Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2011 Day 2 Tuesday July 26

This is the second of a series of posts dealing my eighth trip to Seattle as an adult. 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.  

Slept well enough but still woke up pretty dazed.  I originally planned to wander around and then have breakfast at the hostel before truly heading out, but in my dazed state I remarked to one of the owners that I was heading out for the day.  The owner seemed puzzled when I told him a few of the places I was visiting (see below). I definitely miscalculated the first part of the day as we shall see.

I walked downtown and put extra money on my ORCA card, then in the Downtown Transit Tunnel, Westlake, took a light rail to Tukwila International Blvd Station in Seatac.  There I transferred to a bus that took me to Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila an hour earlier than planned (note that only places that are noted at being in Westfield, a mall are there; lots of things are nearby). Which would have been fine but it was nearly ahn hour and a half before most of the stores opened so I ended up spending two hours doing one hour worth of stuff in the area. I visited Tukwila Pond Park and saw a loon I think heading into some bushes in the pond as I was trying to take a pic. I ate breakfast at McDonald's (mixed Coke with a bit of Hi-C; okay but the Hi-C dominated despite less of it) and then headed to Barnes & Noble, where I bought a heavy and thick but discounted Spider-Man book. I visited Westfield, still not yet officially open to get my bearings for later (and also to unsuccessfully search for bus schedules), then visited Target out of boredom.  I returned to the pond, taking pics of a brown rabbit en route. The same bird tried hiding again but I got some pics anyway.  Also saw an eagle.  I arrived at Tukwila's Half Price Books just before their 10 am opening, the headed back to Westfield, seeing the same rabbit en route.
[NOW: The light rail is Central Link/Sound Transit. The bus was 140/Metro Transit.]

At Westfield I visited their Borders for the last time (bought some comics) and their f.y.e.  I took the bus I originally planned to take (a 140) to Burien.  I dipped briefly into Normandy Park before returning to Burien and visited Blockbuster, Page 2 Books, and Pawn X-Change (the latter's website says they're now Cash America but I only saw Pawn X-Change's today).  I went to the downtown area of Burien briefly and decided to take an earlier bus than planned.  Unfortunately of my camera battery died en route to the bus and I didn't realize until I was on the bus that I had left behind my itinerary and locations list where I had switched batteries.  Luckily I had a spare in my hostel, so for the rest of the day relied on memory and detective work to figure out what I had planned for the day.
[NOW:  140 again is Metro Transit. I think the switchover to Cash America has now happened. Burien’s Blockbuster is now gone. The bus from Burien was the 180/Metro Transit.]

I took the above bus to Auburn Station.  Luckily I recalled the next bus I was to take so before exploring Auburn I checked where and when I needed to take the bus.  In Auburn I visited Comstock Book & Binding (sneaked a pic of a cat there) and grabbed lunch at Burger King.  I took the 917 bus to the north end of Pacific, and then walked north to Algona.  Here my memory failed me as to where and when I was supposed to make a connection to Federal Way and almost got it wrong (the alternate route would have worked but more slowly), but I noticed that the 917 was on the same route as the 181 and another schedule noted that the 181 went to Federal Way, so I took the 917 back to Auburn, this time stopping at the Supermall (didn't explore to ensure my connection) then from there took the 181 to Federal Way Transit Center.  It was overcast most of the day but finally started to turn nice around now.
[NOW: The 917 bus and 181 busses are also Metro Transit.]

I visited another Barnes & Noble (the Blockbuster in the area having closed down), then Pawn Pros, then Fantasium (Spy Comics & Games under new management), then Pawn X-Change.  Passing roughly where Borders used to be (it closed during the second of two waves of closures before liquidation, I went to McDonald's for a Coke only (it's apparently one of the few not offering a $1 deal), then visited Action City Comics then Al's Music & Games
[NOW: I think this Pawn X-Change is now a Cash America but I don’t recall for sure.]

Here I deliberately went off itinerary.  I was originally going to go straight to Seattle from here but regretted bumping Angle Lake Park off the itinerary; the weather was nice and there was a new express bus of sorts going past it (letter A) so I took it there.  I changed into my swim trunks but didn't swim because I didn't bring my towel (there were lifeguards so I could have).  I took another A bus to Seatac Airport, where I took the light rail back to Westlake Station, Downtown Transit Tunnel back in Seattle.  I walked to the International Fountain, en route passing a glassblowing showing that outside had put out some glass flowers and added a glass vine to a real tree. I also visited the Chief Sealth statue
[NOW: The A bus is a Metro Transit RapidRide bus.  Angle Lake Park is in Seatac.  The light rail was again the Central Link/Sound Transit.]

I went into the International Fountain to cool off, thinking I'd dry quickly, but it clouded over again soon after.  I checked Orange Julius but they probably closed around 6 and it was now 6:45.  I went to the McDonald's across from Seattle Center, which has four poles inside, one each having basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, and footballs.  Having dinner there I mixed Coke and lemonade to better effect, but again the Coke seems to be the weaker drink in any mix. I felt something in my hair which turned out to be a wasp that started exploring my table, otherwise leaving me alone from then on.  I didn't kill it but its chances of survival probably depend on part on whether it's smart enough not to eat the food. I returned to to the fountain, changed back to regular pants and then returned to the hostel a bit earlier than planned. Probably that heavy Spider-Man book helped tired me out.
[NOW: Around the time Center House became the Seattle Center Armory they evicted Orange Julius.]

I think I forgot to mention yesterday: I actually found a section of Seattle Center I hadn't seen before, and small fountain with a hard to describe metal state. A testament to the size of Seattle Center that I can still make discoveries.