This is the 14th of a series of posts dealing with my 2015 trip to Portland, Seattle, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”.
I walked along the Torchlight Parade route a couple times, seeing what was already set up. I did get hassled a few times by... people who thought they were more of an interesting subject to me than the parade set up. The route took me to Seattle Center, the giant popsicle sculpture, the main library, and the temporary VIP stand at Westlake Center. I had breakfast at the hostel before another couple trips along the route. I saw some floats heading to the starting point. At one point I took a break at the international Fountain at Seattle Center.
[NOW: The hostel I stayed at was City Hostel Seattle.]
I walked downtown and had lunch at McDonald’s before entering the Downtown Transit Tunnel and taking the 71 bus (both buses this day King County Metro Transit) to the University of Washington. I wandered around there to the Drumheller Fountain, then I walked to the nearby University Village shopping area northeast of the U District. There I saw such fountains as Water Frolic (frogs and turtles "spitting") and a Stonehenge fountain. I searched Office Depot and Bartell Drugs unsuccessfully for a case for my memory cards. I walked back through the University of Washington. In the U District I took a 43 bus to Capitol Hill. Some people were filming at the pop machine with the mystery buttons so I visited Rite Aid and the new Phoenix Comics to buy time. Finally I did approach the filmmakers. They offered once of the cans they'd already gotten but that would take the fun out the machine. So they took a brief break and I put money in the machine. Before there were four "choice" buttons and two mystery buttons; this time all six were mystery buttons. I got a peach citrus Fresca. Not bad. Better than a cherry pop like I normally get.
Heading south I found a giant plastic laminated replica of a US $1 on the gorund and grabbed it but almost immediately began to wonder if the original owner would want it back. I visited the Elliot Bay Book Company and Everyday Music (got some DVDs) and saw two cats at Twice Sold Tales. Then, since the $1 was wrinkled ins such a way as to suggest it was well used and possibly well loved, I returned it roughly where I found it in the hopes that it would be snagged by the original owner and not someone else.
I walked to Seattle Center and rested a bit at the International Fountain. Someone there was handing out almost cranberry bars. Tasted pretty good. I wandered the parade route again. More than a few sofas. Someone, whom I think did something similar in past years had other household items like a bunk bed for kids, a lamp, etc., but someone else took things once step further and brought their pool table. I grabbed dinner at a Subway that was a little tucked away thus minimal line even on a Torchlight Parade day. I wandered the parade route some more; at one point people were, yes, playing pool. I also got photos of a Ride the Ducks duck (amphibious tour vehicle) and horse drawn carriage together at a red light.
I returned to Seattle Center; at Seattle Center Armory's info centre I learned the pre-parade runners were at 6:30 so returned to the international Fountain for a bit. Someone gave out cookies. I left for the parade route by which point some roads were available to sit in the middle of. I snagged a seat in one such road, spotting an opening.
The runners appeared first and then later there were dancing senior ladies called the Red Hot Mamas. The last of the pre-show were the motorcycle cops. Highlights once things began included horses (not the first set of horses but later ones did a bit of a dance), a pickle mascot, the whale float looking lethargic due to a leak, a potato van (sadly had to switch memory cards as it was going past), fire fighter bag pipe players playing Amazing Grace (hope that isn't an indicator of their success rate), King County Metro Transit people (snagged a free bus ticket), the Seattle Seafair Clowns, a recycle mascot, the Seattle Seafair Pirates (with the cannon firing ship) and Lincoln’s Toe Truck. The parade ended soon after the latter but the pirates weren't far away so I got some more video of the pirates' cannon firing before leaving the parade. I visited 2nd Avenue Grocery (had a different name last year) before returning to the hostel.