Pike Place & Seattle Underground

Sunday, June 14, 2009

This morning, we woke up to overcast weather. Welcome to Seattle!

It was supposed to burn off in the afternoon, but we saw very little sun today. Bummer. But you know... it wasn't raining. For that, we are grateful.

After a little breakfast and showers, we headed right on down to Pike Place Market to wander around.
I've been before, but Pike Place is a must, no matter how many times you've been to Seattle!

Everything is just so amazing. Especially the flower and produce displays.

Check out all of those colorful fruit and vegetables!

Of course, we spent a good chunk of time standing at the fish market, watching dudes throw fish. If you've never been, you'd be surprised at what a crowd smelly fish guys attract. It's quite entertaining. I got a couple of good "catch" photos, but didn't get any decent ones of the actual throwing. With so many people, it was difficult to get good angles. Up above, see that blurry fish flying through the air?

And here's a good one of a catch.

The fish guys hard at work. They were go-go-go the whole time.

After Pike Place, we drove down the street a little ways and decided to check out the Seattle Underground Tour.

But first, we took pics of this cool-looking building. So... green!

We arrived at the Underground Tour headquarters just as a tour was about to start. Perfect timing on our part. If you're unfamiliar with the "Seattle Underground"... basically, Seattle used to be about 20 ft. lower than it currently is. Back in the 1800s, because of its elevation, the city apparently dealt with a number of problems, including sewage issues (ewwwww). When the city burnt to the ground due to a large fire in the late 1800s, the decision was made to "raise" the city before it was rebuilt.

All of the buildings in this historic area of Seattle have these really old basements that used to be the first floors of all the buildings. Some of the underground areas beneath the streets and buildings have essentially been kept "as is" and are open for tours. The tour was pretty cool, but I was sort of disappointed in what there is to actually see. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting; I just know I was expecting a lot more. Most of the stuff under there was lacking in authenticity, I thought. There are several signs, rooms, etc. set up and I just didn't quite believe that all of it was real. The tour guides are really knowledgeable, though, and the story-telling part of it was pretty fascinating.

Here's Michael at an old bar area that is set up underground.

One of the original sewer pipes. Yes, they used wood. You can imagine how effective that was. Sure, elevation played a role, but the wood pipes were certainly a factor in their sewage issues as well.

After the Underground Tour, we decided to drive to my house. Well, it's not mine anymore.

I was born in Seattle and lived here until I was 6 years old. And this was my house. My mom and dad bought it without the top floor on it. My dad (I believe he had some help) built the addition (the entire top floor) on it after they moved in, among other work he did to it. The house looks a lot different now. The deck used to be enclosed with lattice, and the siding used to be a different color. And the current landscaping is pretty amazing (no offense to my parents!).

But you know what? My dad's name is still carved into the cement slab outside of the garage. It was filled with dirt and is faded (I'm sure the cement has eroded a bit), but I found it.

The house is now owned by a retired couple, and they were both out working in the yard (hence the amazing landscaping). We talked to them for a while about the house and the area. It was pretty cool. They even let us walk through the bottom level real quick, and it was weird! I was young, but I have plenty of memories of that house. It's strange to see the inside as someone else's home.

This is technically the front of the house. This is one part of the house that looks wayyyy different from when my family lived there. That small deck/porch wasn't there. And um, again... the landscaping. Not there. In fact, there was a pretty big incline right around this area that my brothers and I used to ride our bikes down. We'd fly down it on our Big Wheels. It doesn't look like that would be NEARLY as much fun now. :)

Anyway, this wasn't my first time back at the house (I visited once before, about 10 years ago), but it's always interesting to visit the past. We haven't lived in that house since 1988!

The only level of elementary school that I attended in Seattle was kindergarten. And I used to walk (yes, as a kindergartner. this was the 80s, people!) to school with a bunch of neighborhood kids. I was pretty sure I remembered how to get there. So after we left the house, we drove in the direction I believed the school was in. Turns out I was right, and we found it.

Sadly, it's now closed. I guess they do hold some sort of preschool/special ed classes there, but it's no longer an elementary school. It looked rundown. But I was able, again, to do a bit of reminiscing. My dad took my training wheels off my bike and taught me how to ride a 2-wheeler on the paved part of that playground.

After the blast from the past, it was about dinner time, so we headed back to the house to have dinner with Mike, Christy, and Cameron. We spent the evening relaxing with a few beers and watching a movie (Gran Torino, which was good, but I did fall asleep for a while in the middle of it. I was still adjusting to the new timezone!).

Tomorrow, we're getting up really early to get down to the Port of Seattle. We're off to British Columbia for the day! We're taking the Victoria Clipper up there. It should be another day full of activity...


Hailey and Stan June 26, 2009 at 1:24 AM  

My husband proposed at Pike Place! He had them attach the ring to a fish (in a plastic bag) and it was tossed out in front of us, at which time he removed it from the fish and asked me to marry him!! Pike Place is one of my favorite places ever! Glad you had a good time over here in our neck of he woods.

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