This is the ninth 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.
Can't seem to find my Not for Tourists guide or my less worn itinerary/location list. May have put in my locker in error. One challenge is the lockers are in the rooms so it's hard to find times when no one is sleeping to do a thorough search.
I should have done Smith Tower and Columbia Center in the last couple days because the weather's turning bad again and is expected to remain bad during the trip. Will still visit and take whatever pics I can.
Today is Tacoma. Still haven't heard from my friend there (waves to [name edited out]) but I've provided notes for the easier to predict part of the day so she may intercept me.
[NOW: I didn’t end up meeting my friend. This was the first of two morning posts that day.]
Found the missing stuff when I returned to my locker to grab my coat and long sleeved pants due to weather.
[NOW: The above was the second morning post that day; the rest I wrote in the evening.]
For some reason I was pretty sleepy during the bus ride to Tacoma. Luckily the Greyhound next door to the Tacoma Dome Station (where the bus arrives at Tacoma) had an energy drink for 50c. I also grabbed a Pierce Transit schedule from a bus store before taking a bus from the station to Port Defiance Park.
[NOW: I rode one of the Sound Transit buses there.]
As it turns out, getting to the zoo within the park is quite hard and I never did figure out the best route. The zoo was okay but a lot smaller than Woodland Park Zoo. It does have an aquarium in it and the baby arctic fox is extremely cute.
My friend never showed ([message to friend edited out]).
I missed the bus I wanted to take downtown trying to find the stop, so took a different bus to the mall instead, since I planned to visit there eventually anyway. I visited the Best Buy and then crossed the street from Tacoma Mall Station to Tacoma Mall proper.
I took some pictures but a security guard had a problem with that and made me delete the ones in the mall I had taken. The guard, obviously the main goodwill ambassador of the tourism industry then asked me to leave. He finally relented when I insisted I hadn't know it was against the rules and promised not to take any more pics inside the mall, but he told me if he caught me taking any more pics inside the mall he would treat me as a trespasser. I visited FYE and Suncoast (probably the same business under a different name given they're packaging's so similar), buying DVDs at the latter place.. I got some memory cards at OfficeMax just outside the mall (think I'm set now), then crossed the street (opposite direction of Tacoma Mall station) and visited Half Price Books. I returned to the mall, grabbed a lunch at McDonald's, then took a bus to near downtown.
[NOW: Suncoast is now closed.]
I visited King's Books and asked about the cat I recalled from the last visit. It was just hidden and they let me pet the even-tempered cat. Apparently it was at death's door at one point and then made a full recovery. I tried to find a video store but apparently got the location just slightly off.
[NOW: That video store, Stadium Video is still there.]
I still had a transfer so decided on the spur of the moment before going to downtown proper to check out a row of 6th Ave shops. I visited Blockbuster, Backstage Video (gone), Wiley's Golden Oldies, Drastic Plastic Records, another record shop called Hi-Fidelity or something like that, Turntable Records, Dark Tower Comics.
[NOW: That Blockbuster is now gone.]
Just as my transfer was expiring I managed to get a b us back to where I had got on. I visited Mother Records (gone), and then walked through the University of Washington. I visited Buzzard CD's (bought Who Killed the Electric Car, which I leant out another copy but don't know to whom and never got back), then walked through the University again and bought a Coke at the bookstore.
[NOW: Buzzard’s has apparently now folded into Stadium Video.]
I walked along the Bridge of Glass leading to the Museum of Glass. I'm pretty sure the museum was closed today and didn't feel like visiting, but the bridge, while not glass itself, has a row of nice displays such as glass jugs and the like. I hope there's some hidden security because it has to be tempting to thieves crossing the bridge.
I took the free Tacoma Link streetcar back to Tacoma Dome Station, visited Tacoma Book Center (bought a graphic novel), tried to visit the Tacoma Dome (being a stadium it was closed), then returned to the station and took a bus back to downtown Seattle.
I bought a couple DVDs and a book at Borders, then rode the trolley to South Lake Union, got off, took some pics and then when it was ready to return took it back (I used a bus transfer for this). I did this so i could say I rode the trolley all the way.
[NOW: Borders is now completely defunct.]
Most of the day it was actually sunny but now it was pouring. I bought some food at McDonald's to go including a unique new flavoured ice tea, I ate at the hostel. Right outside the hostel they've now dug up the road for repaving.
I bought a magazine at Pike Place News and then returned to the hostel. While it was only 8:30 it was pouring rain so instead of going for a final walk, I reorganized my locker, which should save me some time.
I typed out a draft of this e-mail and copied it, but then the network on one row of computers crashed and still didn't work, so I had to retype this on another computer, going back and forth from the old computer so see what I had written (you can't save the text anywhere even if you've pasted it to another doc). So if there's a lot of typos it's because I'm in a hurry to retype the whole $%& * message.
[NOW: I edited out all the typos (I hope) before pasting into my blog.]