Monday, May 7, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip May 2009 Day 6 Friday May 15

This is the sixth 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.

No snoring last night that I heard, though one person did turn on the main room light for a while.

I'm ending the first half of my trip with a bit of a hodgepodge in terms of my itinerary, largely because of day 2 (the first full day in the Seattle area).

Today I was supposed to do Bellevue but I've already done that one.  I've also been chipping away gradually on my day 1 itinerary.  On Day 2, aside from visiting Bellevue I got through the first half of my day 12 itinerary.  So...

I plan to spend the first half of the day finishing the day 12 itinerary, the Capitol Hill part of that day, which I believe I can do without requiring a bus.  Then I shall attempt to finish off my day 1 itinerary, involving lower Queen Anne, downtown, and the Space Needle.  One wrinkle involves fitting in Argosy Harbor Tour, which has limited runs, so that might require a bit of strategy.  And of course I can't skip the Space Needle without losing my second visit entirely due to the 24-hour rule.

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

Looks like it was a good thing that my University/Capitol Hill day got split in two. I underestimated how long the Capitol Hill area would take.

Normally I take E Pine to Capitol Hill but this time I took Olive for variety. Whenever I had to double back for one reason or another, which was often, I tried to mix the route up a bit to get different photos. I visited City Market, a grocery store that advertised DVDs but which proved to be largely selling gay/straight pron videos. Then I visited the Mystery Pop Machine. I pressed the lower Mystery button and got Wild Cherry Pepsi. I went to Volunteer Park to take views from the water tower, but it didn't open until 10. While waiting I checked out a few places on Broadway (the gay district) that opened early, including Broadway News, Rite Aid (got lithium batteries), and Everyday Music, in front of the Jimi Hendrix statue. Bought DVDs at the latter store.

[NOW: Broadway News is now online only, I believe, Definitely no longer any physical store.  Everyday Music, while still in Capitol Hill, is no longer in front of the Jimi Hendrix statue.]

I returned to the water tower and got some aerial shots of the city. I had to use zoom a lot to get decent shots due to the wire mesh in all the windows. On the way back to Broadway I ran downhill, tripped and fell. I banged my camera a little bit, and my right hand and left kneecap were pretty bloody, but no serious injury/camera damaged. I returned to Rite Aid and bought band-aids, then visited Bailey Coy Books and Gruv; I bought a DVD in the latter place. On 15th St I visited Sonic Boom Records (bought a couple DVDs), On 15th Video, and Video Connection. I returned to Broadway, passing the Mystery Pop Machine. I tried the upper Mystery button and this time got Cherry Coke Zero. Pressing the mystery button is fun; getting cherry pop is not.

[NOW: Bailey Coy, Gruv, that branch of Sonic Boom, and Video Connection are all now defunct. There are still a couple of other branches of Sonic Boom, however. Seattle’s Sonic Boom Records should not be confused with the Toronto business of the same name.]

I visited Blockbuster, then explored various places on the south end of Capitol Hill: Seattle University (including bookstore; not to be confused with the better known University of Washington), City Books, Frye Art Gallery (I couldn't take pics but they gave me better bandages), Twice Sold Tales (saw three disinterested cats in this branch; two were sleeping), Half Price Books, Spine & Crown Books, Capitol Loans, Wall of Sound, Bauhaus Books & Coffee. I returned to my hostel to unload my stuff, did a quick stop around the corner at Palace Loans, then reserved a seat on Argosy Harbor Tour, using my CityPass.

[NOW: That branch of Blockbuster is now defunct, as is City Books.]

I grabbed some food to go at McDonald's at the ferry terminal, then went on the tour. Pleasant but uneventful. I revisited the Space Needle to use up my second visit and got some daylight shots. I didn't stay that long because it was pretty packed and I got my best shots the best before, but I did make sure I got some nice daytime photos.

I rested for over an hour at the International Fountain, then revisited Easy Street Records, visited Underdawg Music (bought a DVD), then hiked up to Kerry Park, which has a great, free natural view of the city and harbour, and with no wire mesh screens.

[NOW: Underdawg Music is now defunct.]

I took some photos, stopped back briefly at the International Fountain, ate at McDonald's by Seattle Center again (I love the sports decor), visited Barnes & Noble downtown, then visited Elliott Bay Book Company just before it closed and bought a couple used Runaways trades (first two volumes).

[NOW: Elliott Bay Book Company is now in Capitol Hill beside Everyday Music.]

So i didn't entirely do everything I had planned to do (from my original day 1 plans there's still Columbia Center and the Aquarium), but still got in a full day despite the injuries. And as for the injuries, unless your vacation is expressly to get some rest and relaxation in, if you return home in as good shape or better as you left home, you've probably wasted your trip. :) I came to Seattle to have an adventure and that's what I'm having.

So have I tired any off you out yet by reading these reports? I confess that's been one of my goals.

[NOW: “You” refers to the original recipients.]

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