The Big Trip

Seattle, 101 Things I Learned on Thursday and Friday

  1. Elephant garlic looks disgusting 
  2. Elephant garlic crushed and swirled with olive oil looks even more disgusting 
  3. Elephant garlic crushed, swirled with oil and served with bread at an Italian cafe on Lake Union doesn't exactly inspire confidence in my entree, which I later decline to touch citing "it doesn't look the least bit appetizing" 
  4. Old fireboats are cool 
  5. Notably the fireboat Duwamish 
  6. Which is docked as an exhibit on Lake Union 
  7. And which was built in 1910 and rebuilt in 1949 
  8. When the Blue Angels are (a.) in town and (b.) practicing overhead, it is a good idea to (c.) leave your camera turned on and (d.) have your zoom lens already attached 
  9. An airline operates pontoon planes on Lake Union 
  10. They have a Customs office for incoming Canadians 
  11. And even an x-ray machine 
  12. A dirt parking lot outside partially covers an abandoned trolley line 
  13. The downtown AAA office is near the Space Needle 
  14. The Space Needle is near Lake Union 
  15. The Space Needle (and accompanying Seattle center) is always further away than it looks, especially if you're on foot and killing an entire afternoon in early August 
  16. The Monorail runs between Seattle Center and Westlake Center downtown, costs $1.50 per trip, and takes two minutes to get there 
  17. The Metro runs between Westlake Center and Pioneer Square further downtown, is free, and takes three or four minutes to get there 
  18. The Monorail is a relic from 1968's World's Fair 
  19. The Metro is a series of underground tunnels used by the city's electric buses 
  20. Haagen-Daas in Westlake Center serves the smallest single scoops of ice-cream I have ever seen in my life 
  21. Nor do they stock Belgian Chocolate-Chocolate Chip 
  22. Killing time at the Westlake Center food court and inadvertently observing the exchange of children between divorced parents is depressing 
  23. FAO Schwartz on 5th Street is lame 
  24. Magic Mouse Toys in Pioneer Square is better 
  25. There are some freaky-looking people in this city 
  26. Think Franklin Street to the nth 
  27. Hair colors spotted by Yours Truly: white, black, brown, blonde, blue, green, purple, orange, and red 
  28. Certain busy streets should not be crossed, especially if they have concrete barriers down the middle 
  29. Other busy streets should not be stood in the middle of while taking pictures 
  30. Or you'll get honked at 
  31. Standing on a busy street corner, however, is okay 
  32. Standing on a busy street and photographing people is fun 
  33. Especially downtown 
  34. Especially downtown during rush hour 
  35. Especially with a zoom lens, so they can't turn away in time 
  36. Sara thinks Playmobile figures are cool 
  37. Sara was a Playmobile virgin 
  38. Parking in Greenlake sucks 
  39. Parking everywhere in Seattle sucks 
  40. Most restaurants in Seattle are non-smoking, negating the need for my customary "non-stinky section" request 
  41. Rosita's Mexican restaurant in Greenlake is excellent 
  42. And one serving of fried ice-cream could feed a family of four 
  43. The first fire department in Seattle was formed in 1870, by volunteers 
  44. The first paid department was formed in 1889 
  45. The Great Seattle Fire one year earlier destroyed 31 square blocks of downtown. New buildings were constructed over old buildings and have since had their basements dug deeper, discovering the first floors of the old buildings, still intact 
  46. The modern underground Metro stations, however, look like sets from a science fiction movie:

  47. Too bad my camera doesn't like them. Not enough light 
  48. The view from any higher point in the city is spectacular, day or night 
  49. Especially when Mt. Rainier can be seen in the distance 
  50. Mr. Rainier can be seen from Sara's apartment's balcony 
  51. Hanging out at a research lab gets old after a while, even with reading to do and writing to be done 
  52. The locals call soda "pop" 
  53. So do I, learning the term while living in Minnesota 
  54. Tower Records across from Seattle Center is open from 9 until midnight 
  55. They have everything, or least a couple things I'd have a hard time finding in Raleigh 
  56. Like a Japanese Ventures "two-fer", on sale 
  57. Or an album by the Vickars, featuring an early Lemmy of Motorhead fame 
  58. Or a Butt-head action figure for Sara, completing with talking display base 
  59. Record stores in Seattle even have espresso booths 
  60. As do cancer research laboratories 
  61. People wear darker, grungier colors here 
  62. Lots of "granny glasses," too 
  63. Hawaiian shirts, however, are uncommon, as evident by the many compliments I receive 
  64. The Boeing factory in Everett, north of Seattle, offers weekday tours 
  65. Tickets are $5 at the door and $10 over the phone 
  66. The Boeing Tour Center reservation line is open only from 12-3 
  67. And takes forever to reach 
  68. The Boeing Tour Center does not take same-day reservations 
  69. A fact that isn't noted on their Web page 
  70. A fact that sends Sara and I screaming to Everett at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, after learning than less than 50 tickets are left 
  71. Driving with Sara can be scary 
  72. Unless you bury your nose in a laptop 
  73. In which case the only hint of impending doom are the lateral G-forces squishing you against the car door 
  74. Seattle-area movie listings are incomprehensible, unless you know what town or city district goes with what street 
  75. Theater chains in the area include Loews and Regal Cinemas 
  76. Ticket prices are about the same as Raleigh 
  77. Discount superstores, like Target, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart, are not everywhere, like in Raleigh 
  78. Same with clusters of fast-food or slow-food chains 
  79. Washington Target stores have no better of a selection of harder-to-find Matchbox models than those in North Carolina 
  80. The Black Angus Steakhouse has both a wonderful, well-priced lunch menu and the highest-backed booths I've ever sat in 
  81. The Auto Travel desk at the Everett AAA office is extra-friendly 
  82. The Boeing factory boasts the largest building in the world, by volume 
  83. The Boeing factory tour takes about an hour, unless it's Friday, last tour of the day, and one of the two buses is broken down 
  84. But you might get a free pin under such circumstances! 
  85. The Boeing factory has their own fire station 
  86. The Boeing factory fire station also protects the adjacent Payne Field 
  87. Flash Fridays" are when women are signaled with car headlights to bear their breasts 
  88. I wish we had "Flash Fridays" in Raleigh 
  89. The movie Hollow Man is great at the start... 
  90. ...and lame at the end 
  91. Watching with a biochemist, however, adds extra amusement 
  92. The Everett Mall has a couple of cool collectibles stores
  93. And a food court where I eat dinner 
  94. (McDonalds and Baskin-Robbins) 
  95. In Seattle, Capitol Hill is the best place to find freaks 
  96. Especially at night 
  97. Especially on a Friday night 
  98. Walking with Sara on a Friday night is fun 
  99. Walking anywhere with Sara is fun 
  100. I wish Sara and I lived in the same city 
  101. But I'd settle for the same coast. 
Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros


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Copyright 2020 by Michael J. Legeros