Hoo Boy! Seattle is a great place. When I say, “Make it stop!” I mean that in a good way!
The people here are a nice bunch, public transport is great, especially the ferry rides. Riding from Bainbridge (BI) to Seattle is free. Heading back to BI you pay a fare ($7.70). Car with passenger is less than $15. Not bad. The ferry is huge (carries hundreds of people) and very comfortable. The seats are way better than movie theater seats and many folks take advantage of that by snoozing on the 35 minute trip. Triple deckers, you can walk around mid-deck inside, climb up to the upper deck for some sun and wind, or hang out in your car on the lower deck. There’s a cavernous snack bar on board and weary commuters can even buy a pint of great local craft beer (Pike Brewing’s Golden Ale is… Nirvana [reference intended] ) to smooth the waters. Bicycling here is big and it’s always fun to watch the cyclists, both young and old, get first dibs leaving the ramp. Motorcycles are next and then autos.
After leaving the ferry, we hopped on a bus to the Olympic Sculpture Garden along the waterfront. The Sculpture Garden starts with a boardwalk along the harbor. It was a pleasant day to be out and the walk heightened the experience. We enjoyed viewing the permanent installations as we continued to meander our way to an outdoor amphitheater adjacent to a large building that served as a gathering place for artists. While there, a number of folks, under the watchful eye of an instructor, were working with charcoal. Expression in action, it sums up not only the Olympic Sculpture Garden, but the city of Seattle itself.
We headed uphill to Westlake Station and traveled the 1962 World’s Fair Monorail to Seattle Center where the Chihuly exhibit is located as well as the Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, as well as a few other venues. The trip up the elevators of the Space Needle was a bit eye-opening for me. One second you’re in a dark elevator and the next you’re flooded with light and rocketing skyward. The view from the observation area was awesome. Not a perfectly clear day, but the sky was indeed blue; a rare treat for Seattle. I heard one local refer to the previous day’s overcast gray as “Seattle blue.” :- )
We spent some time at the Experience Music Project learning about and listening to the lives and music of such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, and others. There was a lot to take in and even more to experience. I dabbled in the interactive Sound Lab, but Ali jumped in a bit more than me. Seattle rocks, but it was obvious to me that Ali rocked a bit more on this day.
We ended day two in Seattle a bit weary but upbeat. The trip back to BI started with jumping on the Monorail, walking 6 blocks to Pike’s Brewing near Pike St. and 1st. There we had a wonderful Pike’s Anniversary Golden Ale from the tap. Another 4 block walk to the Ferry Terminal, the trip across Elliott Bay, a walk to the parking lot, and then a three minute ride to the hotel.
Can’t wait to come back. – Dan