Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Adventure Begins- Seattle Day 1

We arrived in Seattle late Thursday night. Aunt Judy was awake to welcome us, direct us to our rooms, and feed us from her fridge. As I walked around her and Uncle Jack's house, I was struck by the vast amounts of photographs, tickets, and other memorobilia that papered their walls. The house felt alive with the whispers of many stories and tales to be told by the people in the photographs. There were little trinkets everywhere: small figurines, statues, books, pens and pencils... In my room, one part of the wall was covered with lots of odd bits and pieces. It was so beautiful. I just wanted to look at everything and take it all in. But there was hardly time for that.

On Friday morning, Dad took us to Ballard Locks. There are two lakes, but one lake is higher than the other one. So they built a sort of canal so the boats could pass to either side. It was really neat.

The boat entered the canal and tethered itself to the edge. Then the gate closed behind it and pumps raised the water level to the height of the other side and that gate opened!! It's all very complicated to explain, but it was very exciting!!

Especially when we got to see it in action!!!

After the ten minutes of excitement was over, Dad showed us the fish ladder where the salmon swim upstream to mate...? Or something like that. There were no salmon, since it wasn't the right season, but we did see a few fish. Two big ones and a little one. I decided that the little one was doing better than the big ones because, although he wasn't going anywhere, he was keeping an even pace. The other fish would let themselves be carried back by the current and then swim and catch up with the little fish. (Isn't that mean?! The gloaters!)

That's one of the big fish.

After the locks, we wandered around for a while... Walked along the train tracks...

And looked at the boats. It was funny, because we were asking these guys for directions and I said, "Good Morning!" And they laughed at me and said, "It's afternoon!" So I replied, "Well, I wouldn't know, because there isn't any sunshine!" And I skipped on my happy way, knowing full well that I just sounded like a major tourist. (Commenting on the lack of sunshine in Seattle!)

In the afternoon, it started to rain and we decided to go to this amaaaazing place called "Pike's Place Market"!!!! Oh my gosh, it was so amazing!!!! Pike Place Market is like a multi-story indoor market with all sorts of little shops and booths.

These pictures of dead fish cannot even BEGIN to describe its wonders!!!

Nor can this epic ye-woo player!! (Excuse me while I butcher his instrument's name.) It sounded like a bagpipe, but he played it like a violin. How awesome is that? The guy's pronunciation of the instrument was very strange. I think it's an oriental instrument.


THIS!!!!! THIS is an art studio we saw as we entered the market!!!!! It was all barred up, but I took pictures anyways. It was SO BEAUTIFUL!!! IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MESS I'VE EVER SEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My excitement equals nearly that of the Switchfoot concert.

Pike Place Market was a wonderful conglomeration of sights, sounds, and smells. The different stalls and shops sold all sorts of interesting things!! I bought a bunch of postcards and Daddy bought Mom some anniversary flowers from one of the vendors.

When our meter ran out of time, we decided to hit Third Place Books for the rest of the afternoon. Third Place is a neat bookstore. Half of the area is the bookstore, and the other half has a cafeteria and a stage and this oversized chess board!!

I remembered the chess board from some obscure memory of long ago.. but it looked a lot smaller this time around. Dad played a game with Cam and absolutely whupped the poor kid.

 After Third Place Books, we went over to Uncle Brian's and Aunt Nancy's for hanging out and pizza, which was great. Ish and the kids and I created several "haunted houses" upstairs, complete with strobe lights, recorded noises, and a skeleton that dropped down from the ceiling. We brought each of the parents through it and they were very scared. ;)

Ishta brought her book The Wheedle and the Noodle which was personally signed by Seattle author Stephen Cosgrove and read it to the boys. It was a super cute story! Dad and Uncle Brian rocked their electric guitars in the garage while the boys played pinball and ran around doing boyish things and roughhousing. Aunt Nancy and Mom enjoyed a nice "fireside" (minus the fire) chat.

It was a nice evening, filled with jokes of "twice in one year." It was nice to see the boys again, especially after our vacation in Durango. And good times were had by all.

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