Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip Summer 2011 Day 4 Thursday July 28

This is the fourth 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.  

I took a slightly shorter than usual trip to Olympia, but by slightly shorter I mean I didn't arrive in Olympia (by way of 590 Sound Transit and 603 Intercity Transit) until 8:40; the latter claims to accept Orca cards on express busses only, but there was no Orca reader either direction. I visited the Capital to a degree, but not to the extent of previous years. It doesn't really look that different from Victoria's equivalent, though it's still beautiful looking.  I grabbed a breakfast to go at Subway and wandered past the Heritage Fountain, which was not yet open, so I headed to a nearby bus stop, not wanted to rush breakfast by heading to the main terminal.  But then I decided that rather than take the bus to the next area of Olympia I wanted to visited, I'd cross the bridge instead.;  One thing led to another and I walked to the general area of my destination. 

[NOW: Intercity Transit has now officially dropped the ORCA card entirely; previously it was apparently available on some express busses but I rarely if ever saw an ORCA reader.]

I visited Office Max because I expect to run low on memory cards, but they were too pricey.  I visited the Blockbuster but they were not yet on, as expected, but it was the only time I had.  I walked down to Barnes and Noble, then to Westfield (a mall, but hopefully obviously nowhere near the Tukwila one), then went to Borders on Westfield Promenade one last time, buying a couple comics.  I returned to the mall proper and caught the 48 (getting a $2 daypass) to Olympia Transit Center (I was careful not to get on the 48 heading the opposite direction). At the transit center I took the 66 bus to Lacey, where I visited Olympic Cards & Comics and Boomerang (a music store where I bought some DVDs), then grabbed a lunch to go at McDonald's, which I ate at Lacey's Transit Center.

[NOW: As implied above, Borders is now defunct. The busses above are Intercity Transit.]

There I took the 66 back to Olympic Transit Center, where I stepped outside the bus briefly for fresh air; I got back on as it became the 13 to east Tumwater.  Tumwater Video had closed down, so a crossed a bridge over the freeway to west Tumwater where I visited Blockbuster, then quickly took the 12 bus back to the downtown area of Olympia, which I finally explored in depth, starting with Sylvester Park and Fireside Books across the street from it.  I then visited the multicultural bookstore De Colores, then Rainy Day Records (bought some documentaries), the Star Wars Mural, Orca Books (the cat there will let you pet it but its body language is that it doesn't consider being petted any sort of profound experience), then Last Word Books, then Browser's Books (no sign of the dog today), the Danger Room Comics (bought one comic).  I returned to the Heritage Fountain after changing from pants to my swim trunks nearby, and walked in the fountain.  The fountain's decent but not too sophisticated. Water jets on the ground shoot at various speeds and intensity.  Since the only direction for the water to shoot is straight up, you could in theory stand strategically in the middle of the fountain and stay dry.  In terms of the weather it was by now the nicest day of the trip, so I let myself get a bit wet.  Some student artists went around asking people to participate in some project.  I politely declined, wanting to relax some more and dry my trunks and shirt before the trip back.

[NOW: The busses above are Intercity Transit. Tumwater’s Blockbuster is now gone. Fireside Books recently closed.]

I wandered back to Olympia Transit Center and took the 603 bus (half price due to the daypass - $1.25 instead of $2.50) to Tacoma.  I just barely missed my connection because gawkers driving slow at apparently minor accidently slowed highway traffic. I started to walk to Tacoma Book Center to kill time, but noticed that the Sounder was about to leave in a little bit so took that instead of the bus (and sadly neglected the book store; hopefully next week).  The Sounder is a double-decker, so while it costs a bit more than the bus ($3.75 instead of $2.50 or $3 depending on time of day) and a bit slower, it's more relaxing and a better photo op.

[NOW: 603 again is Intercity Transit. The Sounder is Sound Transit.]

It only goes as far as the International District, but I caught a bus with a passed out guide dog a ways north, staying within the Ride Free Zone because I don't think the Sounder allows for transfers.

[NOW: I think the bus was Metro Transit.]

I made it to Seattle Center.  I briefly couldn't find my VISA credit card and photo ID (found both soon after) and was going instead to pay cash for an Orange Julius, but having made the decision to pay cash, apparently 5:55, not 6:00 is when they close Orange Julius. My telling them (I was rummaging for my money right by the till) that I'd hoped to buy a meal didn't change their mind.

[NOW: Around the time that Center House became the Seattle Center Armory they evicted Orange Julius.]

I went to the International Fountain (where I found the missing cards), then Quincy's (like Orange Julius in Center House in Seattle Center) where I grabbed a meal and returned to the fountain.  After more relaxing there went to the nearby Silver Platters, bought some DVDs, then returned to the fountain once more, then returned here where I finished off a Pepsi I started on on Monday.
[NOW:  Again, Center House is now the Seattle Center Armory, though I did see a sign or two with the old name last visit.]

[outdated note about the parade omitted.]

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