Seattle, continued

Seattle from Kerry Park

Because I went to bed at 7 PM I wake up before 5 AM the next morning. I am an early riser in every time zone so it doesn’t surprise me. I still get a decent amount of sleep last night. The early start gives me an opportunity to do my list of exercises and stretches that can make me feel like a normal human, a list that I have saved in a google doc. Let’s hope I can keep this up with some sort of consistency.

I have a to do list of things I could do right now but the only problem it is a holiday today for many in the USA so not a great day to take care of business.. I’ll have to make all my phone calls tomorrow. I could do some travel bookings for future travel but it is 6 am and I’m hungry so I am heading downstairs for a coffee and continental breakfast.

I can get an early start today but the sun rises late in this part of the country; did I know that? I finally plan out my day. I decide to first travel over to Kerry Park for a spectacular view of the city. I map out the route on Google maps. It seems easy enough. Short walk, public transit, then short walk – probably uphill. However when I see a number 1 listed on the transport I realize later it is the number 1 bus I need and not the number 1 line light rail, a thing I realize when I am going in the total wrong direction but not at first. I get off the light rail first in Capital Hill and then reverse the route only to realize I am supposed to be on a bus. I exit at Chinatown and find a good bus from there that will take be where I want to go.

Danger! In Chinatown.
Chinatown very early in the morning

The bus drops me off at the bottom of a hill. I climb a few blocks then hit a set of stairs to the park.

Found my dream home on this street

I realize at once that sunset is probably the best time to visit this park. The view is still pretty but you are looking at the sun. Today is looking like it is going to a cool beautiful sunny day.

I head back down the hill to catch the bus to The Museum of Pop Culture. In retrospect I could have walked there. It isn’t too far from where I catch the bus.

I walk though the Seattle center area. There are a couple museums and some people are heading to what I believe is an ice hockey game. The famous space needle is here but I am not going up top today. I took the trip to the top in the late 90’s when I visited my high school BFF that was living in Washington at the time.

Look at those young things. We were both in our twenties but we look like teenagers. Circa 1998 or 1999.

I’m not really visiting museums this stop in Seattle but I do want to check out the museum of pop culture. I spend a couple hours here seeing movie and music props, topped with a little nostalgia. Seattle grunge was all the rage when I was coming of age so of course the music exhibits have a profound affect on me.

I am hungry so I take the monorail to get some soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung.

Monorail station

The food is served family style but I am solo. I only order two dishes and that is more than enough. I try the signature bao dumplings and the recommended green beans along with a lychee cocktail. It is all very good. This is the first time I’ve ate at a soup dumpling place that came with an infographic on how to eat.

I take the bus to Capital Hill to wander the neighborhood and to view the apartment building that appears in the movie Singles. Singles was an important movie at a time where I was at an age to “get it”. The movie, the music, everything about it screams nostalgia to me. This visit was a great sightseeing stop for me.

The rest of the neighborhood is pretty cool. Nice old houses and architecture of apartment buildings. The architectures in the neighborhood are pretty divergent but they all seem to fit somehow. There is a strong lgbtq+ and ethnic restaurant presence. Basically I can see myself living in this diverse area. Until I get spooked a little…..

I need some more emergency cash for the international portion of my travels so I decide to stop by an ATM while wandering around capital hill. The ATM is noticeably slower than normal but I go through step by step. I get to the point where I am selecting the amount I want to take out and all of a sudden a man comes up behind me and hangs over me to push my buttons. I freak out thinking I am getting robbed. I scream “get away” and back my body toward him to push him away from the keys. He comes back at the keys. I scream “help, help” and push him away once again with my backside. He is mumbling something indecipherable. He finally touches the side of the ATM and walks away. I look around and there are two women nearby with campaign signs. They have noticed the situation and ask if I’m ok to which I reply “yes”. I finish my transaction and walk over to the women and we observe the man. It appears he has extreme OCD where he must press all the buttons he walks by. I slowly calm and start to feel embarrassed at my reaction to the situation. It is now clear what had happened – he “needed” to press my buttons and I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. You never know how you will react in a seemingly dangerous situation; now I do.

I’ve done my fair share of yelling today

All the places I eye to eat aren’t open yet in capital hill so I take the train back near the hotel but first I go in the wrong direction once again. I think this is the third time today I’ve made a travel blunder.

I find a place that has a pizza happy hour. It is just what I need for an early bird dinner. I call it another early night.

I am up early the next morning and decided to try the highly recommended biscuit bitch. It reminds me of a restaurant back home.

This morning I take a bus to Freemont to sell the troll art installation there. It is a cute town area that is home to some major employers. I enjoy my time wandering around, seeing the houses on the water and boats passing under a drawbridge.

I have a tour of the underground city scheduled so I take the bus to pioneer square. My tour guide is fun. We are a small group because I guess post holiday weekend and post covid. He tells lots of poop jokes, right up my alley. We learn the history on how the underground came to be. Along with stories of corruption, prostitution, taxes and of course poop.

I finish off the afternoon with a reservation at the Pink Door. I am unable to get a reservation at a time where there is entertainment which is a shame. I’ll have to come back and plan better next time. I did enjoy a nice meal before heading back to the hotel to take care of packing and last minutes things. Going to bed at decent hour but not as quite as early as last two days.


I wake up at 3 am to leave at 4:30 AM for my 7:00 AM flight. I am exhausted and of course did not get enough rest. At some point in my sleep deprived state I must have removed more items from my backpack because the next day I can’t find the pants I want to wear for sightseeing. How is my backpack so full even though I keep removing items and it is at least 10 liters larger than my previous one, that I loved and had seen better days.

I digress. The kiosk at Alaska airlines will not give me the luggage tag and errors out, a problem I seem to keep having with these kiosks. I have to get in the long line for the desk. Things are already not going as planned. When I get to security the lines are very long for 5:00 AM at the airport. I am thankful that I took the time for TSA pre check. While still a wait, at least I don’t have to wait as long.

I grab another coffee while I wait for my flight because I think it will help. It doesn’t really seem to make much difference. I am still tired and cranky and afraid the extra coffee will upset my stomach for the travels, I end up throwing away half of it.

I finally get to my premium economy seat next to a nice lady – a luxury I award myself because the base cost of the flight was free due to credits gained from a cancellation to Portland last year. I forget the aisle seat has reduced area under the seat so I end up putting my backpack in the overhead anyway. I fail to take advantage of the free alcoholic beverages that the premium class provides because it is 7:00 AM and I have seemed to lose my ability to consume alcohol easily anymore. I do pre-order a cheese plate for the fight and brought my own Brie to join the mix.

I arrive at Seattle after a pretty much event-less flight. I did even catch a nap of at least 30 minutes. After I claim my bags I take the walk over to the light rail station. While the light rail is a long ride of about 40 minutes, it is much cheaper than a cab or Uber and there is a stop a 5 minute walk from the hotel.

As I suspect I am way too early for check in. I drop my bags and wander. My plan is to go to the Freemont Sunday market today but it is cold and rainy and quite frankly I am not in the mood for it. I decide to visit the Pike Place Market which is right by my hotel & covered from the rain. At the market I watch the fish mongers throw fish (sorry no photos, they are too fast for me). I also witness food tours. It is busy. The market definitely caters to tourists and has kitschy stores but that is ok. I am a tourist. I need to return later to try some foods but now I have a one track mind.

The sight of all the crabs makes me crave crabs. I feel like I haven’t eaten for days so the hanger slowly starts in. I reject all of the wonderful suggestions of great places to dine given by my friends and head to a tourist crab place along the water.

On the way to getting some crab I pass the disgusting gum wall.

I finally get to a seafood place on the water that has crab on the menu. Luckily there is no wait and I get a reprieve from the cold and rain. I order the Snow and Dungeness crab combo. The Snow crab is good but the Dungeness is just ok. I am not sure if I am just not familiar with that type of crab or it was a lackluster day for Dungeness crabs. It doesn’t matter. I shoved as much crab in my mouth as possible. I definitely regret eating my weight in crab as well as the sourdough table bread when I am uncomfortably full the rest of the evening.

After I eat I wander around by the water. It seems to be the area that you take kids. There are carnival things to do and a curiosity place that seemed to be more of a store with weird things to purchase.

Still not time to check in, stop at a bar for a drink. Someone working here must really like Dua Lipa because her songs are on repeat for like an hour.

I head back and finally check into my room. It is nice , clean and simple. And I have an amazing view of a … ac unit. I can sort of see pike’s public market and the water but the pretty view is sort of obstructed. Later I go to the roof terrace and get a nicer view. It’s cold and rainy though so I don’t stay long.

I love the wallpaper in the lobby and hallways. It is designed by a local artist inspired by the city.

I pass out at 7 PM and go to sleep. I know I am supposed to force myself to stay awake for jet lag or something. I don’t care, it is going to be a long time before I am on a normal sleep schedule again. Before sleep I realize there is still a couple days before I can register with the Singapore government about my vaccination status – It’s been on my mind I may be denied entry due to the incorrect form of documentation. I guess I get to deal with it later.