Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip May 2009 Day 1 Sunday May 10

This is the first of a series of posts dealing my fourth trip to Seattle and first of two trips that year. 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.

At Customs in Victoria I was a bit worried because the Customs officer kept typing stuff on his computer and frowning without saying anything.  Finally he wished me off.  Someone on the Coho ferry was feeding a seagull.  When the seagull was on the railing and not on the ground, it kept struggling with balance and had to use its wings to stay put.  Only a few questions on the Port Angeles side.

In Port Angeles I visited Odyssey Books, Port News and Books (where I found a replacement copy of my map book that got stolen last year) and then ate at China First Buffet.  My fortune cookie at China First said, "You could be invited to travel to a foreign land."  Hmm, could be.

Across the street from China First Buffet was Swains, which had a huge inflatable duck with sunglasses outside.  There was another such duck outside Safeway.  I bought some DVDs at Blockbuster, including The King of Kong, a documentary on hardcore Donkey Kong players I'd been wanting to see for a while.

[NOW: That Blockbuster and even the video store that succeeded it are now defunct.]

Due to the Hood Canal Bridge closure, I took a slightly different route than usual from Port Angeles to Seattle: there was a free coach (very comfortable; it was a real coach) from Port Angeles to Sequim to Southpoint, an area in the middle of nowhere.  I waited a while there for a special water shuttle to Lofall; the shuttle proved to be a Victoria Express ferry (the other one from Victoria to Port Angeles) on loan, and Lofall proved to be another wait in the middle of nowhere, which I thought was Lofall, er, awful.  There was no place even for refreshments at Southpoint or Lofall.

[NOW: The Victoria Express no long runs from Victoria to Port Angeles and now simply does tours from Port Angeles.]

From Lofall another coach, even nicer than the first, went from Lofall to Poulsbo to Bainbridge.  There was an even longer wait there, but I'd wanted to explore downtown Bainbridge (Winslow) for a while, and this gave me the opportunity.  When I got back to Bainbridge, there was an Oscar Meyer van shaped like a wiener on a bun in line.  The ferry was delayed slightly by a medical emergency, but finally I reached Seattle.

[NOW: This trip was my final stay at the Green Tortoise Hostel.]

I'm in a four-bed room and got the upper bunk.  I was told I could switch tomorrow if I wanted but I declined.  Today was a free dinner day (tacos in this instance).  The meat was all gone except for a few crumbs, but I had eaten quite well at China First, so shells, lettuce, grated cheese, and a little onion was fine.

I walked to Easy Street Records near Seattle Center, then Silver Platters, where I bought three Troma DVDs.  When I got out it was dark, and on my way back I discovered that night shots of the Space Needle are extremely camera-friendly.  I got some incredible shots.

[NOW: Just to clarify, those were photos of  the Space Needle. I didn’t actually go up it that day.]

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