Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Seattle & Friends Trip Summer 2012 Day 9 Monday July 31



This is the ninth 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.

First some old business. One day (can't recall which) did get into Regrade Park (closed off off-leash area and got a nice doggie greeting.

Night before last got woken up twice. First person above me decided to wake me up for snoring too loudly. I sympathize up to a point because snoring drives me nuts too, but I never wake anyone up for that because it's a natural sleep process, waking someone up who's that deeply asleep is highly disruptive, and frankly it's the price you pay for staying at a hostel.  Then later someone in another room started shouting the same thing over and over with some swearing (can't recall exactly what was said). Soon after I heard, "You! Out!" so they ceased to be a problem.

Finally yesterday en route to Gas Works Park I visited the Durn Good Grocery but found the pop too durn pricey.

Today (probably yesterday by the time I finish this): Got up early and walked to the McDonald's on 3rd Ave, then walked to the Greyhound dept. I got there a bit before 6:30 because the ticket said to be there at least an hour ahead of time (from 8 am) but they didn't even open until 7. So to kill time because I was nearby anyway, I crossed through and up the Convention Center and made it to Freeway Park, one of the places on my to-do list anyway (it's the park that's, well, over a freeway.) There was kite-shaped art hanging over the park, probably done by kids.  I actually found a new section of the park I hadn't known about before heading back to the depot. This exited via the Pike Path rather than Convention Center. It was also supposed to open at 7 but was already open.

I visited Stewart Grocery which opened at 6:30 but thought their water was too pricey.  The depot finally opened up.  Very small and primitive unlike the Toronto depot, no signs with arrival times, everything in English & Espanol.

The bus only arrived around 8 and left at 8:17. A very obese woman sat beside me but switched seats at Tacoma (Tacoma Dome Station), where there was a delay because a couple guys in a row hadn't gone in Seattle apparently and couldn't wait.  Next stop was Olympia then after that Centralia (Chevron Food Mart); 10 minute layover so bought some M&Ms.  In Keslo there was just enough time to stretch my legs. Then the bus passed through but didn't stop at Vancouver WA, finally arriving at Portland (by Union Station) only a little late.

Note: all local buses & trains were Tri-Met Transit.  I had six places that were on my last of must-see, being highlights of the previous trip.

I bought a daypass from a Union vending machine then took the Green MAX line to Convention Station. I got a bit turned around but finally made it to the free Vacuum Museum (a small corridor in Stark Vacuums). The 6 bus was late but I finally took it north to Title Wave, a library bookstore.  Yes, a library bookstore actually made the cut of places I had to revisit this trip. The last trip a guy at a comic shop said 'You may not find what you're looking for there but you'll always find something cool there." True enough.  I got 4 foreign DVDs for 10c each plus for $7.99 an Omnibus edition of the comic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

[NOW: Every colour in the MAX line is light rail.]

I took the 6 down south and after a 15 minute wait headed east on the 20 bus and then south to Movie madness. The last time I got a lot of neat alternative movies but this time the sale stuff was more mainsteam, the good stuff only being rental. Disappointing since it took a good chunk of the day to return there.

I took a 15 bus back downtown where I initially tossed something off my last.  In the meantime I bought lunch (barbecue wings) from a trailer that was part of a group of trailers, this one being a sausage place. The wings were good but it was another long 15 minute wait, not fast food as anticipated. While waiting I visited Cameron's Bookstore across the street (not one of the 6). Because of the wait the guy gave me a pop "on him"; I decided to be diplomatic and not remind him that I had in fact paid for the pop earlier.

I next made it to Mill Ends Park (one of the 6), in the Guinness Book of World Records at the world's smallest park. It's in the middle of the crosswalk on Taylor at Naito. I could have literally stepped over it but the plant in the center was a little talk and might have been damaged had I stepped wrongly.  There's a fountain nearby so I revisited it, then returned to the tiny park once more briefly. I think the story is there used to be a telephone pole there and after it was removed a reporter called it a park as a running gag and the city eventually went along with the gag and made it official.

Heading north downtown I saw a Yellow MAX tram and decided to put the item I was tossing from my list back on. I took it south a ways and finally reached its final stop, which was good because I finally recalled it was the Portland Streetcar and not the MAX line that goes to the next stop (yes Portland actually makes a distinction). In the meantime I visited the stop there (Portland State Bookstore, as in Portland State University and bought a slightly outdated issue of Entertainment Weekly because it referred to the latest Batman movie as the Killer Finale and I couldn't resist the unfortunate unintended extra meaning (if you don't know the extra meaning, do a search online for Dark Knight Rises murders). I'd seen the issue earlier at the 7-11 in northeast Seattle and was glad to get another chance to get it.

Anyway, back to that destination that was taken off the list and put back on: I took the Portland Streetcar to a $4 return tram that goes to a hospital and back, offering great views of the city in the process.

I then took the Portland Streetcar to my final planned stop, on the way overhearing that Portland like Seattle's losing its Ride Free area. I arrived downtown at Powell's City of Books (main store).  It's huge, a whole block, with lots of rooms and levels.  That said I didn't find anything I wanted to buy. The used price isn't really that far marked down from new. But it’s still interesting to wander through.

I had just enough time to check out a few places beyond my itinerary. I visited a park with an elephants statue and then visited the Portland branch of Everyday Music.  I went south to the food court at Pioneer Place but the McDonald's I always ate at last trip was gone and the other places didn't appeal to me. I grabbed a bus (5? 6?; not sure) but realized it was going the wrong direction.

I dashed up a block (5th and 6th are one way) to a bus that took off as I reached it, then a tram (Yellow?) did the same. I took a 9? bus a ways catching up with the tram, which took off again, though I managed to catch it further down by running. I took it to Union Station and had dinner there.

I arrived 55 minutes ahead of time, close to the 1 hour, but could have arrived a little after the planned departure time and still gotten a decent seat as it turned out (bus late, very few people boarding).  This time there was no time to get out at Kelso, but same layover at Centralia (bought a 44 ounce fountain Pepsi for $1.29 plus more M&Ms).  I bought the stuff because I was feeling sleepy and wnated to get in more photos but soon reached the point where photo taking was limited anyway due to lack of light. Construction delayed the returned, reducing part of the northbound I-5 to one lane. Someone kept getting off when he wasn't supposed to in order to smoke. One passenger not bound for Olympia apparently disappeared there.  Lots of people got on at Tacoma even though Sound Transit was still running. Finally made it back to Seattle; as predicted, there wasn't an easily avoided breakdown like there was with Amtrak.

A brief stop at the store near the hostel, then back safe and sound.

1 comment:

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