Friday, December 7, 2012

Seattle & Friends Trip Summer 2012 Day 7 Saturday July 28

This is the seventh 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.

Enough new stuff to warrant another trip report.

I walked along the parade set-up route, taking me from Belltown to the downtown core to Pioneer Square District and back.  Meant to mention yesterday: the giant red popsicle statue is still there.  The large VIP seating area by Westlake Center was already mostly set up even though I got there before (I think) 6:30.  Also  forgot to mention before: across from where Borders used to be is an art exhibit with statues of blue trees and nude people (with no discernible hair, breasts, butts, or genitalia). Intentionally or not, this exhibit is called Borders.

On the return trip I continued on, passing Seattle Center.  Leaving the parade set-up, I walked up to Kerry Park Viewpoint, which has a great aerial view of the city, the sole price of the view being a
steep climb up a hill.  Heading down, I cut through Seattle Center, with a brief visit to the not yet open International Fountain. Curiously the grass around it wasn't taped off the way it normally is
this soon before the parade.  I returned to the parade set-up for more photos and made it to the hostel for breakfast.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

To cut down on time, TP=Torchlight Parade and TPS=Torchlight Parade Set-up.

More TPS, this time starting by heading to Seattle Center.  There the door was open to the Chihuly Garden & Glass, so I wandered in, as did others before and after me; I thought maybe there was some sort of Seafair promo and if we weren't supposed to be there, security would have blocked us. Everyone got shooed out so it was open by accident, but I had already gotten some decent shots.  More TPS wandering downtown. I checked with Camera West and Office Depot re: memory cards as I didn't think I had enough for the rest of the trip; the former didn't have the sizes I was looking for and Office Depot was too expensive. More TPS, then I visited Pike Place Market, getting some DVDs at Holy Cow Records. I got a quick look at Rachel the Pig but a family was playing with Rachel so I didn't linger.

Camera West had recommended a place out of the way but as I was trying to figure out how to get there, I saw an 18 bus (all busses today Metro Transit), which I recognized as a bus that would take me to a Staples a little ways north. I got off there, bought some memory cards at a price I could live with and took another 18 downtown.

My next bus was late, but either it or the following bus arrived and I took the 54 to Alaska Junction in West Seattle.  There I visited Leisure Books, Pegasus Book Exchange, West Seattle's Easy Street
Records (bought some DVDs), and Rubato Records, which was gone beyond a cryptic "See you later" message.  I took the free 773 bus, which became 775 at Seward Park, to Alki Beach.  This year the Alki Art Fair coincided with my trip; also saw the Birthplace of Seattle marker, the miniature Statue of Liberty, and the Alki Bathhouse which I don't think was ever used for bathing.  I grabbed lunch at Pepperdock Burgers, a tradition of miine whenever I visit Alki Beach as it's right across the street from the beach.

I took the free 775 bus to Seward Park and the King County Water Taxi (also Metro Transit) to downtown Seattle.

More TPS to the 7-11 near Seattle Center, where I bought a sandwich and pop in advance for dinner.  At Seattle Center I enjoyed samples of various drinks in connection with the TP and relaxed for a couple of hours at the International Fountain, eventually eating the dinner I bought earlier.

More TPS down to Pioneer Square District and back north to near Seattle Center; this walk and the one right after the ferry I switched sides of the streets whenever I hit a red light unless there was some issue with doing so.

I found my favourite place to watch the TP, across the street by the 70-11 near Seattle Center. I grabbed a Slurpee while waiting for things to begin.  As part of the pre-show there were a couple of people with disabilities on some bicycle like contraption; the second went the wrong way and had to double back. Then there were the runners.  The Seattle Seafair Pirates hung out a bit; after they left a couple people went by and one remarked that the (now long gone) runners would be going by soon..

As with last year, when the TP began, I couldn't see much of the show from where I was sitting, the one down side. A few BC places were represented: Kelona, Pentiction, and Cowichan Lake. While at the fountain, I got a guide to the parade, which made taking notes easier as I could usually just note numbers.

Highlights of the parade therefore: various horses at various times, car balloon, three different hydroplanes on vehicles (the first one was having some sort of trouble), pirate balloon, Blue Angels (plane) balloon, dragon teams lengthy Chinese dragon, Talking Rain drink balloon, the Seattle Seafiar Clowns (with plenty of banners paying tribute to the recently departed clown Chris Wedes aka J.P. Patches), orca balloon, airplane balloon, Seahawks helmet car, Seattle Seafair Pirates (with the Moby Duck firing its cannon again), Star Wars characters, Ezell's chicken roller skate vehicle, Lake City Vigilantes, Toe Truck, etc.

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