Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2010 Day 2 Tuesday July 27

This is the second of a series of posts dealing my seventh trip to Seattle as an adult and second 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. 
My addresses have shown up again so no copying/pasting this morning.

Been awake for a bit.  Did consider moving Olympia to today but decided against it for a few reasons: day 2 is the day I like to take care of "admin" stuff like getting needed bus schedules and adding money to my transit card; two longer than usual travel days in a row right at the start of the trip seemed ill advised; and Olympia will likely be a highlight so I don't want to get that out of the way on the 2nd day I'm here.  So instead I'm sticking with my original plan and tackling the south end of King County.

Last night okay.  Didn't realize I had fallen asleep at one point until I was wondering when someone was going to turn off the light after finishing with his laptop and then realized the light was in fact off.  Forgot to mention yesterday: I got the exact same bed in the exact same room as my March trip! 

Skipping the free breakfast because I don't want to waste the next 1.5 hours.  Will grab a breakfast along the way somewhere.

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

Assume that my practice of alternating between cameras is still working unless you hear to the contrary)

I walked to the Washington State Convention Center (where the Emerald City ComiCon was held in March) and got some bus schedules, then walked to Freeway Park.  For newbies to these, Freeway Park is, yes a park built around a freeway.  The water renovations are finished (see previous trip reports) but it was too early for the artificial waterfalls to be on.

I filled my ORCA card (a handy alternative to paying bus fare all the time) and then took the light rail to SeaTac Airport for the first time (last year it was finishing being built and only went as far as the stop before).  I wandered across the airport, bought a breakfast sandwich, and then took a bus to Burien. 

[NOW: The light rail is Central Link/Sound Transit. I think the bus to Burien was a Metro Transit one.]

Burien warranted a return engagement from last year because I found it peaceful and engaging.  I visited CD Connection (gone, but the building is raised so I gone some nice photos), Bartell Drugs (bought extra batteries because I forget to pack enough spares today) the new location of Burien Books (not yet opened for the day; opened at 11), Cualta Video (Mexican; actually more of a grocery store), Plantinum Comics (not yet open; opened at 12).  I started to visit the New location of Pawn X-Change as well as Blockbuster and another book store, but it was 9:30, I knew they all opened at 10 and that area of town frankly wasn't as interesting to me as Burien's downtown core, so I wandered back to Burien Transit Center and took a bus to Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila (due to the finished light rail the bus didn't stop at the airport en route, saving a bit of time).

[NOW: I think that Pawn X-Change is now a Cash America.  Burien’s Blockbuster is now closed. The bus to Tukwila was probably the 140, Metro Transit.]

Before going into the mall I visited the Barnes & Noble I had trouble finding last year (getting it out of the way), then Half Price Books, and Tukwila Pond Park, a lovely nature preserve conveniently located near a Target.  I finally visited Borders and fye in Westfield Southcenter, then went on another bus, briefly thinking I'd lost a memory card (it turned up).

[NOW: Borders is now defunct.]

I took this bus to Tukwila International Station.  There was 20 minutes before my connecting bus so I grabbed a bite at McDonald's using a coupon for a strawberry banana smoothie, so I only paid for the burger.  I took a bus to the north end of Kent.

[NOW: The bus to Kent was a Metro Transit one.]

In Kent I visited Book World (gone) and Blockbuster, then crossed the street to Des Moines (I was being quite literal about the north end of Kent).  In Des Moines I grabbed some pop and batteries at Wellburn's, then visited Pawn X-Change.

[NOW: I think that Blockbuster is now gone. Pawn X-Changes are now being converted into Cash America. Not sure about that one .]

I took a bus to near Angle Lake in Seatac (again, referring to the city here; got off a little early but I was around 2 hours ahead of schedule so that was fine).  Now I have to say, I knew nothing about the lake beforehand other than the fact that it was in a location in Seatac I wanted to explore; I just happened to see it on the map.  It's actually a very nice park.  For the benefit of people in the Victoria area, it's about the size of Glen Lake, but better marked and more accessible.  There's some greenery that eventually goes downhill, then some sand, then the lake itself.  Very nice.  I didn't have a change of clothes or I'd have probably gone in.

[NOW: This bus was again Metro Transit.]

I next tried to visit Bow Lake but it seems a hotel has gotten built over the south end of the lake, so the best I could do, since that part of the hotel is raised, was to shoot photos of the lake from underneath the hotel. 

I walked a little more north to an entrance to the Seatac Airport light rail station that didn't require actually entering the airport.  I took this to Stadium station.  By this point I was so far ahead of my itinerary (it was only 2:30; in fact aside from end of day wrap up I was done the itinerary) that I spent the rest of the day exploring downtown and nearby areas, starting with Safeco and Qwest Fields.

[NOW: As before, this light rail was the Central Link/Sound Transit.  Qwest Field is now called CenturyLink Field; apparently some locals call it the CLink for short.]

I walked to the International District, once entrance marked by two structures that look like Daleks from Doctor Who.  I visited Pink Gorilla (formerly Pink Godzilla; likely Toho Studios complained) then walked to the Pioneer Square District.

There I visited Waterfall Garden Park, Occidental Park, then the former location of Elliot Bay Book Company.  After that I visited Smith Tower but didn't stay or take as many pics as planned from the 35th story view because my on-again, off-again acrophobia was on again.

In the downtown core I visited Arundel Books, passed the Hammering Man (repairs on his moving arm now completed), the visited Pike Place Market.  At the market I visited Pike Place News, the fishmongers (didn't stay long enough to want then toss a fish due to crowds), and Holy Cow Records.  I visited Swerve (video/music store), then Chief Sealth (Seattle founder) statue in Belltown, then Seattle Center.

[NOW: Arundel Books and Swerve are gone.]

In Seattle Center's Center House I got a combo at Orange Julius (it's the only such place I know of that last combos), then visited the International Fountain.  After a while I walked to KIRO 9 Store, then back to the fountain.  I then walked to the main shopping area of Queen Anne, visiting Blockbuster and Underdawg Records.  One change to the latter was that it now had dogs; in hindsight a previous obvious oversight.  One of the dogs inspected my bag; I think I passed.

[NOW; Center House is now the Seattle Center Armory and they’ve evicted Orange Julius. Queen Anne’s Blockbuster and Underdawg Records are gone.]

I walked to Kerry Park Viewpoint (some idiot in a car made a homophobic slur; even aside from the fact I'm straight it's not a nice thing to do to anyone), took some pics, the back to the fountain.

There the same dog from yesterday (and probably the previous July) was having a grand old time trying to catch water sprays.  On the way back to the hostel I passed a van that I saw yesterday too and which through me.  The van said Amazon, but rather than the Internet company located in Seattle it was an apples van.  One more quick shopping trip to Rite Aid and then I returned here, when one of the managers remembered me from last year and welcomed me back (this is one of the main strengths of this hostel; it has a personal touch).

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