Airlines are hilarious, aren't they?
How about this one: A Boise to Seattle flight that departs at 6:30 a.m. in the morning! And THAT means arriving at the airport at crazy-stupid-hour for the obligatory meet-n-greet with the TSA. Yet there we were, Natalie and I willingly bound to lunacy by the attraction of the lowest fare via Delta’s once-a-day non-stop to the Emerald City.
Hey! Remember the TV show Here Come the Brides? You know, the one about the mythical goings on during Seattle’s rough and tumble early days starring heartthrob Bobby Sherman? It aired for four years (1968-1972) which coincided with the best of the Vietnam war playing on TV as well. TV sucked back then. Anyway, the theme song for the show opened with the line, "The bluest sky you’ve ever seen, in Seattle." Simon assured us this claim is patently false. Like Tolkien’s Mirkwood Forest, there is no day or night in the Puget Sound. There is only a cold, damp grayness dripping from a dreary sky cast in the perpetual gloom of dark twilight that seeps into the soul, removing any remaining vestige of life.
We were perplexed as our plane touched down. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Just blazing sunshine in quite possibly the bluest sky we'd ever seen. Were we in Seattle? Why yes we were! And, as we were about to find out, Seattleites were dazed and confused... So began our four day Seattle odyssey.
Do like pictures?
Of course you do! Who doesn’t like pictures?
Come along as I share our Seattle journey in a convenient bite-sized picture-n-caption format. It’s fun for the whole family!
Let's begin. Shall we?
Named after a Seattle beer, and glistening like a white diamond in the morning light, Mt. Rainier stands at 14,411 feet above sea level. Sea level also happens to be exactly where Seattle sits, some 50 miles away. Wikipedia states Mt. Rainier is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of its explosive power and proximity to a boatload of people and their property (a.k.a. Seattle).
Flying over the Cascades in the bluest morning sky we'd ever seen reminded us that the Cascade range and its line of volcanoes visible from our 30,000 ft. view - from Mt. Bachelor to Mt. Baker - is one of Mother Nature's pimply teenagers ready to let loose in a truly spectacular fashion.
OH! Crystal Mountain Ski Resort is visible at the bottom-center of the image!
Simon's office view from the 27th floor of the 514 ft. Rainier Tower in the heart of the city's downtown is pretty cool! Ironically, Simon spends a fair bit of his day wearing virtual reality headsets doing work for the worldwide architecture firm, Perkins and Will, where my brother Marc works as well.
|Among the attractions at the Market is the Giant Shoe Museum. Alas, The Greatest Shoe on Earth was not open, though for $0.50 we could have seen the world's largest collection of giant shoes!... but we didn't. Adding flavor to this oddity is the offer to see a shoe worn by Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man.|
Robert Wadlow was nearly as tall as I am by the time he was five years old. His life was brief, but he lived the dream we all dream: being a Ringling Brothers Circus sideshow freak! Robert's Wiki page includes a disturbing photo of him standing next to his 5'11" father.
There's also a photo of one of Robert's shoes, and you don't have to pay me $0.50... unless you think you should. You probably should. After all, you didn't you know anything about Robert Wadlow a few seconds ago, right?
|Touch my unicycle and I'll bite you right in the...!|
|Yummm... Nothing says haute cuisine more than downing a dog with a swig of espresso!|
|Maneki-neko, or "beckoning" cats are said to bring good luck to their owners. On the other hand, it looks like they bring bad luck to curious shoppers who can't read English. I want to go back just to touch EVERY cat.|
|Part way through Friday's 7-mile walk-about, while Simon worked, we stopped by his office for a second time to shed a layer of clothing; it was getting WARM. The curving structure in this photo is the base of the Rainier Tower.|
|Another Seattleite, suffering from cloud and rain withdrawals, chose sleep as the only viable alternative to manage through the day. It was either that or having to stare at the bluest sky he'd ever seen. Can you blame him?|
|You don't see many of THESE in Seattle. Not a big coffee town.|
|Can you guess which one of these two fine people is more excited to be at IKEA on a Sunday morning? Hint, it's probably not Simon... and it ABSOLUTELY is Natalie.|
|The Space Needle at Seattle Center. Did you know this iconic structure, built in 1962, is approximately 1,320 Milky Way candy bars tall? It IS! You can learn a lot more useful information at the Space Needle's Fun Facts page!|
|The Museum of Pop Culture - or MoPOP - was built by Paul Allen (Microsoft). With $19 billion, Allen is the 53rd richest person on the planet! And his MoPOP is quite a place. There's lots of cool stuff, like Captain Kirk's command chair from the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the farm dress Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz and the witch's hat from the same movie, or hand-written lyrics of Jimi Hendrix. After a while though, it dawns on you: MoPOP is a super-fancy 140,000 sq. ft. warehouse where Paul Allen stores just some of the stuff he has bought with his piles of cash... and you pay him to see it. Genius!|
OH! The photo is of MoPOP's exterior! I don't know... maybe "dark copper-hooded warrior people"?
|MoPOP's sculpture of guitars with the occasional drum, accordion, and cello thrown in. It's an impressive use of guitars!|
Well that's it for the story-picture book of our mini Seattle adventure! But believe it or not, this shutter bug didn't capture the entire trip in digital wonder. Nope! I missed snapping shots of enjoying beers with the entire gang - Natalie, Simon, Marc, Anne, Diana, and Paul - as we soaked in some really blue sky. And there was the Airbnb we stayed at; really nice and affordable at $40 a night. And how about the 3-mile walk around Green Lake on a blustery morning, or fabulous sushi cuisine at a fine restaurant courtesy of Marc and Anne to celebrate Simon's new career. Or how about the lunch we enjoyed on the Ballard waterfront with good friend Sandra?
We made the most of our Seattle odyssey. Traffic is nuts. It rains a lot. But Seattle is a cool city and, if you're lucky, has the bluest sky you've ever seen.
The TourAlongWithTodd BLOG is just getting started for 2017!