Spokane to Seattle, WA

Trip Start Jun 27, 2009
Trip End Aug 07, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, July 11, 2009

Seattle Day I

So today's drive was a very nice one, albeit strange. Let me explain.

You see, when the word desert is mentioned what areas of the country come to mind? Arizona? New Mexico? South Jersey? Sure! All of those are acceptable areas. What about Washington State? Ya know, the one where they grow all of the apples. Do you think of vast expanses of desert there? No of course not because you’re a rational person. However, myself…Jen…and all of you have forgotten something very important: Geography.

You see, the Cascade Range (mountains) divides Washington State into east and western parts. The eastern part on the Pacific Ocean receives vast amounts of moisture every year in the form of rain and snow. HOWEVER…as this weather moves west it collides with the mountains which essentially block most moisture from making it to the other side! Because of this, the western side of the mountains is a desert. Please check out the pictures if you don’t believe me. It’s complete with tumbleweeds, cactus, lots of taco restaurants, and yes…loads of sunburn.

Almost immediately after hitting the top of the Cascade Range though..the desert turns into lush pine forests with rolling hills and beautiful lakes. This was the rest of the drive to Seattle. By the way…when did Seattle become so hilly? I think it’s trying to emulate San Francisco because I went through about 4 clutches before finally finding a place to park in this mountainous city!

Speaking of the city…it’s awesome. Imagine a really laid back place, where everyone is an artisan, educated, and completely crazy. Yep, that’s Seattle. In a good way of course!

We started by checking in at our hostel/hotel. It’s an incredibly old building with a really scary elevator and the whole place looks like it was probably used first as a hotel, then as a college dorm, then as a haunted house, and then finally as a hostel. Creepy.

We then went to explore Seattle. Only two blocks away is the Pike Place Market which you may have seen in movies or on TV (it’s the famous place where they throw fish around…) Anyway, it was really crowded but had awesome shops. The entire complex is on the waterfront as is a labyrinth of passageways, stores, eateries, etc. We made sure to find a place with some bubble tea (if you’ve never had it you’re missing out!) and then continued walking downtown.

Now Seattle is eccentric, it’s the birthplace of grunge rock, rock/metal, and has a very open population of people. You can’t go even a block without finding someone holding up a sign that says exactly what they’re thinking, or a sign that protests the government, or a sign that simply asks something too inappropriate to put into this journal.

We came across one man in the Pike Place Market who had a sign that said, "9/11 Uncovered" & “Don’t be deceived by Obama.” Since I’m fond of getting into arguments and debating I asked him what idea he was trying to sell. He quickly showed me a copy of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, trying to prove to me that Obama was orchestrating a plot to strip of us our rights, and that 9/11 was a government inside job. STOP RIGHT THERE.

Now, I said something pretty outrageous at this point to the man and followed it up with the fact that I knew those documents better than he ever would. And while I support a person’s 1st Amendment right to free speech and assembly, I do not support his right to be rude (and an idiot). How dare someone from Seattle ever try to convey to a person who saw those towers fall, that it was a huge government cover up. These people need two things: a better day job and some common sense.

In reality though these people provide me with endless entertainment, so as we walked on I enjoyed ridiculing their ideas to myself and under my breath so as not to upset Jen who prefers I stay out of arguments with strangers on the street.

Walking downtown we found a lovely area with some more great stores including a book store that took up an entire city block, a huge toy store, an antique stores in abundance. Also…unlike Minneapolis…there is a coffee shop about every block in Seattle. The city is the biggest consumer of coffee per person anywhere in the United States: I felt I was home!

It was getting late and so we found a Pan-African restaurant to grab dinner at (which was very good) and then retired back to our hostel.

All in all Seattle is great. Very walkable, very pretty, and a lot of fun.
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