SEATTLE Part 2

Yay – you’re back! Yesterday’s post was a whirlwind marathon through most of the food that I ate while on my three-day trip to Seattle earlier this week.

Did you miss yesterday’s post? Click here!

Get ready, because I kept quite busy in Seattle in between those meals! That’s the subject of today’s post: a whirlwind marathon through the exercise that was completed.

I teased yesterday that I tallied the numbers and, in total, I walked or ran over 20 miles during those three daysPhew!  I’ll take you through the three days by breaking down those 20+ miles.

Saturday Afternoon: 7 miles.  Collin and I walked from his neighborhood all the way downtown, through various parts of downtown, and back.  It was on this trek that we dined at Plum Bistro, bought the Oprah fish at Whole Foods, and visited Pike Place Market (all of which you can read about in yesterday’s post).  Those weren’t the only highlights, though.  Here’s some more:

We wandered into the lobby of the downtown Seattle Art Museum.  We didn’t tour the entire museum, Collin just wanted to show me a nifty installation that’s called Inopportune: Stage One.  The installation is a series of nine white Ford sedans, suspended from the ceiling, each one punctured by light tubes representing fireworks:

That’s Collin with me in the second pic, and holy crap, check out how defined that tendon (or whatever) is in my neck in the first pic!  I’m just not used to seeing pictures of myself like that!

As for the artwork, It was really bizarre to see these massive objects positioned so they seemed utterly weightless, and they’re arranged so they seem like moments in the same story – a story that involves a car taking flight at one end of the lobby, tumbling through the air and exploding, but landing safely at the other end.  What fun!

We also shopped at a few stores.  Neither of us found anything we wanted to buy, but we did have some fun exploring AllSaints Spitalfields, a UK retailer that’s opened stores in about 10 US cities.  This was my first exposure to the brand, and my initial reaction to the store was positive: it used a lot of industrial elements in the design, like giant vintage looms, machinery, and walls of vintage sewing machines, but once we got into men’s section in the basement, I changed my tune.  The clothes were all so odd.  Well, odd for me, at least.  If you like wide scoop-neck collars, asymmetrical lapels straight from Dorothy Zbornak’s closet, and have no shoulders, than maybe you’ll love this place!  I tried on a couple things, and couldn’t even get their size 2xl shirts over my shoulders – maybe it’s European sizing?  I also tried on this top – I think the collar may be a little too high, don’t you?

Nope, I’m not in a castle dungeon or vile public restroom – that’s the dressing room.

Collin, who also has broad shoulders, didn’t care for the clothes either, and he was noticing that the sales force was a group of very thin, slight model-type guys… and the clothes didn’t fit well on them, either?  Who are these clothes designed for?

Moving on…  After a stroll through the Olympic Sculpture Park, we headed away from the water and came across another landmark.  Do you recognize this building?  I don’t mean the Space Needle, I mean the building in the foreground.

I’ll give you a couple hints:

  • It’s the home of KOMO, Seattle ABC-TV affiliate, but that’s not why you’d recognize it.
  • You see it frequently if you’re a fan of a certain soapy medical drama.

Still stumped?  It’s Seattle Grace, the hospital on Grey’s Anatomy!  They don’t film the show there (they film it here in Los Angeles), but this is the building that’s used in establishing shots of the hospital.

Here’s the route for our 7-mile walk, which, with all our stops, took well over 5 hours to complete:

Collin’s house didn’t even fit in my screen grab – it’s off the map to the right, but that’s OK, because I have no intention of showing where he lives anyway.

Sunday Morning – 6 miles.  This is an estimate.  Collin and I went for a run, and we were gone for 90 minutes.  In our best estimation, we ran for about 45 minutes, and went 4 miles, and then walked the other 45 minutes, going at least 2 more.  I do enjoy mapping my routes, but I couldn’t do it with this run, because a lot of it was in the Washington Park Arboretum, where we were on paths that don’t show up on Google Maps, and, for a while, we weren’t even on paths!  The Arboretum was beautiful – it has a big Japanese Tea Garden among other things, and it’s full of towering trees and it’s green, green, green.

I grew up in Michigan and am used to very green summers – Los Angeles, thanks to a lack of rain, has lovely brown summers – but what I loved about Seattle (and miss about Michigan) is how passionately and aggressively green it is.  It’s not just that the trees are lush and full of leaves, is that everywhere you look, you see plants bursting forth and really thriving – bushes and branches creeping around fence posts, flowers and shrubs practically exploding from their planters and pots.  It’s seems like the foliage expands at such a rate, that it’s not even possible to keep up with trimming and taming it!  Simply beautiful.

After leaving the Arboretum, we wound through Madrona, a neighborhood which is partly perched on high, windy streets above Lake Washington.  Kurt Cobain lived in Madrona before he passed, and Collin pointed out his house.

Sunday Afternoon: 2 miles.  Our Sunday afternoon started with lunch at the Ballard Farmer’s Market (which I shared yesterday), and from there, we walked to the Ballard Locks.  Locks are basically big elevators that allow boats to get from one body of water to another when those bodies of water are at different levels.  The Ballard Locks allow boats coming from Puget Sound, located at sea level, to head into Lake Washington, which is about 20 feet above sea level.  Boats navigate into the lock, and then water is added, which raises the level of the lock, bringing boats from sea level to Mount Washington level.  And that concludes today’s marine engineering lesson.

This afternoon also included a visit to the Fremont Troll, a piece of public art that I adore.  Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle, is at one end of the Aurora Bridge, a main thoroughfare in the city.  In 1990, the Fremont Arts Council commissioned four local artists to create a sculpture of a troll underneath the bridge!  How cool is that?  This is what they came up with:

My favorite part is that the troll has, in his grasp, a vintage VW big – you can see it behind Collin’s left shoulder.  Here’s what the troll looks out over:

It’s a big bridge!  And the street directly below it is appropriately named Troll Avenue.

Monday Morning – 4.5 miles.  Monday morning I was on my own: Collin headed to work, and Blayne took off for a gig at a big music festival.  Have I mentioned that Blayne is a concert violinist?  I’ve never heard him play, but hopefully someday.  He’s also a great violin teacher – so look no further if you’re in Seattle and want to start (or your kid wants to start) taking lessons – here’s his website.

With free time on my hands, I decided to head out for another run.  Collin, who’s in training for his second marathon, had suggested a route he thought would be good for me, and I stuck to it, more or less.  Here’s the part that I ran, which equals 4.2 miles:

Tack on a few blocks of walking before and after, to warm-up and cool-down, and it’s 4.5 miles.  I was gone for an hour, which includes the run, warm-up, cool-down, and some stretching.  Since I didn’t specifically time my run, I don’t have enough information to update my running chart, but I’m proud of it nonetheless, mainly because Seattle offers something I’m not used to when I go running in my own neighborhood: HILLS.  And some of them are STEEP!  This run included two notable hills, one at the beginning, and one at the end, and I ascended both without stopping!  Definitely a good feeling.

Monday Afternoon – 2.5 miles.  After having lunch with an old friend, Shawn, at Portage Bay Cafe, Shawn drove me to see a few more neighborhoods in Seattle (between Shawn and Collin, I feel like I saw most of the city!), and brought me downtown, where I had a couple hours to kill before Collin was finished with work.  I was having issues with my phone, so I dropped it off at a repair center to see if they could diagnose any problems.  While I waited, I walked a few blocks to the Seattle Central Library, a stunning piece of architecture by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaus that opened in 2004.  It’s 11 stories, and wrapped in a steel and glass diamond-shaped netting.  It’s probably the most awesome library I’ve ever seen.

I think libraries have a reputation of being stuffy, dark, and claustrophobic, and this library is none of those things.  I love how natural light permeates nearly every space I saw, and how, despite being a highly organized space (as all libraries are), there are elements, features, and points of view that continually surprised and astounded me.

Eventually, I picked up my phone (which came back with a clean bill of health), and I wandered over to meet Collin.  After a happy hour, some shopping, and dinner (read all about all three in yesterday’s post), we walked back to Collin’s place, a good 2 mile walk.

SO.  Did anyone bust out their calculator and keep track?  Punch the numbers, and see for yourself:

7 miles + 6 miles + 2 miles + 4.5 miles + 2.5 miles = 22 MILES!  In three days!

That brings the coverage of my Seattle trip to a close.  The one thing that all these pictures and links don’t accurately portray is how much fun I always have when I see Collin.  He makes me laugh like not many people can, and I’m just plain lucky to call him my friend.  This past weekend, I was also lucky to call him my tour guide, dining partner, shopping consultant, and running buddy!

COMING THIS WEEKEND:  Get ready for 2 blogs this weekend, both stemming from parts of my day on Thursday.  Tomorrow, I’ll write about restocking my barren kitchen (when I packed my road trip food for Vegas, the only produce I left behind was 1/2 a head of garlic and 2 lemons).  And Sunday… well, Sunday will be a treat, because I’ll be writing about my Thursday evening, which started at Slimmons, and ended at… A STRIP CLUB.

You don’t want to miss it!

Right now though, all I can think about is that math equation a few paragraphs up.  22 Miles?  In three days?

Keep it up, David!

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4 Responses to SEATTLE Part 2

  1. Pat says:

    Ummm. Where’s the mention of stopping by to see the Seattle Mariners or Safeco Field? There WAS a big series VS the Tampa Bay Rays that weekend! (I need to find a new blog)

  2. Caron says:

    Love the library and the troll. :)

  3. Ang says:

    Whoohooo you got to see the Troll. I’ve lived here most of my life and it wasn’t until my niece moved back home this year that I took my kids and my niece down to see the troll in June. (Unfortunately the night before some vandals came in and spray painted him and our pictures show it) But the kids loved the BUG too.

    And you got to see FiSCHER Plaza too…

    Next time you come try the DUCK Tour http://www.ridetheducksofseattle.com/
    There are so many great things to do here..Just as there are in your neck of the woods.

    Glad you had a great time..:)

  4. Nurse Karen says:

    You’re one Wild and Krazeeeeee Guy!!! {to quote Steve Martin from the olden days on Saturday Night Live}. strip club, oh my…I’ll have my fainting supplies on hand…. ;-D LOL, can’t wait!

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