Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip May 2009 Day 5 Thursday May 14

This is the fifth 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.

Got a 710 mL can of beer at Kress to help with the sleep situation.  Should have worked, and probably did to a point, but there was another complication.  One person snored loud enough you could probably hear him in Neptune.  Then he started snoring softer but alternating with another snorer, as if they were having a snoring conversation.
Put shoes near heater but they failed to dry out.  Probably no getting around getting soaked today.  I think the weather may improve tomorrow though.  I considered reworking my itinerary to make it indoor focussed but that would place the aerial stuff today, and I'd rather do that when I can see into the distance more.  So once again I'll stick to my itinerary for the start of the day at least, and focus on the north end of Seattle.

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

Wow, it feels like it's been two days since I last wrote, as this day changed quite a bit.

The first part of the day was a series of errors.  It was actually the first day that I planned on my itinerary, and as such I made some errors I wouldn't have made later.  I started with taking a bus to Carkeek Park in the northwest end of Seattle.  It took a bit of time to find the entrance.  Then since the first shop on my list opened at 10, to kill time I visited the Elephant on Aurora, pretty much on the other end of that region.  I took pics across the street because traffic was a bit heavy.

I then visited two Blockbusters, one in particular back the way I just came and up a hill.  There was a bus that went that way but I didn't make the connection.  Then I doubled back the way I just came, checking out a store that opened at 11, Balderdash Books.  I waited until 11:03.  It hadn't opened yet but I got a good look and decided to carry on.  My route to my next stop took me past the Elephant; like I said, bad planning.  It was being repaired but I took pics of as much of it as I could.  I should have waited for one bus but got anxious to move and thus missed the bus on the way to my next stop, the Pawn X-Change.

[NOW: The Blockbuster near Balderdash is still there but the other isn’t.]

I then visited Aurora Loans just after another bus went by, then K-Mart.  Another bus arrived just as I was arriving at my next destination, another Blockbuster.  I decided to make up some time by skipping Blockbuster and getting on the bus even though it was only a few blocks.

[NOW: That Blockbuster is now closed.]

I got off and planned to taking the 304 then 308 to the northeast end of town.  Well the 304's last bus was around 8 am and the 308's first bus of the day was around 4:20.  I visited Video Factory, and then my luck changed.  A bus came soon after and I just barely caught the bus it connected to.

Now in the Lake City area of northeast Seattle, I checked out yet another Blockbuster and Pawn Exchange; I bought a DVD from the latter.  I then visited Garcia's (turned out to be Spanish only), then another video store that had closed down.

[Now: That Blockbuster has also closed down. I don't know if Garcia's is still there.]

I waited a little bit for the bus that inspired me to make the itinerary in the first place because it was a dull stretch of town, then walked the rest of the way to Reckless Video.

I took another bus to near Northgate Shopping Centre.  I visited a Best Buy across the  street and then ate at Quiznos.  I then visited a Barnes & Noble right beside the mall itself where I bought a book on Dr. Seuss.  I walked through the mall and then checked out a Silver Platters, where I bought a couple DVDs.  I walked to Northgate Transit Center (between the mall and Silver Platters) and then took a bus to near Seattle Center.

By the way it was rainy in northwest Seattle but gradually improved during the day.

At Seattle Center I visited the KIRO 9 store, then the Science Center.  I wasn't really that interested in the Science Center, but it was part of the CityPass deal, so I basically treated it as a 15-20 minute photo op.

[NOW: The KIRO 9 Store recently became online only.]

I rested at the International Fountain, then returned downtown for dinner at the hostels.  They had tacos again and this time I got meat with my tacos, as I positioned myself strategically beforehand.

I returned to Seattle Center and used my CityPass book to take the first of two trips up the Space Needle.  It's a day and night ticket, which means you can make two trips up the Space Needle, as long as it's within a 24 hour period (so I'll need to make another trip tomorrow).  I was going to wait until it was dark but noticed the sun was going down and in a last minute brainstorm decided to go up and gets some aerial shots with the sunset in the distance.  It also meant that my photos noticeably changed while up there as it got darker and darker.  Luckily my camera was well suited to aerial night shots from the Space Needle, as it turns out.  If you visit the Space Needle, I definitely recommend the sundown experience.  As you might expect, the shift was very gradual but definitely you notice eventually that things are darker and everything's more lit up.  It was a great way to end the day, and it's hard to believe it was the same day I ran around northwest Seattle desperately trying to keep things on track.  Definitely it more than made up for that.

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