After Sasquatch, we went to Seattle for two days because we were so close and we'd never been. After spending all day outside in the crazy heat and all night sleeping in a tent in the freezing cold, getting sunburnt, running from concert to concert, getting dehydrated and malnourished and whatever else, it was very nice to sleep in a comfy king sized bed, eat complimentary breakfast and delicious (large-portioned) meals, shower daily, and drive around the city sight-seeing at our own pace. It was a nice change.
We got into the city around 4 on Tuesday, May 31st. We checked into a hotel right across from the Space Needle and our room was on the 6th floor so we had an awesome view of it. (And a high ceiling which my 6'3" boyfriend appreciated.) We went for a refreshing swim, then showered and dressed up and drove to Pier 57 for supper.
The sun was setting on the ocean, and we ate supper at The Fisherman's Restaurant, upstairs, looking out the window watching the sunset turn into this:
We shared a popcorn shrimp appetizer (free from a coupon we got at our hotel), and had a bowl of clam chowder each. Then I had crab's legs, served with wild rice and broccoli and other veggies.
...and my boyfriend had salmon, with a lobster tail, served with wild rice and broccoli and veggies.
He thought it was weird that I photographed the food but I wanted to remember how delicious it was and how big the portions were. This was my first good meal in days, and the most extravagant meal I had on the whole trip. So I took pictures.
We walked around the pier a bit, but it was cold out so we ended up just going back to the hotel.
Follow the jump to read about the rest of our Seattle trip...
The next day, after enjoying a delicious breakfast buffet at our hotel, and showering (gotta love the return to hygeine after camping) we headed to Pike Place Market, which was awesome. Pike Place is a three-story building on the pier in Seattle, with little independentally-owned shops and a huge farmer's market and restaurants and things.The first floor had "The Literary Saloon," a used book shop, and "Holy Cow Records" a record shop. So, since books and music are our two favourite things we spent a little over an hour just in those two shops.
We also went into a thrift store, a Mexican art store, a First Nations art store, a candy shop, a magic shop where I got my palm read by one of those machines (my fortune: Happiness is yours.), a toy store, and some other stores. I got a penny pressed into the Space Needle, we saw a busker playing Edelweiss on violin and another one playing guitar. We walked through the farmer's market and saw two guys throwing a fish back and forth and a bunch of tourists trying to photograph it. I overheard one lady saying afterwardsto her daughter, as she checked the playback on her digital camera "You can't even see the fish. It's like it never even happened."
We also saw a bunch of stores that had shop windows like this.
...with just a million little knick knacks. This particular store had millions of salt and pepper shakers, I don't know how it stays in business, or how they find anything, or how they keep it clean (can you imagine having to dust the shelves in this place?!) but it was a neat thing to see, that's for sure.
After we had explored all of Pike Place (a very cool place to check out if you're ever in Seattle) we went to the aquarium. The aquarium was really awesome, everything was beautiful, but it also really depressed me for a couple of reasons.
(this was a pool where you could actually touch the star fish and anenomes with one finger. This part wasn't that depressing.)
In The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (an excellent but effed-up book) the main character recalls his first date with his wife. They went to an aquarium (kind of weird for a first date) and she just got obsessed with watching the jellyfish. She kept talking about how 80% of the world is underwater and we can never know about all of it, because so much is under the surface. It's a beautiful, but depressing metaphor and it's kind of ironic because the main character is just thinking about how pretty she is and even when he's looking back and remembering the conversation he doesn't really see the significance of it.
So part of the depressing part of the aquarium was that, which I guess depends on perspective because my boyfriend said that looking at things in the aquarium filled him with wonder while I was just feeling overwhelmed and insignificant.
But also, there were like a million billion kids wandering around when we were there, and that wasn't the annoying part because I really like kids. But the parents were so stupid. We saw a little girl who was probably about 3 or 4 years old climb up onto this rock to get a closer look at a tank. Her mom was standing two feet away saying "Come on, come on, let's go" and the little girl was struggling to get down, and was clearly terrified. The mom didn't help her at all, just waited for her to get down. Number one: why did you let your child climb up there in the first place? Number two: Why aren't you helping her? Terrible parenting.
And that wasn't the worst. The worst was the annoying parents who brought little 1 and 2 year olds who don't get the appeal of an aquarium because they don't understand what fish are or what the ocean is or anything. Not saying you shouldn't bring your kid to the aquarium if they're that young, but just don't try to tell them about whales, and don't just yell "Hey! Look! It's Nemo! Nemo! Nemo's over here! It's Nemo! I found Nemo!"
Your kid doesn't care about science or about standing still and looking at things because your kid is a baby. And also, they don't know who Nemo is because that movie came out in like 2001 and your kid was probably born in like 2008.
"It's Nemo! Nemo! Nemo and his dad! In an anenome! NEeeeEemoOoooo!"
...and I just kept thinking about all these stupid and annoying parents who didn't watch their kids or who tried to make their kids interested in something their kids clearly weren't interested in and I just thought about how I might grow up and be like them, and take my kids to aquariums and yell things at them in anger or excitement and just be like everybody else.
....and the jellyfish, when we saw them they were in this thing called "The Ring of Life" which was pretty much the most depressing thing ever. It was a circular tank, you could stand in the middle of it and see the jellyfish swimming in circles around you, going overtop of you and underneath (you could see underneath you, too.) and they just swam around and around and around and the lights changed colour so they'd look pretty. And when I thought about it in relation to all the annoying parents, it became a depressing metaphor.
We have the insignificance of human life that the aquarium brings to attention, added to the "ring of life", and the annoying parents. So the ring of life is a circle that we swim around in monotonously, going through the motions. We grow up, reproduce, take our kids to aquariums that they don't care about, and join the 'ring of life.' how fricking depressing.
My boyfriend pointed out that since I think about stuff like this I will probably never become one of those parents, because most people don't think about things like this, which is a depressing thought (since most people are perfectly content being jellyfish) but also an uplifting one (since I am not.)
I liked the aquarium. Everything was pretty and sometimes it's good to get depressed and think aobut sad, meaningful things.
And also we saw this huge (human-sized) freaky ugly octopus.
And, after, in the gift shop I saw a kid's shirt that said "Hairy Otter" and had a picture of an otter as Harry Potter. And the youth large fit me so I bought it.
We ate lunch at Chipotle, and it was really delicious.
And while we were in there, I saw a man walking outside with long silver hair and a silver beard, glasses, wearing a silver wizard hat, a red sweatshirt, and purple sweatpants. And I said "That guy is totally a wizard because he doesn't know how to dress like a muggle." and then I took a creepy photo of him and nicknamed him Dumbledore.
After some traffic and navigation issues, we made it back to our hotel and we walked over to the EMP: Experience Music Project, a music, pop culture, and science fiction museum beside the Space Needle.The girl selling tickets told us that it closed in half an hour and usually it took people about and hour and a half to walk around and see everything but she said we could pay and go in and she would stamp our receipts and we could come back the next day for free and finish looking. So we went to the EMP and saw two rooms, and this huge two-story sculpture made up of real instruments and robots playing them.
We saw the guitar hall of fame (if that was what it was called. I forget), an exhibit that showed the history and evolution of guitars and basses. It was pretty sweet.
And we saw the Nirvana exhibit, which was really cool for a couple of reasons. 1.) We were in Seattle, the birthplace of grunge, and 2.) We had just seen Dave Grohl live a few days earlier.
I kept thinking about how weird it would be to be Dave Grohl and have like, a T-shirt you wore in your 20s be in a museum. Because, yeah, his old clothes and letters and things are history, but for him it's just a part of his youth. Like, yeah, it was Nirvana and it was a big fricking deal, but for him at the time, it was just him hanging out with his friends, playing music, taking pictures, etc. and he didn't know any other youth. and it must be weird for him now, after being in another band for like 15 years to have his old stuff in a museum.
When the EMP closed we went to the Space Needle and walked around and took a video walking all the way around, showing a 360 view of Seattle.
We took the monorail downtown and ate at The Cheescake Factory, took the monorail back to the Space Needle and walked back to our hotel.
The next day, we checked out of our hotel after breakfast and went back to the EMP to finish. We saw the Jimi Hendrix exhibit, the Battlestar Galactica exhibit (which we weren't that into, having never seen the show) and the Sound Lab, a cool room where you could play real guitar and piano and electric drums, and computers could teach you or you could play along with music, and there were little studios where you could go and jam with your friends, and there was a place where you could go and record a song and buy the CD, but we didn't do that because there was a whole class of kids waiting in line when we were there. But we played the instruments and things, which was fun.
This is the guitar Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock.
..And after a jam-packed two days, we left Seattle, for a long drive home broken up by stays in different places. It was a great trip, but we had run out of money, and time (I had to come home to start a new job) and we were ready to come home.
This spinning pink elephant car wash sign was near our hotel and I took a picture because I liked it. Then when we were up in the Space Needle, a computer told us that it is a landmark of the city.
Space Needle at night. Read my other blogs about my trip: