Spent the day roaming around Seattle which is a very now, very happening city where people are very involved. Sort of.
First of all, Starbucks Coffee originated in Seattle and is still headquartered here. As you might expect, there are Starbucks on every corner, in gas stations, bakeries, heck I even think I saw one in a taxi that went by. And they are all full. A very thirsty and somewhat jittery town.
I drifted down to the Farmer’s Market in downtown Seattle – a very now, very happening fish, fruit, and meat market.
It was thoroughly packed with thousands of people who didn’t seem to be buying anything – I think it was one of those flash mobs who decided to jam the market and keep me from moving. I kept waiting for them to break into their dance routine. While waiting, I relaxed and listened to a little sweet Irish music (Irish fiddle music soothes my roots):
I also got to admire some of the incredibly scary stuff at the fish stalls…
This was the place you might have seen on TV where these guys are heaving fish back and forth between counters. Lots of yelling, lots of cheering from the crowd. Also, there were some very pretty flower stalls and flower boxes adorning the buildings:
There were restaurants of every kind in the market: German Bierstubes, Italian pasta shops, Delis, Teriyaki, seafood – I was getting very hungry and having trouble deciding where to eat. What did I finally choose?
In addition to all the Starbucks on every corner, there were a lot of activists protesting, supporting, or ambivalent about a wide variety of subjects. There were people asking me to sign petitions to oust Obama (I did). Others wanted me to support their petition to get the Republicans to quit blocking Obama (I signed). There was even one old guy asking me to side with him to end the war in Viet Nam (I did). The last guy was part of an incredibly large number of homeless people that littered every little park in Seattle, nearly every street corner, and most tourist spots. They were active, too – usually holding out an empty Starbucks cup or old ballcap – hitting everyone up for “$1.25 for food”. I thought it was an odd amount, but they all asked for the same thing so I think they all received their training at the same place.
Seattle also has a very now, very happening waterfront district with lots of ferry activity, restaurants and shopping, and harbor tours.
I’m pretty jealous of Seattle. I like to rank cities by the ‘WOW factor’ when entertaining visiting relatives. There is a boatload of stuff to do in Seattle that would keep slackjaws like me buzzing for days. I wish my town of Columbus had some ‘WOW factor’, but it doesn’t. We never get much in the way of concert headliners, sports are pretty sad, and the city festivals are lame. I don’t actively encourage my relatives to visit Columbus because (1) have you seen them? and (2) where would I take them? Still, not sure I would trade for Seattle’s stuff if I had to take the crowds, traffic, and homeless population. Maybe I’ll just visit from time to time.
I left town to head for Portland, Oregon – the next stop on my odyssey. It would have been easy to just take the interstate 178 miles down to Portland, but where’s the fun in that? So, I took a 120 mile round trip out to the Pacific coast to see the ocean (like I’ve never seen ocean before):
On the path along the shoreline, I thought that maybe I should have just taken the easy way down to Portland. Then, I rounded the bend and was reminded why I take the small roads:
You know, I love marshmallows. Just love ’em. Recently, you may have seen those super large marshmallows at the store that are guaranteed to get a giggle when you pull them out at smores-makin’ time on a campout. I always wondered where marshmallows came from – and are these larger ones some kind of mutant steroid marshmallows. Well, now I know that they grow on a farm and that I ain’t seen nothin’ yet:
I stopped in Des Moines, Washington to look at this statue. I’m not sure what it is or what it is trying to depict.
As weird as this statue is on its own – a closer look reveals this:
Somethin’s very fishy in Des Moines, Washington.
Today’s Travel: 287 miles
Total Travel To Date: 9,286 miles