Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 5 Friday July 25, 2008 - Tacoma


Another second post day since I probably won't be able to post on April 16-19

This is the fifth 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.

Big day ahead for me and I "slept in" until 7.  The only guy's gone happily, and I found a time when the light was on so got reorganized.

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

Well, today was my day to visit Tacoma.  I ran to one bus stop, realized I wasn't going to find it in time, so rushed to the next timing point and made it.

I got off near the Tacoma Dome (the rough equivalent if a bit smaller to the Space Needle).  I walked to the Tacoma Book Center and bought some books and DVDs.  There's a free streetcar downtown so I took it.  I walked across he glass bridge (actually not as much glass at the name implies, though there are vases on display, yes on the bridge, and went to the Museum of Glass.  I used a coupon there and took some photos until I realized first that you weren't supposed to take photos in galleries and also in general.  I only took one gallery photo before I learned the rule but got a bunch of other photos before I realized it applied to other areas.

[NOW: Those photos were also casualties of the theft I’ve been referring to.]

Bought a movie guide at the University  Bookstore then walked to an area just north of downtown.  I couldn't find any books to buy at King's Books, but when I pet the cat there it held my hand in its paw and started to clean it.  Also went to Buzzard for DVDs and they were inexpensive but didn't have a separate cult or horror section so it would have taken too long time find the oddball stuff.

[NOW: Buzzard’s has since merged with Stadium Video near King’s.]

I got some bad advice to get to Tacoma Mall so it took about an hour longer than it should have.  I didn't take the fastest route and the driver pointing the wrong way at a college exchange confused me until after the connecting bus was gone, so I grabbed some McDonald's grub while I waited for the next bus.  

I went to Suncoast at the mall and bought a bunch of DVDs.  I bought some batteries at Circuit City.  Just alkaline but there were 48.  I thought they were $20 but they were actually $2.  Well if they insist...  After a 7-11 refreshment stop, I walked over to Tacoma Way for a bunch and then took a much shorter two-bus hop downtown.

[NOW: Suncoast is now defunct. It it really was Circuit City and not Office Maxx that I got the batteries, they’re also defunct.  I probably also visited fye in the mall.]

The info center was gone so I just wandered a bit.  Actually the mall's a much better area to shop: better selection of stores, better hours.  I returned to the Tacoma Dome and walked to nearby but small McKinley Park.

[NOW: I had the location wrong but the info center’s still there.]

While not as many as Seattle, Tacoma does have some weird artifacts such as a building shaped like a teapot.  I wouldn't spend more than a day per trip but I will return next year.

The bus back to Seattle was packed due to an earlier stop, so I fear the photos won't be that great because I was shooting over someone most of the trip.  Luckily with zoom I was able to point the camera well away from him for the most part.  Also luckily I sat on the right both ways, and the way back has the less interesting photo potential in the first place.

I returned home and repacked my new stuff with my old.  The green Save on Foods bags are great for DVDs because you can get 2 per row.  I found a popular pigeon hangout, a board.  Most were on the upper few rows but there were a few rebels.

Walked to the Seattle Center.  Some things were roped off with police tape and some orange cylinders not unlike road cones were grouped together.  This is another clue to the No Parking matter.

[NOW: See previous day]

Went to the International Fountain which was finally in operation.  Unfortunately I need to find a few sources of cheap camera cards.  I know where there's seven such cards; unfortunately it's the Staples in (shudder) Bellevue.  Maybe as a last resort.  Took some videos of the fountain, grabbed some dinner at McDonald's, then returned of the fountain to eat.

[NOW: I’ve since warmed up somewhat to Bellevue]

Okay final clue to the above: walking back downtown, one section had real cones on the road in a strategic position, and a police officer was talking to street workers.  This all relates to a big event that I plan my trips to Seattle around.  Is it Christmas?  No, even Seattle celebrates that in the winter.  Is it the nude Fremont bikers?  No that's passed for this year and I can't really post photos of that on Facebook.  Is it a parade held in darkness?  Yes!

So for those of you wishing to possibly see me on TV tomorrow, I'll be in the Torchlight Parade audience.  If you have access to KOMO 4, they have a chopper covering the event.  Chances of seeing me are pretty slim but you never know.  And you can experience it on TV while I do so in person.  Of course if you are reading this via a government addy you're probably too late, but you can at least jump to the trip report for the parade while the others have the suspense of waiting another day.

[NOW: The above is all outdated info of course. It was actually KIRO that covered the parade.]

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