Nothing sleepy about Seattle!

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, July 29, 2007

We ended up staying just north of the city of Seattle in a suburb called Lynnwood. It worked out very well for us, as we could not find acceptable lodging in the city on the weekend, unless we were prepared to pay a King's ransom for the accommodation. The "Courtyard by Marriot" was ideal for us: a nice comfortable room, breakfast provided and walking distance to the local Starbucks and a giant local mall. We slept in, did the laundry, checked out the mall, had some lunch and even (heaven forbid) watched a movie (it was our first one this year).
We ate at Ruby's Diner where Colin sampled one of 40 of their varieties of milkshakes (with malt too!) all while a toy train ran laps around the room above us. 'Sicko' was the Michael Moore documentary we saw, all about the inadequacies of the American Health Care system.  After watching that, we made sure that we had our Canadian travel insurance in order, just in case...
On Saturday we headed into Seattle by car down to Pikes Place Market. A massive crowd was standing around at the entrance to the Market opposite the fish mongers. The employee's of this fine establishment, rather than quietly handing the purchased products to each other, made a spectacle by waving their arms about, yelling at the tops of their voices and throwing fish between themselves. No doubt the fish are fresh and if any of them should actually fall to the ground, a lot more yelling is performed and the fish is again thrown either into the ice bath, or into the garbage - As after all, there are plenty more fish in the sea.
We both were enchanted by Seattle -- Swept up in the hustle and bustle of the market and the area beside it. Plenty to do, lots to see, the people were both friendly and relaxed, making for some great fun exploring the cafes, the eateries and checking out the art galleries along the way.
Our next adventure did not work out quite as expected, for we intended to take a bus tour in a similar fashion to both Chicago and Toronto. Well first of all we went to the wrong location and when we did eventually get on board a tour bus; our guide was far less than satisfactory. Her style was to completely ignore the sights and sounds of Seattle, but instead to keep up an incessant barrage of useless, meaningless information which was for the most part, completely off topic.  Every time a new set of victims, er, passengers boarded the bus - we were reminded about how she was once Miss Congeniality many, many, many years ago.
Instead of suffering through the complete tour, we made our escape at the next stop which luck would have it, was the Space Needle.  Soon we were afforded a good view of the city, which with the sun beaming down, looked very grand indeed. Seattle is a fair bit smaller than Toronto, holding fewer than 600,000 people in the city proper. Unfortunately, due to cloud cover, Mt. Rainer was almost entirely obscured with just the outline peaking up between the clouds. We were very impressed by how large it looked, despite its location 87 kilometres South East of Seattle.
On the next day, our final day before heading off to Vancouver, we intended to meet up with an old Australian work friend of Colin's called Jerome, who just happened to be in Seattle over the weekend (small world!).  On our way into the city, we couldn't resist a pilgrimage (?) to see Bill Gates' Microsoft Campus and his high tech home. It was Colin's intention to stage a photograph of him throwing a rock at the sign or some other form of debasement (he's not exactly a fan of Micro$oft), but Melissa had another idea, as you will see in the photos... It was kind of spooky driving around the expensive neighbours around Bill's home as we saw no one around except what looked like the 'hired help'. We took a picture of his gate, which was made out of polished wood and it kind of reminded us of the doors to the Emerald City.
We were still a little early to meet up with Jerome for dinner, so we decided to find another coffee store rather than the ubiquitous Starbucks, as after all coffee pretty much comes from Seattle. Tully's was closed so we picked on 'Seattle's Best Coffee' and were appreciatively sipping down our latté, feeling pretty smug for traveling the road less traveled on. We then discovered that 'Seattle's Best Coffee' was actually owned and operated by Starbucks!  Bah, it was like finding out that your favourite bottled water (Aquafina) was actually sourced from tap water...
Oh, one last thing: Jerome's comment to Melissa, just prior to us calling it a night: 'You know that Australia has nine of the ten most poisonous snakes in the world?' Hmm, and they all live in Colin's backyard ;o)

P.S.  Seattle has a lot of 'Pigs' in and around downtown.   There are 100 painted pigs that have been commissioned by local artists to commemorate the centennial of Pikes Place Market.  The market has always had a pig perched at its entrance as its mascot.
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urmisstik on

On yet one of my 'depressed state of mind' days, you manage to make me smile and be happy.
Thanks so much for being able to do that so many miles away.
I'm having the 'daughter is leaving' syndrome, harsher than I ever thought I would.
I'm ok with her going, but my body is telling me otherwise.
I had to go to the walk in clinic as my dr. is away on holidays. I needed to get a prescription to keep it together.
Guess I won't be driving any time soon.
Love Michelle xoxox

urmisstik on

Can't sleep
I'm so stressed out about Shawna leaving. I'm up with a massive stress headache and cannot sleep. Just as I lay my head on the pillow, Steve just happens to mention to me that Shawna is probably arriving in LA... That did it.

I can't wait until we hear from her, so I know everything is ok.

I hope,like you two are keeping us posted, that Shawna will do the same

It really helps ease the separation anxiety, while enjoying your take on your the days outlook you experienced.

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