Seattle By Day
After going to bed at 1am, I woke up at 5am…on purpose. One Seattle newspaper article said that I have to check out a district of Seattle called Fremont because apparently it has a slightly different – almost hippy – atmosphere. The article also said that if I was here on this random date in June, the Fremont parade simply cannot be missed. Well, it just so happened that my one day of exploration of Seattle fell right on this random day. The parade began at noon and I decided to make it my mission to see everything else before that time. So I woke up at 5 and enjoyed the complimentary hostel breakfast at 6. I went into the just opened original starbucks and got a hot chocolate and some signature roast, special to only this location, for my dad. For being so early and eventually busy, the staff was incredibly nice, making sure to spell my name right on the coffee holder thing and make small talk. I snapped a few pictures and headed across the street to the bustling Pike’s market. Hordes of small Asian women were hurriedly assembling the most beautiful bouquets (or Boo-Ks, depending on the sign). Fisherman, having just finished covering their displays with crushed ice, were now carefully lining up their catch. Other smaller fruit, vegetable, and even a lavender vendor quietly set up shop, tucked into the leftover spaces.
Though I was trying to be good and save my money, I couldn’t help myself. I bought white raspberries for lunch – they tasted a lot like regular raspberries, but still good. I am normally not the girliest person, but the bright colorful flowers melted my heart and I couldn’t resist. I bought the brightest bouquet I could for 10 dollars, rationalizing that it would go in my car’s flower holder, though the stems were at least ten times the size of my tiny vase and would probably constrict my driving. I hugged the stems like they were some sort of soft teddy bear and walked around for the next several hours unable to wipe the grin off of my face. Compliments darted from every direction about how beautiful the flowers were – and even the person holding them. I walked along the waterfront once again through the drizzle of rain that seems to characterize Seattle and admired the random assortment of goods for sale; from McDreamy’s scrubs to pirate paraphernalia to Starbucks knock-offs.
Along the way back to my car, I hit the Klondike Gold Rush national historic site. The gold rush had struck Alaska at the end of the 19th century and Seattle was the starting point for many on the long hike through the wilderness. The museum was quaint and interactive and the live presentation on how to pan for gold was especially intriguing. There were frequent jokes by the elderly ranger attempting to explain the density of gold by comparing it to his example balls of lead and that bronze had approximately the same luster as gold as he picked it out of the panned sand – essentially there was no way the park service was going to have gold and he was trying to make do. An outdated graph nearby attempted to show that the peak price of gold had been in 1980 (though today’s price is more than double that). I stamped my passport and headed out just before 11am.