Despite Seattle’s notoriously cold and rainy reputation, the day we’d set aside to foray into the city turned out to be 80 degrees with clear blue skies.
Looking like the tourists we are with our camera at the ready, our first stop was Pike Market. I have a soft spot for fairs and festivals and farmer’s markets… basically anything with tents or booths draws me in. Kali never fails to tease me for this, but there is something so whimsical about looking at hand-crafted wares and sampling homemade goodies or fresh produce! Pike Market is like the grandparent of farmer’s markets, so it was an obvious destination.
We wandered and people-watched, ate a delicious turkish gyro, and then followed our noses to the most delightful pastry shop with a line out the door. The very first Starbucks ever was just down the street, so of course we grabbed a white mocha to complement our cinnamon pastry. The coffee shop was insanely overcrowded (sheesh, it’s like everyone else had the same idea we did!) and the coffee tasted like….. well, Starbucks. Nothing novel, just chocolately goodness.
Refreshed despite a bit of a sugar coma, we went a few more blocks into the heart of downtown and finally accomplished one of the errands on our todo list. Kali has been looking for a pair of prescription sunglasses for ages, but it’s gotten much more urgent now that we’re driving Mayhem. Contacts are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, and forgoing sunglasses leaves one’s retina open to the insidious rays of the sun glinting off the road/hood, so we’ve been hunting for a comfortable and at least mildly stylish pair in a few cities now.
Having accomplished something constructive, we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the Capitol Hill district, which is known for its healthy dose of LGBT diversity and overall counterculture. We didn’t have any grand plans for this neighborhood or anything in particular we HAD to see; we just wanted to get a feel for the area and the people and enjoy ourselves in a relaxed manner. Big events, well-planned escapades, and scandalous adventures are always enjoyable, but given the choice we tend to lean more towards the relaxed and lazy style of touristing (one that requires a heck of a lot less planning and schedules).
Once we got there, I was feeling parched so we found a juice shop and ordered the most tame option on the menu: a concoction of beet, apple, and celery that was dangerously colored (for heaven’s sake, man, don’t spill!) but sweet… even if it did taste a bit too much of celery.
We admired people’s colorful tattoos (I really wish I had the nerve to wear art like that on my arms) and meandered through musty-smelling shops. Our favorite by far was a huge vintage clothing store that offered a prodigious selection of the most random items. There were funky hats and leather jackets (some with fringe!) and skinny jeans in every color.
And then… we discovered the basement. We saw a few masks… and then what looked like a Gumby ensemble… and the next thing we knew we were entangled in a full-fledged underground costume shop! We were the only ones down there, so we played with capes and swords and lobster outfits and the most beautiful velvet full-length wizard’s robes I’ve ever seen, and generally had a great time. Sadly, though, we were so busy letting our inner nerd run free that we didn’t think to take any pictures.
Somehow the day had escaped from us, so we grabbed some pizza by the slice and ate quickly, hoping to get to the space needle before sunset so we could watch the sky change colors from the top. It was a close call, with Kali snapping pictures from the ground while I ran to the ticket booth, but we eventually made it to the top with the sun still in the sky.
The view was breathtaking, and we could see all of downtown, the harbor, and Mt. Rainier off in the distance. We snapped some pictures and walked the deck while watching the sun set, then went inside and read the history of the structure (and then played word games on Kali’s iPhone) while waiting for it to get completely dark so we could take more pictures.
After returning to the ground, Kali had the idea to look for a vantage point that would allow us to see the space needle along with the skyline. Using our trusty Yelp skills (where would we be without that wondrous tool?), we found Kerry Park in the Queen Anne district, conveniently located on a hill. We pulled out our tripod and spent a good hour playing with our camera and learning how to take neat night photos. We’ve both always enjoyed taking pictures, but with this trip and our trusty Canon Rebel we’re actually learning more about photography. Move over, Ansel Adams!