Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip May 2009 Day 8 Sunday May 17

This is the eighth 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.
Weather continues to look nice. People who hate tan lines might find me scary because my head, arms and legs are noticeably a different colour than the rest of my body

Misplaced my locker key last night and looked everywhere for it. I final recalled how I had camouflaged my spare key this morning (no I won't announce how online), then the first key turned up near the locker. Also misplaced my watch (probably when showering) but because it wasn't beer, it got turned in.

Person below me was a snorer. Shaking the bunk didn't seem to work. Maybe that trip only works if you're on the lower bunk. At least one person got up and left around 4:50 am (probably a bus/train/plane connection)

First part of the day will be close to my itinerary (Discovery Park, then Ballard). But then I'm cutting out places I don't feel like doing in favour of riding the streetcar to the Center of Wooden Boats and back. Time permitting I'll revisit Alki Beach but not the rest of West Seattle, then the International Fountain.

So I'm going for a more relaxing pace today. Tomorrow's Tacoma and I'll probably be moving like lightning there. Plus after yesterday I want to take it easy. Not every day of a 13-day day trip should be full steam ahead. That would be unwise.

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

Today was quieter by my standards though probably pretty busy by everyone else's standards.
I started out by visiting Discovery Park. A nice park (I was there on my 2006 trip) and I definitely didn't do it justice today. If I return in July I'll probably spend more time there. The main reason I visited was it's just south of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard and I wanted to test a theory that maps to the contrary, you can reach the locks from that area and not just through Ballard. Well, the walk was more circuitous than expected but my theory was basically correct.

The fish ladder at the locks was less interesting than in July. Just small fish this time. These particular locks separate saltwater and freshwater so I watched them in action (and got kissed by a dog) before exploring Ballard.

In Ballard I visited Abraxus Books (which used to be a library and still looks a lot like one; better than in Victoria where a library got converted to a McDonald's), Sonic Boom Records, Blockbuster (got some DVDs), Arcane Comics (got some books), and the Sunday Farmer's Market. Art Press was closed. The bus back downtown turned into a bus to Alki, so I continued on to there. It was slow going through downtown due to a ballgame.

[NOW: Abraxus Books  moved to the Queen Anne District and then closed down completely. That Blockbuster is now defunct.]

I again looked at the Birthplace of Seattle and Statue of Liberty while at Alki, and had lunch at Pepperdock, a really nice burger place. After an hour and a half or so, I took a shuttle that barely made the water taxi on time (so this time I took it back rather than there. It accepts bus passes so I recommend anyone using the water taxi to go on a Sat or Sun since there's no weekday passes; also, you have to get the passes on King Country buses, so you'll want to get on a bus first, riding out of the ride free area if need be).

[NOW: Metro Transit no longer offers daypasses. The King County Water Taxi has apparently been replaced with a newer model, but I haven’t ridden the new one yet. The Ride Free Area is scheduled to end this September.]

During my brief time back downtown I got video of a fish being tossed at the Pike Place Market) After a stop to a place near Seattle Center to get more memory cards (this will keep me going a few more days, but I'm still going to run out if I don't find more soon) and to 7-11 (I got a Slurpee that had two compartments in its cup, so I had both coke and blue raspberry) I made it back to the International Fountain at Seattle Center and spent another couple hours there.

I took a bus back downtown then, since it was nearing dinner, rode the South Lake Union streetcar (don't call it a trolley or it makes a rude acronym that the locals are fond of calling it) one stop, then dashed to Kress for a drink then dashed back to the hostel for a delicious free spaghetti dinner.
After a stop at Swerve I returned very briefly to the International Fountain, then to Silver Platters (the one near Seattle Center, in the former Tower Records location) where I bought a DVD and a Jones orange cola.

[NOW: Swerve is now defunct.]

In case I don't have time to log on tomorrow morning, tomorrow is a day in Tacoma

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