Friday, July 6, 2012

Sightseeing in Seattle (Part II)

Nineteen of us flew from Rochester, NY to Seattle, WA to represent our church at the Free Methodist National Bible Quiz competition. I was a coach and my three daughters were quizzers. I have written about Bible quizzing before, so I won’t bore you with the details. If you wish, you can read about it here. 

Since we flew across the entire country, to a city neither I, nor any of my fellow travelers had visited before, we worked in some time for sight seeing. This was a good thing. Seattle is large, and as with most large places, there is a lot to see. Some of the things we saw were unremarkably mundane, but there were still a lot of them.

One of the remarkable sights we saw was the Cascade mountains. While we were in Seattle there was one clear sunny day in which we were able to see all the mountains and especially, the most famous one, Mt. Ranier. The rest of the time it was cloudy and the mountains simply disappeared. I am sure that the TSA is investigating their disappearance.

The city of Seattle is quite hilly due to living so close to the mountains. I think the only flat spot we saw was Puget sound. It is so hilly that if you take purebred Seattlites and stand them on flat ground, they lean inexplicably. It is as if their minds cannot fathom flat land and decide that all land is dramatically sloped and therefore command the body to lean to accommodate the expected slope.

Another tourist sight we went to was the Space Needle, which was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The observation deck is a whopping 520 feet above the ground. I was eager to go there since after a week rushing from quiz to quiz, chaperoning teens, and dorming with a number of imperfect strangers, I was ready for a little space.

When I actually made it to the Space Needle I was disappointed on two accounts. First, there was not an abundance of space. We were crammed into the elevator by the dozens and although there was a little more room to maneuver once we reached the observation deck, it was still crowded. It was definitely not named “Space Needle” because there was room to stretch out and enjoy much personal space.

Next, I assumed we would be close to space, as in outer space. This excited me with the possibility of seeing aliens and observing sattelites and space ships as the floated by.  At 520 feet, this was not the case. In the years between 1962 and 2012, someone has moved space further away from the surface of the earth. Since Seattle is predominantly a liberal city, as far as politics goes, I think they would probably blame the conservatives for this and I am sure conservatives would blame liberals. I believe the problem is a bipartisan one of politicians and all their hot air. Whether their beliefs are liberal or conservative does not matter. All their rhetoric filled hot air has made the atmosphere around earth larger, causing space to be pushed further away from earth.

We also took a ferry across Puget Sound to the quaint tourist attraction called Bainbridge Island. I was excited for this ferry ride. My hometown of Rochester, NY had a ferry for a short time and I never got a chance to ride it. The ferry was called the “Fast Ferry” and made trips between Rochester and Toronto Canada. The two major differences between the ferry to Bainbridge Island and the one between Rochester and Toronto are that a large number of people, other than tourists, actually need to ride between Bainbridge and Seattle-- for work and other activities of daily life, whereas people going to and from Toronto were mainly tourists. The other major difference is that the Seattle/Bainbridge ferry is still running and the Rochester/Toronto ferry is not. It was sold, fast, when it didn’t make any money.

I must confess, I do not know what the great attraction of Bainbridge Island to tourists is, but I do know that the town is filled with the quaint little shops that one would expect in a rustic tourist attraction. Small yarn shops, candle shops that have sweet smells coming from the doorways, little cafe’s with names like Pennywhistle Cafe and the Fork and Spoon. The latter is a real cafe located on Bainbridge Island. I ate there and didn’t need either a fork or a spoon. I had a  sandwich and chips, and I felt cheated since there was no use for their touted silverware.

There was an outdoorsy kind of store called Wild Erness, and a modernish kind of clothing store called Dan Ger as well. When I pointed these out to littlest she just rolled her eyes and said, “Dad, it is Wilderness and Danger.” I think she was wrong.

To conclude this entry on my trip to Seattle, I want to pass along an interesting tidbit I picked up about Bainbridge Island. It is thusly named because it is completely surrounded by water.

1 comment:

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