Vacation is hard on me. Crowds of people are not my thing. I like space. I like being with people, just not being crowded by people. An airplane departing three hours late because it was struck by lightning coming to the airport isn’t a thrill to me. Having some guy complaining about his diarrhea as he sits in the seat in the waiting area isn’t a good thing at all. I thought he was drunk at first, but turns out he had a fever and was quite sick. Thanks for sharing. I came down with something similar on the way home and it hit full force during the night after we got back home. He might have been enchanting any other time, but he is on my top ten disliked list right now.
We had three cloudy, rainy, but entertaining days in Seattle. They told us they had not had rain in two months, so why couldn’t it have waited three more days? I guess it wouldn’t have been an entirely true Seattle experience without the rain. I don’t understand how so many people can exist, apparently living, on the streets in that chilly and wet environment. They were sleeping in the middle of the day out on street corners, but not next to buildings. They were just a pile of rags with a sleeping body on top. Others were in the bus shelters. One had created a nest of her tissues and rags in the shelter. A trash can was adjacent to her little place, but she didn’t use it.
We stayed at an Airbnb. This is a nice idea and worked out well for us. Hotel rooms in Seattle are outrageously expensive and the Airbnb was clean, friendly and priced right for us. It was only a couple of miles away from the downtown area but still in the extreme hills range of the city. (As opposed to actual mountains.) While the owners kept the doors of the bnb locked, we never felt we were in a dangerous or high crime area at our Airbnb. Not so in Seattle downtown!
As we walked along in downtown Seattle a woman seemed to be watching us as she, too, walked along. I’m told she circled us as we took our time and eventually asked one of us for a dollar. A simple “No.” sent her away, but it was strange for us. If we had thought of this happening we might have set a dollar or two in an empty pocket, but there was no way we would open our wallets in that environment.
My sister-in-law, Susan, has fantastic driving skills. Very narrow, very crowded streets were everywhere we went. Seattle has no parking laws in the residential areas. The streets were wide enough for cars to park on both sides of the street and still just barely drive down the center. Only one lane, though. When cars wanted to travel in opposite directions up or down the street one had to wait. Another difficulty, when parking they don’t care which side of the street you park on. Wherever you can find a space you can park. And every space is used! The houses are built so close together that very few have garages. WOW are there a lot of cars.
Up and down was an important phrase. We heard the city was built on seven hills that were used to fill in some of the low spots, so now the grade isn’t as steep. I don’t understand why anyone ever wanted to live there to start with and those hills must have made it almost impossible. I wore good walking shoes and still worried about hanging onto the sidewalk.
We should have studied the parking garage locations and gotten a bus pass and map. I think playing tourist is probably much easier that way. The trolley looked like fun, too. I wonder if they have a day or multiple day bracelet you can buy for mass transit. The various places by the water front might have been easier to access that way, too.
We saw lots of people at Pike’s Market, we saw whales and seals on Puget Sound, and we saw the Underground of Seattle. Pike’s Market was practically shoulder to shoulder tourists. It was very hard to really see anything. Lunch was a hard choice with so many really good looking restaurants and food choices. Most of the stores we saw there were just stuff like you could buy anywhere. That was very disappointing. We heard a strolling musical group and saw a guy painted up like a statue. He even had pigeons sitting on his hat where he kept a little feed.
The day we spent on a boat was more like we expected. It was rainy, but since the boat had two large inside places to ride it was fine. The big windows allowed us to spend most of the day watching in the relative comfort of the interior and when we arrived in the area of the whales, the rain let up so we could spend quality time on deck, watching. We saw whales for about a half an hour before they started swimming further away. It started raining then, too, so we had all headed inside anyway. We then went to San Jaun Island where we had a two hour lay over. I think this is the company’s idea of a gift shop. I found a few small things for the grandchildren, but we couldn’t buy big stuff and carry it home. I concentrated on the lavender products since they are made locally.
On Thursday we stumbled onto a tour by mistake that was a good thing. We intended to go on the Seattle Underground tour, another rainy day activity. Before we found it we came across a similar historical tour I expect was much better for us. It was a small group tour that lasted about an hour. Perfect for us. Not a lot of hill climbing. Perfect for me. And a charming tour guide. Made the tour very informative and interesting. When it was over we shopped a little and headed back to our Aire B&B. Then we got cleaned up and went out to dinner.
We ate at a Mandarin Restaurant where we were served tea, egg rolls and dish after dish of wonderful food. We had a really nice time. Afterward we drove up and up to Kerry Park.
The clouds lifted and we had a really good view of Seattle, but not Mt. Rainer. The homes around this park are quite impressive. The steep climb made me wonder again how they settled this area.
All was very worth visiting. We had lots of food in unfamiliar surroundings. Totally packed in like sardines on the flight there and back. Discovered I really don’t like crowds. Susan is actually lovely and takes terrible pictures! Whale watching on a rainy day can be a lot of fun, especially since the whales don’t mind the rain. My camera didn’t catch any good pictures, but we saw them many times. We also enjoy Kerry Park. I think the Mandarin Restaurant served too much really good food.