Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seattle Day One

Trip to Seattle = Super freeking awesome! Here's what happened:

We left Friday around 2:00 and, with one hour long delay to check out a weird warning light, drove for the next 12 hours. Dad and I alternated who was driving and who slept. We finally pulled into Seattle around 3 in the morning, pulled into a random parking lot, and we both slept for about 4 hours. The car was not the most comfortable place for sleeping, but we managed.

Around 7 we went to breakfast, and visited out hotel. We couldn't check in until 3, but we got a parking permit so we left the car in their lot and walked down to the water front.

We started at Pike's market- you know, the famous one where they throw the fish around. I kind of failed at taking a picture of the fish flying through the air... but here it's about to happen:

really, anticipation is half the fun, right? Anyway, we walked around the market for a while - there were all sorts o
f little shops and fun things to look at. Then we walked along the water front a little more. We spent a lot of time in odd little touristy shops. At one point we past a little food vendor and decidedthat we really should get some fried clams while we were there. I mean, come on, it's not going to get any fresher than that.
they were delicious!

After chowing down our clams, we wandered up to Pioneer Square to take The Underground Tour. Seattle's streets were originally 8-35 feet lower than they are now. The underground tour takes you down to the original side walks to take a look at historic Seattle streets while the tour guides tell funny stories - mostly about shit and prostitution.
See, when Seattle started out people didn't really understand how tides worked. And they, just like we do now, occasionally had to go to the bathroom. These two factors meant that every day at high tide, downtown Seattle was flooded with salt water and raw sewage. The invention of the Crapper (flush toilet) made things even more fun. When everyone got their crappers, they needed a sewer system to hook them up to. So they built one, out of wood, that worked with gravity. That was fine, except at high tide water would flow back up the sewage pipe, pressure would build up and you can guess what would happen when you tried to flush you crapper.

One day Seattle burned down. All of it. It was a great time to start over and solve problems. City guys said "let's raise everything so it wont get flooded every day." Business guys said "I'm not going to pay for it." So the businesses re-built their shops pretty much the way the were before. The City guys raised all the land they owned... city land... so basically the streets. The streets were now 8-35 feet above the sidewalks. Having customers fall down onto the sidewalk, and having to climb up and down ladders to patronize your shop is kind of bad for business. So business owners raised their sidewalks and all the first floors became basements.

This is a picture of a skylight at a corner of the underground sidewalk. Up on the street it just
looks like decorative mosaic tile in the sidewalk. The original skylights were thick, solid pieces of transparent glass. This caused two major problems. 1 - fat people (or people carrying big loads) would walk over the skylight and fall through. 2 - they were transparent. Crowds would gather beneath them to... um... enjoy the views. Local "seamstresses" found them to be a great way to advertise their wares though. The gentlemen below got a sneak preview of what they were offering. They just wrote their prices on the bottom of their shoes.

After the tour, we wandered back to the hotel to check in. As soon as we got to the room, we both kind of crashed - although Dad only napped for about 15 minutes. He believes in the power napping thing. I slept for a good solid 2 hours. Between driving all night and walking around all day, I was pretty damn tired.

We went to dinner at a local pub, and then I went dancing. Seattle has some great dancers, so I thought I should check them out. Funny enough, I actually knew two of the guys there. One was a kid I met at Lindy on the Rocks this summer. The other guy I met last year at the Utah Lindy Exchange. He was just in town for the game too. I guess Disney is right, it is a small world after all.

I have stuff I have to take care of. I'll finish writing about the trip later today, or possibly tomorrow.

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