Day 16: The first day of summer shines in Seattle
Trip Start Jun 05, 2008
24Trip End Jun 24, 2008
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Today's photog: Kory and Matthew
The sun shone today in Seattle, on this first day of summer, and we took full advantage of it. First we caught a bus to Pioneer Square, which is the old business district of Seattle and now houses a lot of shops, restaurants, etc. We took an Underground Tour, in which we learned of Seattle's early history - and how the Underground developed when a big fire wiped out the city and rebuilding occured on 2 levels at once: merchants rebuilt at the original ground level while the city rebuilt streets a level higher, due to previous problems with tides and drainage. So there was literally a BIG stepdown from the street to the storefronts below - and unwilling to spend money for stairs, merchants put out ladders for customers to use. As streets were completed, the city eventually added sidewalks at the street level, so an entire level of merchants' stores became the underground
After going as low as we could go in Seattle, we then headed up: up the hill to the Columbia Center (also known as the Bank of America Tower), which is the tallest building in Seattle and I think one of the tallest on the West Coast. It has an observation area, and from there we saw (drumroll, please), in all its massive glory, the elusive Mt. Ranier. Wow! The other views weren't bad either, and with the sky so blue and the air so warm, we decided we'd be fools not to go ahead and work in a harbor cruise. So, we headed down to the pier and caught a cruise so we could admire the skyline from another perspective. While this guided tour wasn't quite as funny and interesting as the Underground tour, we still enjoyed it - and we actually got a smidgen of sunburn from sitting on the top deck of the boat.
In between these activities, we hit the Seattle public library (here's a newspaper article about the building), which is an amazing structure and facility, although I have to admit that some of the views from one level to the next gave me a bit of vertigo. But then, I'd already been riding escalators at the Columbia Tower, and this small town girl has a real phobia of down escalators. We had crepes for lunch - delicious! On the way home, in rush hour, we had bus assistance from a nice young man who I preyed on (it turned out he was from Arkansas). We had boarded an "express," so we had to be very careful to get off before it expressed on out past our hotel and to the suburbs. When he wasn't explaining things to me, we also had the chatty assistance of a very friendly, probably homeless couple who said we could come stay with them if we missed our stop.
It was a very full, very beautiful day in Seattle. Tonight Kelsey and I went to the grocery deli for some roasted meat and vegies while the guys ate Rice Krispies. We are quite content to lay around tonight and rest our weary legs. Seattle has quite a few hills - I said that if I lived here, I would be a skinny woman!