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I seem to be seeing Seattle in bits and pieces over the years as I pass through on my way someplace else. This time was no exception. Mr. K. and I decided to give ourselves plenty of leeway to get to the cruise ship on time by taking the train to Seattle a day early. We would have dinner in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Space Needle, something I’ve never done before. I anticipated some great shots from the Space Needle of Seattle under a full moon. Well … sigh … you know what they say about the “best laid plans.”
First we had to find our hotel! I was so concerned that I would forget my passport and our cruise boarding documents … I checked a dozen times before I left the house and several times more on the train. But I totally forgot to bring our Seattle hotel reservation information. All I could remember was Great Western. Thank goodness Google is a bit more intelligent than I am, as it gently asked if I wanted Best Western instead. Yes, thank you. There turned out to be three Best Westerns in Seattle. I picked the one that sounded right. We loaded wheelchair, four suitcases, and camera bag into the cab … husband grumbling once again about my “overdoing the packing” … headed for the hotel, unpacked everything from the cab, and toted it all into the hotel lobby. Wrong Best Western. (Asia Marina, does this sound familiar? Is there something about Seattle?) A very nice clerk called around and found the right Best Western and called us another taxi. He was gracious enough to act like he did this every day. Again we piled bag and baggage into the cab, went to the right hotel, got it all into the lobby, and finally to our room. First leg of the trip complete. Now for dinner.
But I had also neglected to make a dinner reservation at the Space Needle. The first opening they had was at 9:30. OK, that should be great for night shots with full moon, but we hadn’t eaten anything since train sandwiches at noon. So we decided on a light supper at 5:00 pm to tide us over. Fortunately, the hotel had a restaurant. I didn’t expect much, I mean … Best Western? But I had an excellent bowl of French onion soup, and Mr. K enjoyed a Caesar salad.
That’s when I made another mistake. I have been seasick before and never want to experience it again. So I had decided that I would use Dramamine until I found out how rough our cruise on the Inside Passage would be. Since everyone says to start your seasick remedy before you sail, I took my first Dramamine with that light supper. Two hours later, I was sound asleep. I had a great night’s sleep but totally missed dinner and night photography at the Space Needle.
Our hotel was about two blocks from the Space Needle, and I still wanted to see it, so we strolled and rolled over there in the morning. But we never made it to the Space Needle because we encountered some of Seattle’s fantastic architecture right across the street: the Sci Fi museum and Experience Music Project. I fell in love with all the shapes and colors of the buildings and simply couldn’t take enough pictures.
The gas leak at the hotel might have added to my sleepiness. The smell hit you when you entered the lobby, and we could also smell it in the elevators and hallways. Not in our room, thank goodness. The desk clerk assured us they were working on it. We saw the gas company inspectors working around the hotel when we went to the restaurant. The waitress assured us that the leak was at a building down the street and the scent was simply blowing into the hotel. When we got back to our room, a note under our door said that the hotel had been thoroughly inspected and no leak found. But the next morning, there were more inspectors checking things out. They hadn’t solved the problem by the time we checked out. I found myself wondering at what point they decide that something is wrong and evacuate the building.
And then, oh joy, a monorail went right through the building! So we hopped on the monorail for a short round trip, and I caught a whole bunch of shots. The monorail is nicely set up for wheelchairs with a little ramp the attendant puts down so you can wheel safely over the platform gap. At the end of the first leg, everyone else got off, and I could capture a shot of the empty train. (I really don’t like to capture recognizable shots of people without their permission; you never know who might object to being photographed and, much worse, published.) I turned that shot into one of my hyper simplifed and saturated artworks. You can see it here.
I also caught this totally weird shot of the monorail curving back into the Sci Fi Museum on the return trip. I know it’s busy to the point of confusing, but I just love it! (I think the people are small enough not to be recognizable.)
After Mr. K went off to find a soda, the amusement park next to the Space Needle beckoned to me with bright lights, music, and colorful carousel horses. Sadly, the bored teenage boy running the ride knew nothing about the history of the carousel. His shrug said he couldn’t care less. A summer job about to come to a close, I would guess.
And that ended our adventure in Seattle’s City Center. It was time to hop in one more taxi and head to Dock #66.
More to come!