Bought some cheese puffs from a nearby placed before turning in and then had a pretty good sleep.
Today is the quietest day of the trip for me. Wander downtown looking at the parade route, do an excursion to West Seattle, more downtown exploration and then the Torchlight Parade. Maybe sneak in another trip somewhere to justify a daypass, but nothing big.
[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening. Metro Transit no longer offers daypasses of any sort.]
I've now passed the half way mark of the trip. Doesn't feel at all like six days.
This morning the Space Needle was invisible from the hostel due to fog. That's actually been a consistent pattern this trip: fog first part of the morning, still very cloudy until around 3, then blue sky.
Took pics of the parade set-up the first part of the day, starting towards Seattle, getting pics of the top of the Space Needle still partly hidden in fog. Then I walked downtown along the parade route, then back, stopping at the hostel for the free breakfast.
More parade set-up, plus a few side excursions, most notably Pike Place Market, including the fish mongers, BLMF Books, and Golden Age Collectibles, with its sign saying to leave the bagat the front but that they aren't responsible if it gets stolen. And after Pike, Borders, Pacific Place (to see the scrap metal penguin, then Barnes & Noble), then, leaving the parade set-up for now, Zanadu Comics (bought a book called The Thin Black Line, about controversial inker Vince Colletta, who did atmospheric work on Thor and who was very fast, but who often erased stuff from art work to get the job done on time), then Swerve.
[NOW: Borders is now defunct. Swerve is also now gone.]
I passed by protesters trying to get Obama impeached; forgot to mention a similar case a few days ago, but they're going about it wrong, holding signs with photos of Obama with a Hitler mustache; I was never convinced he was the saviour many thought he was at first but neither is he even close to Hitler. I walked down the Harbor Steps then eventually worked my way to a bus to West Seattle. In a little shopping mall there I visited Square One Books, Key Camera (bought a set of two memory cards, and the Safeway with the mystery button. Unfortunately I couldn't get that machine to accept any coins so all I could do was let someone know inside.
[NOW: The bus was a Metro Transit one in the 50s, maybe 54. Square One Books is now gone. Safeway no longer has the machine with the mystery button.]
I bought a DVD at Rubato Records then another at the West Seattle branch of Easy St Records, then visited another book store.
[Rubato Records is now gone.]
Soon after I actually found the missing memory cards from yesterday! Seems I accidentally put it with the unused cards. So while I still lost a fair bit of time yesterday I've regained the photos.
I visited a couple of yard sales on my route, then Arcane Comics (bought a few comics), then another yard sale (I don't recall having visited any in Seattle before; they all happened to be along the route), then took a bus to Alki Beach. I passed the Birthplace of Seattle marker, the grey Statue of Liberty (as opposed to the blacker one I saw in Lynnwood), and the Alki Bath House (to my knowledge it's never been used for bathing, though I could be wrong. I had lunch at my favourite West Seattle restaurant, Pepperdock (their onion rings are incredible). I also learned that while their art show often coincides with the Torchlight Parade, this time it was last week. There were a number of people at the beach but it was still overcast so I took a bus back to the Pioneer Square District just south of downtown. There was an art show there, but both cameras were giving me grief at that point so I didn't get as many pics of that as I'd have liked. I walked along the parade route again then grabbed an early dinner at the Orange Julius in Center House, Seattle Center; I again ate the dinner at the International Fountain.
[NOW: The bus to Alki Beach and the one to Pioneer Square District were probably both 56 Metro Transit.] West Seattle’s branch of Arcnane Comics is now gone. Center House is now Seattle Center Armory and they’ve evicted Orange Julius.]
One dog owner wasn't ever nice: her dog clearly wanted to play in the fountain, barking and wagging its tail, plus making a few attempts to go to it despite the leash, but its mistress wouldn't let it play there.
I bought a Slurpee at the 7-11 near Seattle Center then experimented with sitting on the lawn at Seattle Center.
It was a trade off. On the downside I didn't see the "repent" protesters who hang out more downtown, I saw less neon because I saw the floats early, There were different entry sections so I didn't see the VIP, the people running a race, or the stunt police cyclists. Well, the VIPs and the racers are a casualty I can live with and I did see the cop show at the Greenwood Parade. The plusses were: because it was earlier that I saw some floats I got more clear pics; I got to see KIRO 7 making a speech and doing interviews; as the balloon floats got ready I got pics of them with the Space Needle in the background. The Monorail was along in the background in the direction of where most of the parade goers walked; got some nice shots of the Space Needle at different times in the eve; and it was easier to see some of the littler and clean-up afterward because it's more lit near the Space Needle. In all I think I gained more than I lost with my experiment.
I'm not sure anything really stands out: horses, marching bands, various organizations. One thing unfortunately stood out by its absence: no New Westminster this year, so for the first time since I've been going to these, no BC presence (Vernon stopped having a presence the year before). Nice to see Sequim in the parade though. I forgot to pack enough batteries and near the end the batteries in my main camera were threatening to die out before the parade ended, but happily they were bluffing. Will need to pack batteries for tomorrow for sure but I had enough for the parade.
I took some clean-up pics until I arrived at Bell St and then went to the hostel.