Lake Union, the Naval Reserve Station where John's dad used to work, the University of Washington in the background
Downtown Seattle, the Ferry Terminals, Safeco Field and Seahawk Stadium
Sissy inside the Public Market on the waterfront ... notice all the flowers
John posing while aboard the ferry Walla Walla
Seattle skyline as we headed to Bremerton on the ferry
Our trip to the Pacific Northwest wouldn't be complete unless we visited Seattle and John's old stomping grounds so that's what we did on Wednesday. It was an overcast morning (go figure) and the sun was rising in the east (go figure again), so we decided to drive around Puget Sound through Tacoma instead of taking the ferry across from Bremerton. John figured the clouds would burn off and the sun would be better for pics on the ferry in the afternoon. What a great decision that was. By the time we left Seattle and boarded the Walla Walla, the weather was great for taking pics.
But first, let's tell you a little about our visit. We arrived in Seattle at about 0920 (40 minutes before the ferry would've arrived) and headed straight for the Wallingford District where John used to go to school. We found Alexander Hamilton Junior High without too many problems, and discovered that the streets were small. Folks were parking on both sides, and the dually we were driving just barely fit, but it did. Then it was down 45th Street, past the old Wallingford Boys Club, under Aurora Boulevard and toward John's old neighborhood. Well, the streets were still there, but the homes he was familiar with had disappeared. In their place were condos, apartment buildings and huge homes. Back in the 60's, John used to be able to see his old school from his home, but a large office building blocked that view. We did however, drive down to a walking bridge (across Aurora Boulevard) where John used to have to walk to school, and we were able to see the school there.
Next it was through Fremont and back up the hill to the Woodland Park Zoo. We decided against going inside the zoo due to our time constraints (we wanted to visit with Kyrra, Phil, Karen and Wes later), so we drove around through the neighborhood so John could get his fix.
Ok, it was time to head into the downtown Seattle area so back onto Aurora Boulevard we went. The signs to the Seattle Center were prevalent, and we didn't have a problem getting there or even parking. We parked in the lot adjacent to the Space Needle, paid our fee with the automated machine and then walked up to the Music Museum at the gate. What a building that was; huge, sculptured and covered with either aluminum or stainless steel to glisten in the sun. The Space Needle was next, and that's when Sissy began getting a little nervous. John thinks she saw the sign indicating the observation deck was 520 feet up. Of course, John began telling her stories of when he and Tony (Antwan to his friends) went up to the top. Tony began sweating profusely and John shamed him into getting on the elevator in front of several others. John has a habit of embarrassing folks on occasion.
John could remember the days when the elevator ride was a buck or two, but we paid $12.00 each for the trip. It was worth it however, because the clouds were gone and the sun was just a shining. The temperature was even in the mid 70's while we were there. And, to top off the beautiful day, Sissy handled the ride up like a real hog mama (Harley riding female person).
We took pics forever and then it was time for the ride back down so we could go to the waterfront. John had a brain fart and asked one of the tour guides if the elevator ride was free if we ate lunch. Yup, it was so that's what we did. We had Sky Burgers, fries and onions in the Sky City Restaurant before heading back down. Sissy wasn't too excited about that because she had to chase her food the entire time. You see, the restaurant revolves about every 40 minutes so you get the entire view of the Seattle area while seated eating your food. Sissy just happened to sit in the seat that was going forward. John, traveling backward, was trying to push his food away from him the entire time. I'm just kidding folks, the movement is very slow and your food stays put. The entire seating area of the restaurant revolves, and you have a very beautiful view of the city through tinted windows. It's even better than the observation deck because there are no obstructions to contend with.
The Monorail was next from Seattle Center down to about 5 blocks from Public Market. The ride was quick and we were there in no time. We exited at Westlake Center (the only stop) and headed on foot down the hill. A Greenpeace activist stopped us in mid stride to give us her take on the environment and hit us up for some coin, and we listened attentively (yeah, right) only because we needed directions. But then, it was onto Public Market. The flowers, seafood, gifts, handmade jewelry, art, food and street singers were everywhere. The market, two levels high, went on for blocks and blocks. We walked through the entire place adoring with amazement. The place was packed with people; tourists, workers eating their lunch while sitting on little stools, business folks enjoying lunch, street people practicing their trade and even homeless walking about. It was very enjoyable
Time for returning on the Monorail back to Seattle Center. Remember, we wanted to visit with Kyrra, Phil, Karen and Wes later in the day. And besides, our parking fee only allowed us to park for 4 hours. It was getting hot and John began to sweat, but we walked back to Westlake Center and caught the returning Monorail car back. Stopping at a little shop in Seattle Center, Sissy just had to purchase some gifts. Then it was to our truck and a quick look at the map to locate the Ferry Terminal.
The ferry ride to Bremerton was fantastic. The cool breeze was relaxing, and the pics we took were great. We saw all kinds of people on the ferry; car sitters (staying in their car during the ride), seat sleepers (taking an hour long nap), Asian gang members (just being all they could be banging on the rails and making noise), love birds (hugging and kissing both inside their cars and on the upper deck outside), business types (using their cell phones and laptops) and tourists like us (enjoying the ride, scenery and weather for an hour). Past the Naval Shipyard at Bremerton and onto Route 106 toward our campground we went after exiting the ferry. It was a long drive, but we had to shower and change clothes before heading to Brady, Washington and visiting with Kyrra, Phil, Karen and Wes at Karen and Wes' home.
Kyrra told us the ride would take about 45 minutes from our campground, but that ride included 2 pee breaks and a refueling for the truck. You talk about back in the sticks! You talk about absolutely gorgeous! Their log home is nestled in the forest on the side of a small mountain. We were treated like family during our visit; grilled dinner, friendly conversation, laughter and chatting about old times and even a few hugs and kisses. After dinner, Wes started a bonfire in his front yard (fire ban in effect) using a mixture of gas and oil to get the thing going. We brought some chairs down the hill and sat around the fire for a couple hours enjoying the peace and serenity. Sissy even asked about us making so much noise and the response was "we have no neighbors!"
We couldn't have asked for a nicer time that evening. Kyrra, Phil, Karen and Wes were simply the greatest!
If you haven't clicked on the links during this narration, you must! There are additional picks of our evening with our friends for your enjoyment.
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