Friday, April 20, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 8 Monday July 28, 2008

This is the eighth 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.

One guy had a woman in his room last night, which was fine except they whispered with the bunk light on for about an hour, or so it felt at least.  Even with the curtains drawn a lot of light filters out.  Likewise someone propped the door open with a pillow around 3:30.   I woke up an hour later, used the washroom, then unpropped the door on my way back to the bunk.

Have minor plans to try something new, but since this is my last full day in Seattle for this year, will mostly do a "best of" like last year today, most likely, though the fish ladder's too far to include that in the "best of", and the zoo was of course already well covered for this trip.  I'd like to sneak in West Seattle but the weather's been too variable and it might be a bit late in the game for that this year.  If I do sneak it in, probably just Alki Beach.  Otherwise that can be a top priority in 2009.

Sigh.  When I went to grab a pop from the fridge I noticed the last can of my second batch of beer got stolen. :(

Actually compared to Canadian prices I probably still came out ahead.  It's the whole violation thing of having something stolen twice.  This second time the front desk just said "That sucks, sorry"; no pretense that they were going to review the tapes.  The pop was untouched

My recommendation with the Green Tortoise is that you ignore the video camera sign and only use the fridge for non-alcoholic drinks, because you have alcoholic travellers there.

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

The first thing I did this morning was to visit the actual University of Washington, as opposed to the University District's main shopping area to the west of the university, starting my trip in one of the transit tunnels.  It has some nice buildings and I took lots of pics.  Two squirrels seemed to be play-fighting on a tree.  I also visited University Village, just north of the university.  Cute shopping area, though separate from the main shopping to the west.  I had to backtrack after that to the university because I wanted to reach one road that was above the village and had to find a place where it intersected.

I tried visiting a comic shop in the east end of Wallingford, directly west of the University District.  It was closed but I found another Office Max and got enough memory cards for the rest of the trip, hopefully.

I revisited the University District proper.  Unfortunately Satisfaction was closed again, which is a shame because they have some odd DVDs there and it was the last day of a sale.  Well, didn't want to wait, so took another bus to Broadway and looked some more there.

[NOW: Satisfaction Records is still around but now it’s north of the University District.]
I was struggling with the pop machine with the two mystery buttons, and another guy wanting to use the machine got a bit confrontational (I later realized he had an Ali G mustache and got some amusement from that).  I finally got one of the non-mystery buttons working.  The experience flustered me a bit and I dropped one of my tiny lock keys from my money belt.  I found a dime and thought I had imagine dropping the key.  Well, I have back-up keys and no one's likely to retrieve that key and connect it with my trip-only padlock so I should be okay.  It would be amusing if it was still there next year because it's in front of a locksmith.  The key very well could be: it's tiny and under the machine.

There's a strip of 15th St parallel Broadway to the east, so I checked out a few shops, then went most of the way downtown.  i got on a bus just outside of a transit tunnel and took it to Pioneer Square.

The weather was much nicer than predicted so I decided to visit Alki Beach after all.  I had just missed the water taxi and a comedy of errors ensued finding a proper transit stop so I missed two buses and bought some sort of strawberry drink from a coffee shop while waiting.  Unfortunately it was one of those strawberry drinks that mixes in a lot of other extra juices.  I could barely detect the strawberry juice.  Finally making it to Alki Beach, I took a pic of the Seattle's Birth Place marker, then got a burger from a decent place i went to last year.  Name escapes me ("pepper" is in the name) but I took a pic.  I waked all the way across the beach from the restaurant to the beach, ate, and walked around a bit.  I took a pics of the spot they're going to be putting the renovated Statue of Liberty; they hope it will be more vandal proof.  And yes, you did read that right; Seattle's Statue of Liberty, being repaired last I head is a smaller version of the NY version. 

[NOW: The restaurant above is Pepperdock].

Alki was beautiful but I was feeling restless, and there's only one Seattle cure for that, so I took a bus downtown (starting to nod off due to heat), took a quick peak at Pike Place Market, then spent about 2 1/2 hours at the International Fountain.  There I did let myself nod off briefly but mostly took photos and especially videos. 

One thing that I make no secret about is that the International Fountain is my favourite place in Seattle; it's free and despite the presence of kids, incredibly relaxing.  At around 7pm, the fountain took time off to recharge; at this same time period the weather was cooling off and people were leaving.  I realized I had the perfect exit and didn't want to spoil it, so reluctantly left the fountain for this trip.  I bought another DVD at Silver Platters (they gave me a card for racking of points in future visits) and gradually working my way back downtown.  I took a bunch more pictures, grabbed food at McDonald's, then more pics.  I'm actually starting to figure out a few tricks about night shots.

[NOW; The Silver Platters card is missing and may have been stolen. However, my account there is still open.]

Hard to believe that Seattle's mostly over now.  Feels like I just got here.  Will definitely miss it, and will only do a morning edition tomorrow is time permits, as I want to take a few things in one final time this year. 

Tomorrow the trip gets a lot more complicated.

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