August 30th through September 2nd, 2011
Apart from hanging out with friends, there were a few things I really wanted to do while I was in Seattle. On the bike maintenance front I needed to replace both my brake light switches and (finally) the gearing for the speedometer. Since I was going to have access to a garage I decided to change my oil and filter and adjust my valves while I was working on stuff. On the tourist front I wanted to find the original Starbucks, see the Space Needle, and visit the Flagship REI store (I like REI, well I like stores like REI in general).
Despite my (not particularly energetic) efforts to the contrary I got to Seattle hours earlier than planned. I had already spent some time locating the tourist things I wanted to do, so I decided to go and see the Starbucks, then visit the Space Needle. These two things were pretty close together and I didn’t think either would take me that long.
Starbuck was on something called Pike Street Plaza, which is a sort of street vender/art/music area. Traffic is allowed through too, which is good since I was the traffic looking for somewhere to park.
These guys were actually pretty good, and the girl in pink was dancing like crazy before I could get the picture. I pitched some change into their pot and then (belatedly) noticed what they were in front of.
Established 1972, which was a good year. I didn’t go in, there was a line. I could still have gotten Starbucks if I had wanted to, since there was another one, one block in either direction, but it didn’t seem the same.
I walked around Pike for a bit, it reminded me of venders at a State Fair, expect they were actually selling stuff.
Leaving the market I headed for the Space Needle, but when I was looking at the ticket options I found out there is also a Science Fiction Museum on the grounds in the EMP (Experience Music Project) building. Since science fiction is awesome I decided to wait until I had more time and headed for REI.
Parking is Seattle sucks. The REI had free parking, so long as I was there for less than an hour, which seemed pretty likely, so I parked there. Despite being on the street level of the parking garage I had to go up three floors to reach the front door. Inside was, well –
It was definitely big, though I thought the Anchorage REI was close. Of course, it’s not REI without
a dedicated bike ‘test track.’ No one on foot was aloud. There was smaller area for ‘hiking’ but it was pretty pathetic and I didn’t take a picture to avoid embarrassing anyone.
Running out of time on my parking I left and headed for the Mill’s house. They made me dinner.
The next morning I spent most of the day working on the bike. There were no issues or hiccups, and for the first time since Minnesota everything was working. It was good to get the stuff done, though I was excited to see Seattle.
Given how awful the parking is downtown I tried public transit to get to the Space Needle and City Center. I was hoping for light rail, but instead got an electric bus.
You can’t really tell from here, but the top of the needle was actually in clouds and visibility was limited.
Not to say the views weren’t awesome anyway. I had thought about eating at the restaurant on top of the needle, but it was way out of my price range so I decided to find something else.
Next on my to do list was the EMP and Science Fiction Museum. Taken from a view of either music as a whole, or Science Fiction as a whole, it was disappointing. But it was still pretty cool. The music section focused mainly on Nirvana and Jimmy Hendrix, which makes sense this being Seattle, and the Science Fiction was Avatar and Battlestar Galactica. Not sure what the Seattle tie in is there, but –
To get into the needle and EMP I had purchased a city pass, which gave me access to a view other locations. One was the Pacific Science Center, conveniently right next to the EMP and needle, so I walked over there.
This is what had caught my eye about the PSC.
Along with talking about how we feel fear, and how movies and such trigger our fear for our entertainment. There were also four fear stations
Falling was definitely the coolest, strapped into a harness they simulate a long drop. Freaky.
I still had some time so I wandered around for awhile. There were a lot of dinosaurs around
I decided I was getting back on the road the next day. I was antsy to be moving after the long weekend and now Seattle. For letting me stay with them I wanted to take the Mills out for dinner, and the chose Smarty Pants, a local vintage bike place.
We didn’t get there early enough for a spot out front
A picture of the motorcycles on the ceiling, which seems to be something you get at vintage bike places.
Dinner was delicious, the company was excellent, and the next day I was continuing south.