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Friday, September 22, 2000

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Walking in Seattle

I could hardly sleep last night and had to get up early so Mike could drop me off to catch the commuter bus down to Seattle. They also have one going to the university area. It's $3.00 one way, which isn't bad and if you get a pass it's about $3.00 per day. I got the 7:30 bus which is only half full. There are nice seats with headrests and even overhead bins. It's one of the articulated buses. We took WA-99 south to I-5. We're not held up much by traffic since we have the HOV lane. I was downtown in about 35 minutes which is pretty good.

I was down there so early I decided to do the Seattle Volkswalk as well as visiting the Seattle Art Museum. I took a bus part way and since it was in the free zone, it was free. Cool. The walk started at the Seattle Inn by Denny Park and took me through the Seattle Center. I got a little lost but managed to get back on track. I went by the Space Needle which I have always wanted to see.

After leaving the Seattle Center I continued down to the waterfront and could see the snow covered mountains in the distance. It was much clearer and I took several pictures of them. I hope they turn out. I walked along the waterfront for quite a way past the piers and shops. I stopped at one point for some rolls and milk for breakfast and again for a bagel. I looked in at the aquarium but didn't stop to go through it.

At the Washington State Ferry Terminal I took the pedestrian walkway across the road and went left to the Harbor steps which I climbed. They are interesting. A little kid was enjoying learning to climb stairs. At the top was the Seattle Art Museum. I stop in to get info and decided to wait till I was on my way back and take a tour.

There are lots of people on the streets, which I enjoy. I don't care much for cities that don't have pedestrians. I went right, toward Pioneer Square and passed some of the places we walked last Saturday. Past Pioneer Square I went through Occidental Park and then toured the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and Museum. This is my first National Park volkswalk since I got the card so it was fun stamping it. I also got a National Park Passport as I plan to try to visit, or revisit, as many National Parks as I can.

From here it was a long trek to Safeco Field, through a few blocks that were a little scary, then back toward Pike's Place Market via 4th Avenue and WA-519. This went past Union Station and I saw Amtrak and some light rail come through. I zigzagged along and took a bit of a detour to go by the art museum. On the way I saw a metro sign so I went in to take pictures. I'm looking at the round tunnels and out came a bus. What a shock! It took a minute but I realized this was the bus tunnel. They use electricity down here and it's rather cool how it's done.

At the art museum I meant to take a tour but I got caught up in the exhibits of the native americans of the northwest and then the african and asian exhibits. I never even made it down to the other floors. The northwest exhibits were great. I haven't seen such nice ones before, but this is where Seattle is so they should have a good exhibit of the native americans of this area.

The african exhibit had a case with the materials the women use for their dresses and cards explaining what each mean since all the patterns have meanings. There in the middle was one with cell phones on it. This meant city life or urban living. I loved that they could incorporate this into their cultural patterns.

I only spent a couple hours here and was very tired by this time. I went up toward Denny Park and walked through it and then back to Seattle Inn. This was a very nice walk. I enjoy to small town walks, like that of Snohomish, and the nature walks, but I always enjoy the city or urban walks most since they are so full of the ingenuity and ideas of humans.

I rested my feet a little in the museum but they were aching and it was good to catch a bus back downtown and rest a bit until the commuter bus came to take me back to Mukilteo. I had taken over six hours with all my sightseeing and window shopping, which is about par for a city walk for me and it was good to finally get on the bus and take it easy on the way back especially since I was feeling my lack of sleep. There were about 25 buses that stop at the stop I was at and they kept rolling by. There were only a couple that got on when I did and I wondered if they ever filled up but by the time we got on I-5, about twenty minutes later, it was full. It was just a regular bus, not articulated, though and I figure on the later runs, this was about 4:00, they use the larger buses.

Mike met me at the bus stop and it was back to their apartment. We decided to see a movie and went to "Nurse Betty" which was so funny. Betty snaps when her husband is murdered and thinks she's a character in a soap opera. I loved it because I so often felt like I was suppose to be the good little girl and be nice to everyone, but then you get stepped on and used. In the end she got to have the life she wanted, on her own terms. A very good movie and very funny. I like a movie you can really laugh with.

Mike and Lauri then went to play a role playing game with friends and I went to bed and slept well.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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