On Wednesday we met up with Laurel’s NaNoWriMo friend Gillian at the Experience Music Project which we all enjoyed. In addition to music exhibits, there are science fiction, fantasy, and architecture exhibits. Charlie really liked that last one that included Lego models of the world’s tallest buildings.
On Thursday we toured Chihuly Glass Museum. Dale Chihuly is a 72-year-old Washington artist who has been creating amazing glass pieces since the 1960’s.
We decided against buying any souvenirs in the gift shop since an 8″ bowl cost $6,000 – $8,000.
Then we walked up a very steep hill (I didn’t realize how hilly Seattle is.) to Kerry Park for its fantastic view of the Seattle skyline and Puget Sound.
We went to a great restaurant, 5Spot, for brunch Thursday morning and returned there for milkshakes after Kerry Park. When we went in the morning, the last minute of the US-Germany World Cup game was playing on the big-screen TV. The crowd in the restaurant was really excited, and it was fun to listen to them although we couldn’t see the screen because two enormous (five-foot diameter) cowboy hats hung from the ceiling, impeding our view. When the US lost and the crowd didn’t seem devastated, we asked our waiter why. He explained World Cup rules about advancing based on number of goals scored overall. When Charlie told him our travel story, he told us about his own world travels with one o’ these here hippy groups 🙂 which included a lengthy run across the southern US.
Thursday at 10 pm we went up in the Space Needle to see the city lights.
Friday was my 42nd birthday which Laurel and a woman we met on the train on the way home said is a very lucky year according to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We packed up our belongings in the morning and left the hotel walking just a block to Luna Sandals. A couple years ago I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Although I rarely run, I really enjoyed the book. One of the people referred to in the book, Barefoot Ted/El Mono, started Luna Sandals which just happens to have its headquarters (and only quarters) a block from the Hampton Inn where we stayed. We think the bald guy we saw there who went out for coffee and walked around without saying anything was Barefoot Ted. How exciting! The kids and I each have a pair of their sandals, and I wear mine every day that weather permits. I figure I’ve walked around a thousand miles in mine. So it was time to buy a couple pairs before we leave the continent, and luckily they had my size in stock. They only have a few employees, but they’re growing quickly; and I was able to watch them make the sandals.
Then we walked, backpack-laden, to Pikes Place Market for breakfast. Holy cow. I don’t want to think about how packed that place must be on Saturday or Sunday. I could hardly move in there as the kids waited outside on a concrete ledge/bench. We ended up having chowder for breakfast which was quite tasty. When the rain started later, we took cover at Hard Rock Cafe where we ate lunch. Then we spent a while at the library before heading back down to the waterfront. Charlie had been asking to go on the ferris wheel since we arrived. He now says it was his favorite thing to do in Seattle. After a yummy dinner at Fisherman’s Restaurant next to the ferris wheel, we walked to King Street Station where we boarded the Amtrak train for Vancouver. We met a friendly woman on the train who, with her husband who met us in Vancouver, ended up giving us a ride home from the train station since they live nearby. They live in a co-op condominium. A couple women at a Meetup group we attended last week were telling us about those. Since Vancouver housing prices are so outrageously high, co-op housing was introduced…somehow which costs significantly less than market-rate places. It’s in high demand though, and our train friend said she and her husband were on a three-year waiting list for their home.