I live in a remote area of the nation in an underground bunker designed by the NSA. (Some of this is not true, but some of it is.) Every now and again, I like to venture out of my bunker and see what is happening in the closest metropolitan area. (I actually live closer to Victoria, BC, but Canadian cities are subsidized by the government so they don’t really count as real cities like the ones in the mighty USA.)
In a non-scientific poll conducted by the person writing this blog, Seattle, Washington, USA, was voted the most beautiful city in the world on a nice day, and the fifth most beautiful city when the weather is terrible. There are some nice other cities out there, but Seattle’s combination of mountains and water set it apart from the pretend pretty cities.
Today, through the magic of the inter-webs, I will be taking you on a quick trip to Seattle to see the touristy areas in the downtown. You don’t even need a raincoat (don’t ever, ever, ever bring an umbrella to this city) to enjoy your trip. So, sit back and have a sip of coffee while we visit the most beautiful city in the world. (Think of the blurry photos as “artistic.”)
We will be leaving from Bainbridge Island. Park your car and walk onboard. There is no charge for foot traffic heading into Seattle, don’t worry they’ll stick it to you on the way back.
If you want to visit more of Seattle than the downtown area, take your car and drive it on the boat. It isn’t cheap and parking is outrageous, but you can get around Seattle pretty easily.
Now find a place to sit. I like to sit upfront so I can pretend to drive the ferry.
On a nice day, this is what it looks like before leaving Bainbridge. On a not nice day it looks like a grey blanket.
As we leave the dock there are lots of things to see: Water, people, mountains. This is on the upper deck, which is usually less crowded. That is Seattle in the distance. Those are the Cascade mountains. The water is the Puget Sound.
This is Mount Adams. It is up near Canada to the north. On a clear day you can see Adams and…
Mount Rainer! Rainer is named for some stupid white guy who nobody really knows about and why they don’t call it Tahoma is a mystery to me, but at one point in my life I walked all the way around Mount Rainer. (The Wonderland Trail is pretty awesome if you like backpacking and smelling like BO.)
Now, turn around and see the Olympic Mountains. This is near my underground bunker. Those are the Bainbridge ferry docks. Yeah, I live in a pretty awesome place.
Okay, now take in the full panorama. There is a lot to see. If it looks too small you need a bigger computer.
Find a nice seat and watch the city get bigger. To the left of center is the Space Needle, to the far right are where the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders play. The Sonics play in some terrible city in Oklahoma.
As we get closer, stay seated. It is a rookie mistake to line up with everyone to disembark. (I would rant here about the word disembark, but there isn’t enough room for me to really get into a froth.)
See? Here they are all lining up like lemmings. YOU CAN’T GET OFF UNTIL THE BOAT IS CONNECTED TO THE LAND!
Okay, now follow the lemmings.
Keep following them. (Yes, I was taking a lot of pictures. Each time I said, “This is the last one.”)
Look north to see the waterfront. There are lots of great little touristy places to visit there, but you can’t get to any of it now because they are digging a tunnel that is supposed to be done in March…or November.
That’s where we started. Keep moving or somebody will ask you for change. That’s a joke, you’re going to get asked for change at least five times on this trip.
Keep following the lemmings until you come to 1st Ave and then hang a left. Walk a few blocks and then you’ll be at our first stop…
The Seattle Art Museum. The Hammering Man swings his little hammer 24/7 and never gets anything done. SAM has undergone a pretty significant renovation and is turning into a decent museum.
Get your tickets under the suspended cars. Don’t worry no one has had a car fall on them inside SAM yet.
This is the only picture from inside the SAM because the POP Exhibit did not allow any photography. I don’t break these rules because I am not an animal. Oh, this is a statue of a red Ghandi with an iPod…
Oh, I lied. I took this picture too. It is a motor scooter made out of gold buttons.
Okay, now cut back across 1st and go into Pike’s Market. The far end, by the Pike’s Brewery, is usually pretty empty and it is inside so you don’t have to walk in the rain, or sunshine.
Walk by all the fish throwing nonsense and walk in the road. If people drive down this road they are tourists and deserve to drive at walking speed. The sidewalks are always crazy crowded so my walk in the street thing isn’t rude, it is just good advice.
Cut through Pike’s Post Alley.
Look for this pink door on your left. Open the door and go in. If you show up at an odd time (2, 3, 4) you can probably get a seat.
This is what is inside the Pink Door.
The Pink Door is an Italian restaurant. It is okay to drink the olive oil.
Deluxe cheese plate? Thank you very much. I didn’t take a photo of my main course because I was too busy eating it.
When you are done with dinner walk by these clowns. This is the first Starbucks and there is ALWAYS a line, so if you want to stand in line to get a drink you can get in 105% of the world, knock yourself out.
This is where we are going…the French bakery on the corner to get…
Head back to the ferry dock filled with sugar, coffee and pasta.
Take one last picture of the ferris wheel thing and head to the boat.
The waterfront is a mess of construction right now, but someday all this traffic will go underground and the waterfront will be a walking paradise. This is a joke. No one who lives here thinks the construction will ever be finished.
Sit back on the ferry, you’ll have to pay to get on this time, and remember how awesome the vanilla macaron was…
Hey, it was a great day to visit. Thanks for coming along.