Seattle [2]

On our second day in Seattle, we had a perfect plan made out for our day.  Because it was overcast and rainy at times, we had planned to go to a retail place at the university village so Kathryn could buy some things she wanted to take home (certain items are way cheaper to buy in the states than in Canada or in NZ).  We worked out the bus routes and times, and allocated the morning to the retail excursion.  We would have lunch at the mini shopping village thing, then get the bus back to downtown Seattle and go to the music museum, get dinner and then go back up the Space Needle to see the view at night.

Plans, eh?

The bus thing didn’t go so smoothly. We should have foreseen this really.  The lovely bus driver the day before gave us the impression that all bus drivers would be knowledgeable and happy to help.  Not so.  We were fairly confident that we were boarding the correct bus, but thought we should just check with the driver anyway.  When we asked if this took us to where we wanted to go, he replied, “I don’t know, it’s a big city.”  Er, yes, we did know that, which is why we (as very obvious tourists) were asking.  We asked various passengers who did their best to help, but unfortunately all of them were getting off well before us.  I have no idea how we made it to the shopping village, but we did, and it was a beautiful wee outdoor place, despite the rain.
Getting the bus back to downtown was probably even more stressful, but I’m not going to bore you with that story.  Just know that by the time we got back into the city centre we were running a fair few hours behind our wonderful, glittery schedule.  I shall blame the bus shenanigans and the rain on my lack of photos for the morning.  Not a single shot was taken.

As if it was meant to be though, the museum was open until 8pm that day, and that day only, not the usual 5pm.  How cool is that?!

No one wants to see photos from inside a museum; I don’t even want to look at my own ones, so I’ll only share this one.

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The impressive instrument sculpture that played music live due to some clever machinery.  It is huge; reaching over two floors.

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We did make it back up the Space Needle as the sky started to get darker.

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We rode the monorail again, mainly for the novelty really.

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The next day we only had the morning to explore before we had to get our coach back to Vancouver, and then make a quick transfer to our connecting bus to Whistler.

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The totally disgusting, but equally as fascinating gum wall.  Theatre patrons and actors started sticking their used gum to the wall in the early 1990s.  Theatre workers scraped the walls a couple of times, but gave up and now the wall is listed as an actual tourist attraction.

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The whole alley smells so odd.

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This was the best shot I could get of the first ever Starbucks.  It was not at all how we thought it would look, having been led on by this photo.  Being the nerd I am, I read up every evening on things we had seen or wanted to do (couldn’t you tell by my little history lesson on the gum wall?), and learned a lot about Starbucks.  Much of it bothered me, and I am doing my best to avoid giving them my money now.  It’s almost impossible to avoid them in North America, (in the tiny village of Whistler – where I live –  there are three locations) which grew more and more frustrating.  I Googled it to discover that in Seattle alone there are 424 Starbucks stores.  That’s ridiculous.  Apparently, Seattle-ites started ‘boycotting’ them by choosing to go to independent coffee shops, so Starbucks re-branded at least three of their stores to make them appear to be local, independent coffee houses, removing all of their Starbucks logos and anything that would give them away.  How sneaky is that?  I know that Starbucks originated in Seattle, and considering how huge and famous it has become worldwide, that’s definitely something they should be proud of, but they are actively and purposely taking custom away from local businesses that are struggling to stay afloat as it is thanks to companies like them.

Moving on.

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The Public Market Center at Pike Place has a nicer history.  In the early 1900s, people were fed up of paying way too much for their fresh fruit and vegetables, so the market was opened to allow farmers to sell their produce directly to customers.  On the market’s opening day, all the farmers had sold out by lunch time.  Due to changing times, the market almost closed down and turned into a fancy plaza, but it was saved and is now a huge tourist attraction, as well as a fully functioning market.

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The last picture I took (above) is my one of my favourites.  One Way/One Love.

We then spent many hours on coaches and at the border (where they were filming for a border control type show!) to get home.

Sorry that my holiday snaps turned into a bit of a history lesson/Starbucks rant.

Have a great weekend :)

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