Seattle Afternoon

Looking down the famous slope into Pike Place Market of Seattle

I took a day from work and drove to Seattle to meet a dear, dear friend of mine. How beautiful is it when we can claim a friend from decades ago? V spent all weekend meeting his gamer friends in RL (how awesome are my friends?!) and then extended his return trip to Honolulu by an additional day in order to give me time to see him.

Ceramic machine gun in a shop window. There is also a ceramic grenade on the chest in the back. And... a ceramic cow.
peace is fragile

The drive from Portland to Seattle went particularly smoothly, and in mere hours I was smack in the middle of the city, cautiously moving the dragon wagon over the steep slopes down to the water’s edge. V came out to the streetside, jumped in, pointed me to a parking garage, and in minutes we were afoot!

animated hammer

Seattle is a great city and I have not been there for so many years. I was certainly due. When I was young, and a teen, and even when I was in my twenties, it seems like I was here all the time. We explored on our way through to the tiny logging town of Forks, or combined with our camping trip to Whidbey Island, or to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Tacoma. Then the reasons to go apparently stopped coming up. Till now. 

V’s availability was precisely one day, which is a great motivator. That’s why I got up off my butt and drove to the city. Aside from V, my brother Ian lives in Seattle. He moved here after school in Moscow (the one in Idaho, not the one in Russia), and has been there about a year now. That would be reason Number 1 to visit the city, but I haven’t (I’m a bad sister, bad!). I was holding off on visiting Ian this summer, because I was told I would probably get sent to Seattle for my month-long training session. I thought I might likely have an entire month of weekends to hang with my brother. No such luck. Just found out it will be Phoenix, not Seattle. (And, with five future weeks in Phoenix, I’m sure you’ll get more than one post about it…)

Inside the Pike Place Market
The famous fish market. No fish were being thrown at the time...

We had a short day only, since the 3 ½ hour drive north puts me in the city at late morning, and the 3 ½ hour drive south forces me to leave early. We walked Pike Place Market, of course. We breezed through because neither of us needed to shop, and we were trying to take in as much as possible. We wandered up and down ramps and stairs. The place is a honeycomb of shops all stacked on top of each other through successively lower levels.

With this photo, I am trying to capture all the different, crazy levels of the underground section of Pike Place Market.
Pike Place Magic Shop

I thought it might be fun to get on a ferry, remembering my childhood when we so often drove our vehicles onto the public ferries traversing Puget Sound. We walked up to a window to ask questions, and in less than 5 minutes had purchased tickets for a tour about to board. We were off in no time. Rather than a regular ferry trip to somewhere with the commuters, which is arguably more authentic and for that reason arguably more desirable, I felt that my very first narrated journey would be worth the time and money. V was letting me have my way with nearly everything (hee), and this was no exception. In a very short time we were off, and in the excellent weather and company, we enjoyed a narrated tour of a bit of the sound.

Seattle from the Sound

What a spectacular day it was! A perfect mix of clouds and breezes and sunshine. We were warm and cool and then perfectly temperate. All kids of delicious views from the water. I’ll just let the photos talk…

Sea Lions kicking it on a buoy.

sea-based radar in port for repairs
HUGE container ship

On shore, it was time to eat, so we stepped into a Mexican-American place to fill the tummies. The place was emptied just for us, due to the immediately post-lunch crowd dispersal when we arrived.

returning to the pier
love the green glass
well-known landmark

I suggested the touristiest thing of all: the Space Needle. Come on! You gotta go! V had been there all weekend and had not rode the elevator up. It was a non-holiday Monday and though the lines were long, I assumed they must be much longer on other days. So with a little encouragement, my friend agreed, and off we went to stand in line. We were nearly out of time at that point, so once we got to the top, we had to scoot around rather quickly. The views were amazing, as promised.

We took a shortcut through an alley and found this astonishing sight: chewing gum stuck onto the walls, covering every square inch of a huge section of this building
V and me from the top of the Space Needle

We scampered back to the parking garage, and his hotel downtown. It had been a quick albeit excellent catching-up on each other’s lives in a spectacular city.

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