Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Seattle & Friends Trip Summer 2012 Day 4 Wednesday July 25

This is the fourth of a series of posts dealing with my ninth and most recent trip to Seattle as adult. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports.  What little updates there are are indicated by “NOW” in brackets.

I actually woke up around 5:40 feeling pretty refreshed, probably due to turning in early.

I did a quick check on things at the computer; nearby a woman was talking loudly on her cell.  I walked downtown; I think Swerve's now a flower shop.  I visited Pike Place Market and saw Rachel the Pig (large piggy bank).  

[NOW: The former Swerve location is actually now an umbrella shop.]

I wanted to wander at some point at the former borders location, but not only has it been completely changed, the bulk of the old area's now a spa. I walked to the Downtown Transit Tunnel at Westlake and put more money on my ORCA card, then walked to a bus stop where the bus stop sign was leaning. I took the 510 bus (Sound Transit) to Everett Station and from there took the 202 bus (Community Transit) to Marysville.  I bought some DVD sets at Kmart and grabbed breakfast at McDonald's across the street. There was a little wait for the hash browns and I was told they'd be hot. But a bus promptly arrived (201? Community Transit) that I took to Broadway in Everett, so it was lukewarm by then.

[NOW: The southbound bus was a 202, not a 201.]

 I walked down to the downtown core. The Visitor's Info was closed so I couldn't get an Everett Transit bus schedule there.  I took a Swift (Community Transit; express) bus down south to Evergreen and 4th and walked to Everett Mall from there (a fair hike but downhill); there I visited the Comic Stop and then visited the Half Price Books across the street from the mall, getting some DVDs.  A bus (Everett Transit) arrived so I took it part way; there were no schedules but someone noticed me looking for one and gave me his, a good thing since this turned off sooner than I'd hoped.  Waiting for the next bus a guy creeped me out a bit by asking me to take a pick of him and then trying to give me a book he claimed he wrote. The 7 Everett bus took me back to Evergreen. I got back to the Swift stop from before and took it to James Village in Lynnwood, where I visited another Half Price Books.

[NOW: The earlier Everett Transit bus was a 2.]

A 196 bus (Community Transit) took me to Alderwood Mall, where I visited fye and the Food Court, but I didn't get any food because I was worried about missing a bus connection.

I took the 535 bus to Cascadia College/University of Washington in Bothell, where I connected with a 73 bus (Metro Transit). I got off att Seattle at NE 145th St and Lake City Way.  It's a strange stop: one corner's Seattle, another to the east's a no man's land that's probably seen as Seattle, another corner to north of Seattle is Shoreline, and east of that is Lake Forest Park.  I crossed to Shoreline and quickly crossed the street to Lake Forest Park and back just to say that I'd been to that town for the first time, then ate at Shoreline's McDonad's at that corner.

I wandered west on Shoreline (with Seattle across the street) and arrived at Video Factory across the street on the Seattle side; got some more DVDs.  I missed a connection and an attempt to save time by switching streets backfired, so I ended up dashing around 40 blocks (much of it uphill) to 7-11 on Roosevelt, where  got a lemon cream Slurpee to carry me the rest of the way to Reckless Video.  I walked downhill to 1st Ave NE but had to head back up because I lost my itinerary again but thought I saw it recently. It was at the 7-11 thankfully. Back downhill I made it to the Northgate area Silver
Platters, where I bought more DVDs.  By now I'd lost a lot of the lead time from starting out early.

I took a 75 bus (Metro Transit; had hoped to get the 5) to a northern part of Greenwood.  I wandered south, getting photos of Greenwood Parade set-up.  I got some pop at Walgreen's.

An adjunct to the parade I don't really approve of is I so a group of miniature horses tied to a pull for use as a children’s merry go round.  They were standing entirely still so at the time I wasn't sure they were real horses).  I crossed the street to a newly opened but still largely empty 50cBooks, which was in the former Balderdash location.  I continued along the then-future parade route on 85th Ave.  I bought some DVDs at one of the few remaining Blockbuster locations (unlike Canada there's still some left).  I visited Dreamstrand comics and continued west. When I reached the end of the parade route I doubled back to a hot dog stand (passing along the way a van that said Love Even Your Enemy about to be towed) and got a deal there.

I went back along the Greenwood Ave part of the parade route; by this time the merry go round was in operation and now I was pretty sure they were real horses tied so as to have to walk in a circle). Not cool.

I arrived at where I wanted to sit down well before the parade so I got a decent spot.  Here's some of the highlights (I forgot to write when I saw the police motorists so that bit of chronology might be off
but the rest is accurate; an asterix means it's a regular for this parade): Ronald McDonald*, a woman apparently in the parade (for school?) texting, police motorcyclists*, kids on unicycles, some weird
multi-people tricycle like contraption that seemed to be backwards, A-1 Piano having people in fake horse heads playing or pretending to play music, Lake City Western Vigilantes* in their bumpy car, another parade goer taking a cell call, Seattle Seafair Pirates*, Seattle Seafair Clowns*, Keystone Kops*, Barbie Dream Hearse (I confess this took me a bit to fully register), Lincoln's Toe Truck*, people taking away garbage* (thus keeping things cleaner than after the Torchlight Parade; I should have mentioned this in previous reports), and more Seattle Seafair Pirates firing a cannon*.  No horses along the parade route this year. Wonder if it has to do with bowel issues last year.

I dashed along the parade route after the end to get to the nearest bus stop.  Now for the answer to the question that some of you are probably wondering: were there clowns at the pub just south of the
parade again? Well, I saw a clown on my side of the street across from the pub putting his bike in a truck, but no Clown vehicles this time. Given that one clown, I suspect that more clowns were inside, being a bit more discreet this year than in previous years.

[NOW: Pure speculation, but they might have been extra discrete this year because popular children’s clown Chris Wedes (J.P. Patches) had just died days earlier.]

I arrived at the bus stop.  I saw a 48 bus that I could have gone east along and connected with another bus downtown, but it wasn't that long a wait last year for the more direct bus (5 Metro Transit).

This year.... the wait was 70 minutes. At first I was upset but it became so surreal that I started to find it funny. I decided not to grab another 48 because I got curious to find out how this was going to end. Lots of northbound 5s but no southbound ones. The crowd grew louder and testier and some made other plans such as that 48.

The bus opened right in front of me so I snagged a window seat but it was so dark I only took a few photos. Passengers were less cooperative than usual due to the wait, not wanting to give up a seat
for a wheelchair and not moving from the back door so it could close (the driver had to head outside to get them to move).  It was dark and hard to see but I figured that if it was completely dark it was too soon to exit anyway.

After passing the Space Needle I started losing my bearings again but finally saw Regrade Park up ahead.  I got off, walked to a convenience store, then here at the hostel.

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