29 August 1997

Touring Seattle - Cousin Kim

I slept in until 8:30. ( ! ) I guess I was tired... Then I got up, had some breakfast, took a shower and started my Seattle tourist day.

First stop: The new Seattle REI store. What a place! 3 levels of garage parking under the store, waterfalls and rock gardens landscaping the area, sculptured portals around the elevator doors, and that's just the outside. Inside is all wood floors and timbers. There's a 3-story climbing tower, a "rain room" where you can put on rain gear and try it out, exhaust hoods so you can test different stoves and a little "creek" where you can try the water filters and purifiers.

I mostly wandered around looking at things, although, I did end up with about $50 of "tidbits"... sock liners, glove liners, a cookset, a collapsable 2 qt bottle, ditty bag set, pot lifter, camp soap, etc. I asked the guy in the stove area about the trouble I'd been having with my new stove and he said I could take it upstairs to the repair shop. It sounded like it just needed cleaning.

I shopped around until I was done, paid for my stuff, and took it to the car so I could pick up my stove. I took it back inside and to Leland at the repair desk. He fueled it, and fired it and it worked perfectly. We eventually came to the conclusion that it was a case of old, bad gas.

While we were testing and waiting for it to cool, we chatted about computer stuff. He was wanting to learn computer programming and when he found out I was a computer support person, he started asking me what I did and how I learned it etc. No charge for the stove evaluation or computer advice...

Then I thought I'd check out the view of Seattle from the Space Needle. I kept driving around and finally got there...downtown Seattle streets are rediculously convoluted...but there was some sort of a festival going on around the Needle and there was no parking to be had, plus they wanted big bucks just to set foot on the grounds for the festival when I didn't want to do the festival, I just wanted to go up the Needle. I decided to forego the needle and hit Pike Place instead.

I stopped at a gas station and got gas and directions then headed back into the morass of downtown streets.

I got a spot in a parking garage at $11 for 1-2 hours. It seemed exhorbitant but it was the same at any of the other parking places...they all seemed to be run by the same company...and there were no meters to be had.

The market is a vast, people-packed open-air type market place. There are fresh produce stands and seafood counters, restaurants, flower vendors, trinket/souvenir barkers...just about anything you might want. I wandered around a while, grabbed some lunch, then headed back to Dean's to chill until 5.

Kim arrived and we had a wonderful supper at Cucina Cucina overlooking lake Washington (I think). We had a great time chatting through the meal then went to another lake where she goes jogging. It's a man-made lake with a whole recreational complex built around it...soccer fields, swimming pool, ball courts, etc. The trail around the lake is 2.8 miles long and heavily used by walkers, joggers, bikers, bladers, etc. We walked it all, although we didn't time it to see how long it took. Then we went to her house and chatted some more. I was hoarse by the time she dropped me off back at Dean's.

We had talked about me staying at her place for the night but she had to get up early to go to work the next morning and we decided it would just work out better if I didn't.

Tomorrow, homeward bound.