This is the fifth of a series of posts dealing my sixth trip to Seattle as an adult 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 two years later or to add further clarification.
Had a bit of insomnia last night, probably due to getting overtired from all the walking yesterday. I can't blame roommates though as I had the place to myself; yay!
Today's theme is distance. Less walking, but this is my day to go to more remote locations.
[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]
Wow, what a day. I'll be referring to various kinds of buses, all using the ORCA card system. Metro Transit is the regular Seattle area buses. Sound Transit is express buses to remote areas. Community Transit's main focus is the Snohomish County. I'll leave the last one, self-explanatory as a surprise. Pardon any typos. Lots of ground to cover, much like my day today, and a bit tired now.
[NOW: Typos removed, among other minor editing]
I took a Metro Transit bus to downtown proper. I think the computer in its scheduling played a practical joke on me. Instead of pointing me to the earliest place I could connect between buses, it pointed me to one stop later, only that stop was closed due to construction so I had to dash to the earlier stop to make my connection on time; made it.
I took a Sound Transit bus to Redmond Town Center in Redmond, by way of Kirkland. Around Lake Washington I saw a large beaver dam. When I first arrived at Redmond Town Center, the stores were mainly closed, which is what I had intended. It's a beautiful outdoor mall, and last time I was there I was very tired and didn't adequately photograph it. So I rectified that problem this time around (been keep meaning to mention, due to lost memory cards during previous trips, this trip I've been using clear packing tape to tape the cards to paper, electronic side facing the paper of course)
[NOW: It was probably the 545 bus that I took to Redmond]
At 9 I visited Borders there and bought a couple DVDs (again, assume any place I don't mention buying anything I didn't). Then I visited a Half Price Books near the Center. After getting a soft drink at a 7-11, I caught a King bus at Redmond Transit Center to Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, passing Microsoft Headquarters along the way. At Crossroads I visited Blockbuster, Half Price Books, Silver Platters (bought a DVD), Barnes & Noble, and an indoor newsstand.
[NOW: Borders is now defunct. Crossroads’ Blockbuster is now closed and Silver Platters is now in a different space in Crossroads.]
I took another Metro Transit bus to Bellevue Transit Center, downtown Bellevue. In downtown Bellevue I visited Barnes & Noble and the lovely Downtown Park (unfortunately it was threatening to rain and there's not much tree cover, mainly grass and a large artificial fountain for the ducks, so I decided not to risk missing my bus by lingering).
At the Bellevue Transit Center again I took a Sound Transit bus to Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, by way of Kirkland and Bothell, which I considered visiting spontaneously but opted to wait until I had a game plan as I've never set foot there yet. There I visited Borders (bought DVD), one of the few remaining branches of fye, and Charley's Grill where I bought a sub. With Alderwood Mall the nicest parts are outside, including a large horse statue. Inside the mall this time they had the Easter Bunny equivalent of a Santa meet happening. Even though I couldn't see the Easter Bunny’s real face, I don't think s/he looked too happy.
[NOW: The bus to Lynnwood was the 535. Borders, again, is defunct.]
I then took a Community bus to Everett Transit Center in Everett, of course. I explored some of the north end of towns, including Bargain CD's and Tapes, Pawn X-Change, Blockbuster, and Buy and Sell Video (hadn't heard of the latter previously but bought a couple DVDs there). I spent too little time in the Everett town centre area, getting a bus schedule from the Tourist Information Center. I visited Everett Comics and then found a bus stop nearby where I could intercept the Everett bus heading from Everett Transit Center to Everett Mall. I was tempted to bail from the bus because a teenage girl kept bringing up boogers while talking to her friends. I passed though the mall and crossed the street to Everett Mall Plaza, where I visited Half Price Books. Back at the mall proper, I visited Borders. Sam Goody's unfortunately was a casualty of all the recent fye closures.
[NOW: Pawn X-Change is now Cash America. Borders, once again is now defunct.]
I took another Everett bus to the South Everett Freeway Station, then, now ahead of things, tried an experiment with mixed success. I got on a Sound bus heading south. I decided I wanted to visit Northgate Mall but there's 90 blocks between two stops of this bus, and the mall's in between the two (probably closer to the north end though because even numbered blocks tend to get skipped the further north you go. I got off at the earlier stop (not sure if Shoreline or Seattle proper) and found there were no buses to Northgate there. There was however a freeway crossing so I headed east a ways and found a King bus heading south to just a few blocks from the north end of the mall.
First though I visited Northgate North, where I visited Best Buy and Target. Then I visited the mall proper, including Barnes & Noble. Interestingly on the south end of the mall you either have to go down a staircase either immediately or after a walkway to the package, which I used to snap some shots.
I walked south past the Northgate Transit Center to another Silver Platters, having adequately covered the west side of the northeast area of town, then walked west to the east side of the northwest area of town.
I passed by a very small but lovely and well used blocked off artificial duck pond. On Aurora Ave I visited Aurora Grocery (got another drink), then visited the Elephant on Aurora statue, now fully renovated and back at its traditional location. I headed further west to Greenwood, where I visited Balderdash Books, which had a lovely and friendly white cat (as well as a more shy dog). I got permission to take a pic of the cat (I'd have also asked about the dog if I'd noticed it sooner). I also pet the cat and the storekeeper told me to stroke under her chin. The cat really loved that. I took a quite peak at the Dreamstrands Comics near Greenwood just before it closed for the nice, then Blockbuster. then took a Metro Transit bus along Greenwood to Santoro's Books before taking a final Metro Transit bus to near Seattle Center, heading west and passing Chief Sealth again.
[NOW: Balderdash Books is now closed, though 50c Books is now in its former location. The two Metro Transit buses were both 5.]
After a dinner break at the sports motif McDonald's, I visited Seattle Center, but it was raining likely so the International Fountain wasn't door interesting. I then visited Abraxus Books, which moved from Ballard to Queen Anne District last year. The sign said to leave my bag at the front counter but the storekeeper told me to just hang onto it; nice to know I have a trustworthy face. I visited Easy Street Records next, finding DVDS at $1/$3/$5.
[NOW: Abraxus Books is now closed.]
I then visited the main branch of Silver Platters, buying a few DVDs including, finally!, a Troma movie. I'd been looking for Troma movies all trip but the few I found were overpriced, ones I already had, or both. So for a lot of this trip, including quite a few today, I'd been having to settle for Something Weird Video output, which skews a bit older than what I'm usually into. I then got a drink at QFC, then passed through Seattle Center again for some night shots of the fountain/Pacific Science Center/Space Needle (the latter two look really lovely lit in the dark). I then returned to the hostel.