Friday 3 September 2010

Day 7 – I See London, I See France, I Seattle’s Underpants

After today my whole image of Seattle has changed. It’s always had a similar reputation to London – dreary rain pretty much year round. In fact this morning we dressed accordingly, expecting the sea air to make it colder than what we’d been used to. Turns out the sun didn’t get the memo about what your average tourist expects in this town!

Our exploration of the city started via the Monorail. Any decent sized ‘Simpsons’ fan will know this meant we had a pretty catchy tune in our heads for the journey! It didn’t stop at Ogdenville though, just the local mall where Joe quite accurately proclaimed ‘There are a lot of weirdoes here’.
Making a point to avoid the weirdoes, we had arrived right round the corner from our first stop of the day: Pike Place Market. As soon as we walked in a vendor told me she loved the top I was wearing. Ah, thanks lady. Fashion win for me! And fashion win for the random guy reading his book at the bus stop. God, I love a true nerd!
Pike Place Market is an amazing array of colors and smells. Bustling with tourists, it still has a local feel to it; almost as if the people of Seattle don’t mind sharing their secret spot with the rest of the world. The market is famous for two reasons. The first being that its home to the first ever Starbucks. We didn’t stop in for a coffee though as the place was packed.
The other reason the market is so well known is its flying fish. The fish mongers send huge fish sailing across their stalls to each other. All the fish, flowers and fruit mixed in together makes for a weird cross of aromas and you’re left confused about weather it smells sweet or stinky!
The other main smell on offer is food, actually this was probably the best smelling food we’d ever encountered and in the end I settled on a kebab and Joe on a brat. They both looked great, but we were left disappointed and I wished we’d gone for the clam chowder in a bread bowl that we’d seen earlier in the day.
After our bite to eat we headed over to the Space Needle to travel the 60 flights to its peak. The steepest thing about this visit though was the price, at $18 a head it was a bit much. Still, you can’t really say you’ve done Seattle without going up the thing, so what the hell…
I can’t honestly say we got our moneys worth as, despite the awesome views of Mount Ranier and the city, we only stayed for about 20 minutes. I’d like to say this was due to some cooler reason, but in reality we both felt a little uncomfortable up there as we were sure we could feel it swaying!
After playing chicken with the sky, and losing, we figured it was time to go get our baseball on. We asked our hotel what the best way to the ballpark was and it turned out they ran a shuttle on game days to take guests to the stadium and back for $5. What a great coincidence! And talking of great coincidences, the other people going to the game in the shuttle were a lovely, friendly couple from New Jersey who we discovered will be on the same Alaskan cruise as us tomorrow! Small world, huh?

Over the last couple of days I’ve gotten tired of carrying around both a camera bag and a handbag, so earlier in the day I made a quick purchase in Old Navy to get a bigger bag that could hold everything for the rest of the trip. As we didn’t have time to waste shopping I just grabbed the first one I saw that would suffice, but entering Safeco Field for the game the bag checking dude asked me if I’d made it myself. Ouch. Fashion fail for me!
Safeco Field seemed really small compared to Minnesota’s ball park and as the Seattle Mariners are having such a bad season it was only half full, but the one thing I did like about being at this game was our seats. I’ve only ever sat in the upper deck before and being down by the field literally made it ‘a whole new ballgame’.
In the past I’ve always found it hard to watch sports where I don’t care who wins, but being so close really drew us in and by the end we couldn’t help but root for the home team! They won 1-0 and we almost saw a no-hitter so the buzz on the street afterwards was electric…even with all the Slayer rock fans waiting for their concert next door! Rock on Seattle, rock on!

So, until tomorrow…

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