Friday, September 21, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2011 Day 3 Wednesday July 27

This is the third 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.  

Insomnia last night, in part because nothing was covering the windows. Not sure if I got any sleep.

Today is one of those examples on how to use an itinerary, in that I deviated quite a bit from it, and yet today wouldn't have been possible without a gameplan.  I was a bit uneasy about the timing of my original plans for the day, so when I still couldn't sleep and got up a bit after 6, I decided to substitute my Fri plans, at list to start with. I took the 554 bus to downtown Issaquah, then took the 209 to Snoqualmie, passing a few small towns like Fall City (imagine a pioneer town that has a giant Spongebob Squareparts) along the way. Snoqualmie is quite neat, a railroad-based town, with a wooden wheel and a giant log on dpisplay. I bought a couple breakfast sandwiches at Snoqualmie Market before taking the 209 bus (most of the seats are for the elderly and disabled) back to Issaquah Transit Center.  From here I was originally going to go to Cougar Mountain Zoological Park, but it's a bit of a hike and I didn't trust the clouds to rain on me nowhere near shelter. So instead took a bus to Eastgate Freeway Station, Bellevue and then crossed a bridge and went down a parking lot staircase to Eastgate Park & Ride; bit of a wait there but in my sleepy state didn't bother me much. I took the 221 bus to what I thought was Duvall. However, it seems that there's similarly named intersection in Bellevue and the computer got it wrong.  I also lost my last remaining itinerary sheet but luckily found where I dropped it.  Anyway, no Duvall this trip.

[NOW: The 554 bus is Sound Transit. The 209 bus, a small bus like ones that nowadays typically travel to smaller communities, is Metro Transit. The other two busses were also Metro Transit.]

Luckily I was pretty close to another place on my itinerary, albeit originally planned for later, so I walked and took a 230 bus to Crossroads Shopping Center.  I visited and got some DVDs at Silver Platters (still there but in a different part of the mall), noted that the Blockbuster was now gone, and visited Crossroads’ Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble. I took another 230, asking the driver to let me off near Redmond Town Center (in Redmond). He suggested one location which would have meant backtracking, but I figured out an earlier and better stop to get off at first visited Redmond's Half Price Books near the Center.  In the Center (one of the most beautiful shopping centre I've been to), I visited the Center's Borders one last time getting some DVDS and comics. I then walked to Redmond Transit Center, then doubled back to 7-11 to grab some much before returning to the Transit Center. I barely had time to start eating before a 230 bus to Bellevue Transit Center arrived.  From latter I'd originally planned to visit the nearby Barnes & Noble and Downtown Park, but while I like both, especially the park, I wanted to connect with my original Wednesday plans mid-way, so I took a 535 bus to Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. The bus arrived so quick I didn't have time to drink from a fountain, let alone continue my lunch.

[NOW: The 230 bus is Metro Transit.   As the above hints at, Borders is now defunct. The 535 bus is Sound Transit.]

Alderwood lost its Borders during the first wave of closures, It has a lovely outside area, including fountains, a horse statue, etc.  Inside the mall I bought some DVDs at f.y.e. and got an Icee at the food court. I found it to be pricee, er, pricey, so I didn't mind paying my credit card.  I went to a nearby bus stop and barely had time to continue my now cold lunch before a 115 bus arrived.
[NOW: The 115 bus is Community Transit.]

I took the bus to near Lynnwood's Half Price Books, but before entering finished my lunch.  Like previous Half Price's the most tempting items where multiple DVD sets, but the same company puts out lots of similar sets with quite a bit of overlap, so the returns were diminished.

I went to the nearby Swift bus stop, Crossroads Station (nowhere near Crossroads Shopping Center above; still Lynnwood). Swift busses are express busses where you pay at the stop before entering. A took the Swift bus to Shoreline, where I transferred to the 358 bus. A cranky guy asked me questions. I answered politely until he got rude and then I ignored him.

[NOW: The Swift bus is Community Transit. The 358 bus is Metro Transit.]

Getting off in the northwest area of Seattle, I took distant shots with zoom of the Elephant on Aurora statue, then walked to the Greenwood area of Seattle, where the Greenwood parade was getting up (on my way over I was nervous at the group of police cycles heading my way until I remembered, right the parade (wasn't doing anything illegal, but my picture taking raises questions in some).  At Greenwood I visited Blockbuster, Dreamstands Comics (bought some comics; would have bought more but there was stuff in a lot of the areas of I wanted to look at), then Balderdash books.
[NOW: Balderdash Books is now closed, though 50c Books has opened up in its place.]

I bought some diner at Walgreen's, making it the third retail meal purchase.  A dog was quite excited about the parade about to commence.  The Greenwood Parade is best described as an earlier starting "dress rehearsal" for the upcoming Torchlight Parade, with many of the same participants, including the police motorcycles (a highlight, though one causing lots of delays as they near a lot of driving room), horses, dogs, Seafair Clowns, Lake City Western Vigilantes, a tow company's Toe Truck (shaped, yes, like a toe), and the Seattle Seafair Pirates.  This year a few vintage cars finished the parade, but immediately before was the traditional ended, a pirate ship that fired a cannon (got some nice smoke shots).

I left the parade to head to the bus stop.  Lightning struck twice and I was again able to get photos of Seattle Seafair Clowns sitting in the outdoor area of the same pub as last year (Bleacher's), though this year their van obscured them somewhat.  This year the 5 bus arrived a lot sooner than usual, so I took it to near Seattle Center.  Kids where still playing in the fountain when I arrived, but soon after it turned 9 pm and the fountain entered dormat mode.  Had a bit of a wait at this terminal.
[NOW: The 5 bus is Metro Transit.]

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