I haven’t spent any time in Seattle when it wasn’t beautiful and sunny! I think the locals want to keep the rest of the world away from their treasure.
We stayed on Bainbridge Island with my friends the Gordons, from high school, and two of their high school-aged kids. While the kids were in school, Adam and I rode the ferry across Puget Sound to the city, and explored. Of course, Pike Place Market was a favorite. Adam liked the fish-throwing guys, and the Bubble Gum wall. We walked to the area around the Space Needle, where there was lots of art to be seen. Chihuly Glass, the undulating architecture of a museum (don’t know what it’s called!), a mosaic wall, and a tall, rusted steel sculpture installment that reminded me of corn or wheatfields. As we headed back downtown, we ducked into a glass-blowing shop that was giving demos, and that was fascinating as well.
Just before leaving for the day, we took an “Underground Seattle” tour, and learned some of the history of the city. Like some other great cities, Seattle too, burned to the ground. The city fathers wanted to flatten some hills, so when it came time to rebuild, they built concrete walls around the roads, and filled them in with the hillsides. This raised the streets up ten feet above the storefronts, so they just capped the sidewalks, putting in glass prism skylights, so the underground space would still be useable. During Prohibition, these areas became used for disreputable purposes, and they also became rat-infested (still are!). So most shops in Seattle are actually the second floor at the current sidewalk level!
Saturday was Linda’s birthday, and she chose to go hiking up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountains, a spot she and Jim had been to early in their marriage. Their daughter Dalina opted to come along, which was surprising since she was really not the hiking type, and was fighting a cold. She was a trooper!
Adam was contemplating the view of Canada and the Strait of Juan de Fuca from a ridge near the peak, when a four-point buck poked his head from a steep path not ten feet away. The rest of us were scattered at various points along the path below, and we stood transfixed. What was the buck going to do? The path was too steep and narrow to turn around. With just a glance towards Adam, he continued down the path, and just kept strolling towards us. We stepped aside for “His Majesty,” and he confidently continued his walk towards the bottom of the ridge, and photobombed some girls!
We saw other wildlife that were completely unafraid. Does with fawns, which we were able to come to within 5 feet. Grouse poking around the hillside, birds that would land on your hands. The marmots seemed a little cautious, though!
Ravenous after the hike, we went to town to search for restaurant that would suit all our tastes, and decided Chinese fit the bill. Our first clue should have been an empty restaurant at dinner time. Our second clue should have been the only Oriental person in the restaurant was the cook! The decor was decidedly NOT Asian, with marble floors and walls, and Chippendale-styled chairs. There were Christmas wreaths hung on the walls, interspersed with Rococo style paintings featuring people with Who-ville noses! To top it off, the restroom stall walls stood no higher than my chest. Peek-a-boo! They were certainly tall enough for the cook though!