help his voice was slurred.  There was also a period of about five minutes or so where he just sat on his well-lit bunk doing nothing.  Even if my guess was wrong, he was incredibly rude.  I considered saying something to him but given he sounded like he had a temper when he pounded on the door, probably good that I didn't.

At least one person managed to sleep through him judging by the snoring. Looks a bit overcast right now but it's early. Time to eat breakfast and get a lot of caffeine in me to counteract the effect of my neighbour.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

Well marginally late start for me by this trip's standards (just after 8 am).  Walked to the Olympic Sculpture Park.  Disappointingly they hadn't added much since last year, though there's a bunch of giant road cones I don't recall from year, and the tree beside the ampersand on a pole is more bare than last year.  Shot some video.

[NOW: That art piece is called Love & Loss]

En route to the park I encountered a strangely familiar looking ship.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but despite never passing by the area before, somehow the Victoria Clipper reminded me of some ship from home.

On the way back I rode the free green bus that acts as a temporary replacement for the downtown streetcar but which is otherwise a bus in every sense 

Bought another day bus pass and visited Ballard.  I saw a Staples along the way and bought a couple memory cards there.  Unfortunately the next bus never showed and the bus after that was late.  Fortunately upon arrival in Ballard, the bus to the Locks arrived immediately.  Shot a lot of photos and videos at the fish ladder.  I didn't spend quite as much time as last year because the weather was nicer and I knew I could revisit the experience by video readily.  Also shot photos and videos of the locks in action.  Luckily Argosy was doing their Ballard ship tour so I recorded a lot of their commentary as they switched from fresh to salt water without costing me a dime.  I took a bus to a stop that I managed to recognize as the stop to head to a comic shop despite only recognizing the Burger King.  The comic shop was indeed where I thought it was.  Unfortunately they no longer have the large bargain bins they had last year, but I bought a Fables and they threw in a freebie.  

[NOW: The full name of the locks is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. The comic shop is Arcane Comics.]

I took a bus to near the zoo and ended up spending four hours there.  Because I arrived at 12:15 or so I also spend way too much on an ice cream and pop as "lunch" because there was no line.  Woodland Park Zoo was included in the CityPass booklet I bought yesterday so the booklet's already paid for itself.  Lots of brats, er, precious children there but sometimes that led me to some animal I might have miss otherwise.  Took many photos and also video of the more mobile animals such as a gorilla eating a branch and two black bears who were digging for something.  Two brown bears and a sea otter were, in adjacent sections, pretty active.  Also took in a raptor show.  I saw part of it last year so I knew I'd enjoy it and get some decent vids, though the last one was a bit harder to capture because it went "off script" a bit.

After the four hours there I jogged downhill to the core of the Fremont area and got photos of the two cats at Ophelia’s Books plus the Fremont landmarks (plant dinosaurs, the Center of the Universe, the Rocket, Lenin).  Two exhibits warrant a special note: the Waiting for the Interurban staue set was dressed up.  A guy in a truck offered to take a pic of me with the statues.  I took a chance, got into the Fremont spirit, and handed him my $500 camera.  The gamble paid off.  Then I went to Troll Ave, which is actually underneath Aurora Ave.  The reason it's called Troll Ave is of course because it leads to a troll.  A statue was basically made over an old Volkswagen.  From there I walked to Gas Works Park, the ingenious industrial complex that was converted to a popular park (aside from the remains of the complex it has an excellent view of downtown and Seattle Center across Lake Union).

[NOW: the photo above was on one of the memory cards that got stolen. Gas Works Park is in Wallingford, just east of Fremont].

I look a bus to the university and promptly switched to a bus downtown.  One thing that worried me about the driver's ability was she had trouble reading the number on the bus pass, but the trip to downtown was pretty safe, though one woman briefly got on to unsuccessfully look for her cell phone where I was now sitting.

I wasn’t sure if the faux streetcar counted as trying something new, so I rode a bus a couple stops in the newly reopened underground bus tunnel.  I walked back to the hostel for free spaghetti dinner.  Unfortunately two of my four remaining beer were stolen so I had one for dinner and am having the other as I type this.  It's definitely the pack I bought because the receipt's still in the bag with correct date and time.

After dinner I took a bus to Seattle Center where the International Fountain was still closed.  Walked to Silver Platters and got the new version of 24 Season 1, with many more extras added.  There was a live band playing pretty loud Walked back downtown and shot some videos of a manmade waterfall near the hostel that I've always found relaxing, so I'll have something to relax to whenever I feel like it.  Before returning here I got a valet at Pike Place Market to take a photo with me and Rachel the Pig (a giant piggy bank).  I got a photo with Rachel last year, but now I have a digital copy.

[NOW: The following was written later about this day.]

There's extra No Parking signs on 4th St. right now.  This is relevant for reasons I'll get into later.  Also went to a store and bought a Vanilla Coke.  I hadn't realized they still make them, though given the lack of fizz, maybe they don't

[NOW: They do, but it’s a bit hard to find. Later still I added:]
Maybe at the place I got Vanilla Coke, got a $1 coin which I think I'll keep.

[NOW: I think I saw it recently]

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