I awoke to a unfamiliar, blaring alarm in the distance. I got up to see where it was coming from. Sure enough, it was Paul's phone alarm. He was sound asleep with his head about a foot away from the alarm. Man, this kid could sleep. It was also funny because it was the first time he set his alarm on the trip. Mind you, this is now the end of week 10. It was going off at 6:30, still a bit early, so I shut it off and returned to the couch where I had apparently fallen asleep with one hand on the computer, according to Kyle.
I got back up at around 7:30, and Paul was already showering. Nice. Due to time constraints, I made the sacrifice and skipped mine for the morning. Kyle was up, and came down to see what our plan was. We decided that we would check out the city for the day, and return with some fish from the world's famous pike's market, for dinner. He thought that would be a good idea, but told us not to come back just for dinner if we were having a great time in the city. He also told us he would make some pancakes before we got going. Good stuff.
We went upstairs pushing the clock around 8:15-8:20, and began eating breakfast. Paul had to hurry a bit, as eating against the clock is a norm for me. We actually we ready to go, out the door at about 8:35. Kyle drove us since it was raining (go figure), and he knew the timing of the lights well enough that he could get us there in 4 or 5 minutes. We flew down the streets and made it just in time. We said we'd call him once we figured out our dinner plans and the timing of everything later that day. Good stuff. The bus pulled up as soon as I stepped out of the car, and we were off. Thank Kyle.
We went to pay the bus driver, but we didn't have exact change, so he sent us back so as not to hold up the schedule. Our ride would be for free. Score. It took about 45 minutes to get into downtown Seattle , which was still fairly quiet since we got there around 9:30 in the morning. The stop dropped us off right in front of Pike's market, which we intended on ending with to get the fish, but we figured since it was right there we might as well check it out.
People were still setting up some booths, but once we got into the market place it was somewhat already bustling. We saw the fish tossing right off the bat, and it made me excited for later in the day when it would be our turn. The market is huge with multiple levels of cool stores on the inside as well as equally as many booths setup outside selling everything you could imagine.
After walking most of it, we began getting hungry and stopped at a bakery we had seen earlier. They were selling yesterday's bread really cheap, so we bought a loaf and also got some fresh fruit from one of the many fruit stands. The bread was good, and a frugal choice as many of the other restaurants in the area were outrageously expensive.
Once we got our fill of the market, we headed over to where the rest of the tourists were; the space needle. Instead of taking the monorail the headed over, we decided to walk since we had plenty of time, and less cash. It was a nice walk, and really wasn't far at all. We stopped at Patagonia, a sort of outdoorsman's clothing store. Some of the stuff was all right I guess, but when we saw a $34 pair of boxer shorts, we decided it probably wasn't for us.
When we got close to the space needle, we headed into a bar for a beer. Sure enough, our new favorite, Fat Tire, was on the menu. Paul grabbed us a couple, and we inquired about the two museums we were interested in that were right next to the space needle. The line to go to the top of the space needle was extremely long, and it also was around $15 a person. We passed on that, since it wasn't a great viewing day anyway, and after talking to the bartender were sold on the Experience Music Projects, a music museum where you can play some of the instruments.
We settled up at the bar and headed over. When we got to the museum, we realized the admission doubled for the music museum, and a history of science fiction museum that Paul was a little less thrilled about than I. Either way, with Paul's student id, $12 got us into both. Not bad.
We started our tour in the science fiction museum, which was filled with Star Wars freaks. It was pretty much exactly the crowd you would expect to be in a science fiction museum. I would say the excitement of people looking at robots and Star Wars stuff was more entertaining than the actual material itself. Some of the exhibits did tickle my inner nerd a little, I suppose. Paul really wasn't feeling it, so I met him in the lobby in between the two after I grew tired of people watching. There was a good quote on the wall that I snapped a picture of on the way out however. The one in the middle… I'm not that much of a nerd. Who doesn't like inspirational quotes?
The music museum was much more entertaining, and something for which we both shared a passion. It started with a Jimi Hendrix section and continued through to guitar. Some of the great 90's rock bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, et. al. were from Seattle, so there was some small stuff on them too. The whole grunge movement has been credited to Seattle. We went upstairs and were happy to see the instrument section where visitors could jam on them. The place was mobbed with little selfish kids, and parents who apparently hadn't gotten to the sharing lessons yet, so it was pretty difficult to get to anything. After a while, we each got a chance to get on a drumset, which was fun.
After many seconds of drumming before the mob took over, we developed an appetite and headed over to the restaurant inside the museum that smelled delicious. Again, no surprise, everything was really expensive, so we turned in our menus and headed back downtown. We'd catch something cheaper before the market.
We stopped at this pizza joint, and got a large between the two of us. Paul noticed across the street this guy that was stretching. He was wearing sandals, and appeared to have just rolled out of bed, so we weren't sure the reason. We were fairly sure he was trying to pick up girls, and we watched as he stretched every part of his body for the next 35 minutes. You see all kinds in the city. At one point, he seemed to be doing the tonto dance from Fresh Prince, which led us to believe that maybe he was a street performer of some sort. Not the case, as eventually with his lack of success, he stopped.
When we were finished, we walked back downtown to pick up the fish and head back to the Hutchison's house with our catch. I had Paul prepared with the camera on video for the ultimate touristy event. I bought us some Alaskan Sockeye salmon, which according to them was good. They did the whole toss thing and people were yelling all over the place. It was fun. Video to come, eventually. They fileted the fish and iced it up for traveling purposes.
We picked up some lemons, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes for the meal, and headed over to the bus stop to wait. We had managed to stay dry the whole day in Seattle, and even had some decent sunshine for a while. It was a cool city, and nice to see that many people in the same spot again. It hadn't been since Denver we had seen a city of comparable size.
We got back on the bus, with proper change this time, and headed back to the Hutchison's house in Lynnwood. We called Kyle when we were at the stop before the final stop so that he would have time to come pick us up. When we got back, Kyle had a nice potato dish prepared, and was just awaiting our final ingredients to complete the meal. He grilled up the salmon and within minutes we were eating. We got a chance to talk to Terra and Allison a lot more at dinner. Once Allison warmed up to us, she was very talkative and was actually a great eater. She ate almost everything on her plate including vegetables and vitamins. She's definitely a big fan of bread as well. It was nice to chat with Terra as well since we really appreciated them having us in their house as Terra was feeling a little under the weather; and to be under the weather in Seattle can be rough 😉 We also learned that Kyle took the bikes for a quick test ride to make sure everything was running properly. He ended up tightening our brakes for us, suggesting new pads ASAP, and checking over everything else which was in good working order. Thanks Kyle.
Even though she wasn't feeling good, Terra still insisted we relax and have a beer instead of helping clean up. She was very empathetic to our general hunger and desire to rest, as she was likely witness to Kyle's appetite and tiredness on many of his rides in the past. We were spoiled yet again.
Kyle had also gotten a pie for dessert, so we dug in after a nice healthy meal. Yum. After dessert and everything, I attempted to get another blog up for the next day so that I could hang out with the Hutchisons before bedtime. My computer began acting up for the first time on the trip. I had a lot of difficulty with is as it kept freezing up, causing me to lose progress and waste a lot of time. It took me most of the rest of the night to get anything done. I think the linux machine recognized I was in a Microsoft household and got mad at me (wink wink Kyle).
After I eventually got something up, Kyle came down and showed me the website for the ferries we would be taking the following day. He also showed me a site called bikely.com that had general bike paths people could post. We checked one out that would take Paul and I past the Boeing building, which is apparently massive, and towards Mukilteo where the ferry launch is. It seemed like a plan. Thanks again Kyle.
We were in no massive rush the next morning so we would get up when we felt like it and get on the road. Well fed, well rested, with Seattle under our belt, we were ready to start heading down the coast. Tomorrow would bring an interesting day with two ferry rides.
Life was good.