Seattle was one of the cities I was most looking forward to. Not just because I spent half of my youth in a fantasy version of it – I used to play the cyber role playing game Shadowrun – but also I finally got to see a friend of mine, that I haven’t seen for about 9 years and finally get to meet his family.
He and his family where so kind and invited us to stay with them and so got on our way in their direction. It was a bit strange to see the skyline of Seattle for the first time. Hundreds of adventure hours flashed by my inner eye and I was glad to have a goal so I could ward off memories and join the here and now once again. Still one of my favorite Shadowrun quotes got stuck with me. It is very fitting to this trip: “We need to have a plan so that we know what we’re deviating from.”
Finding Marcs home was not difficult at all and we got a warm welcome. After a tour of the house and a quick run through our planning – which went quite quick since we just had 3 points on our agenda – Tawny grasped exactly what sort of quirky tourists we are and had a wealth of suggestions for us.
We started with a Hawaiian fusion meal and went with the ferry over to Seatle down town. The day was beautiful and the skyline breathtaking. I was really here and I fought of some silly happy tears, whilst our three hosts keep feeding us with useful and interesting information about the city and the buildings that make the skyline so impressive.
In downtown our first stop was one of the most quirkiest gift shops we have been so far. Next to Mexican jumping beans and metal puzzles of the eye of the needle, the biggest attraction was a few mummies in the back of the store. They are not for sale, but a touristic attraction for sure. Its full and loud and overwhelming. You don’t really know where to look first. The quirky decor, the interesting people or the goods this shop offers.
Next stop was the market place where fish fly and flowers are leaving the hall by the hundreds it seemed. Onwards to the first Starbucks ever. By this time we all could use some sort of beverage, but decided that standing in line for 2 hours is no starbucks coffee worth. And Seattle is brimming with coffee places. Ironic that most of them are shut or moved and we ended up in yet another Starbucks, the second one ever! Very well. Its good to have been in one in the city this originated from.
From here we uber-ed back to the car at the other side and went on to look for the biggest boots and hat. We would have never found this (my attraction) on our own.Apparently Seattle keeps moving them around. They started out as a roof for a pump station and the boots functioned as toilets, but than they started decaying untill some good soul started restoring them and after some moved history, we found them on a playground – somewhere in Seattle.
The next hour or so we went to a bar and a record shop, followed by the EMP museum. This was very impressive. At this point of time, next to the standard music exhibition, the EMP also hosts a horror, sci-fy and fantasy exhibition with scream booths, interactive games, costumes and props from movies. If you go here, take your time.
After dinner Clara and Tawny went to a play and Marc and I attempted to go up the eye of the needle. After we realized however, that you would have to wait hours to obtain a ticket just to wait hours after for the time slot that ticket will give you, we aborted the idea. I decided to try in the morning very early.
So that left us time to see the sunset, the super moon, a troll under a bridge and go have another few drinks in another few bars. And never tiering Marc shared his wealth of information about the city. Even without the eye of the needle, I was in seventh heaven.
The next day, Hass and I planned first to quickly go to the needle and than have a look at Mount Renier. Soon we realised, that we both are rather in the mood for a city trip so we went in search for a few peculiar items we found online just to conclude that we where led on a wild goose chase. Than we tried our luck with the eye of the needle just to hear, that the tickets and time slots are already for the evening hours. So I had to give up the idea and hope there is a next time. Than I order the ticket online a month or so before.
Anyhow we decided to walk back to the market. We had just seen one level yesterday and where curious what else it had to offer. Quite a lot. We found the usual food and jewelry, flowers and knick knacks. But there was also a guy that built good sounding guitars and amplifiers out of cigaret boxes – www.soulcatguitars.com – and a comic fan store in which we found some of our “smaller than life so it fits in the car” souveniers.
Walking around, having drinks and enjoying the sun made us loose track of time and as we realized that, we where already in time for Seattles nightmare: Traffic.
A bit late we arrived back at the house and Tawny and Marc where already waiting for us. We went for a delicious dinner, I had my first american Froyo experience, and than we went to a genuine Seattle game store. Looking for a game that actually fits in our car, we got adviced to try Zombie dice and quite liked the game experience. Since we where already in a gaming mood, Tawny and Marc took us to a bar, in which you could play old school arkade games as long as you order drinks.
We ended the evening with a nice get together in the living room and since the guys left us, Tawny and I spend another half hour talking about traveling, the world and all.
And that concluded our Seatle trip unfortunately. As last tip, Marc advised to us a diner for breakfast. Very appealing with a mega guitar and a juke box, which we could operate from our table. It was so american, so road trip, so Seattle.
Though our trip till now has been amazing, having a guid just brings the city more to life. At this point thank you guys again for sharing your home and your knowlage with us. It has been a blast and we hope to be able to repeat this again some time. Either on your or on our continent.