Tag Archives: Washington

Seattle, 2007

My husband-to-be (HTB) arrived in Seattle and headed straight for the easy to spot Space Needle. The view of the snow on the mountains and waters of Pugent Sound was beautiful. The outline of Lake Washington and the houses of Queen Anne Hill could clearly be seen.

We passed the futuristically shaped Science Fiction Museum building on the way out and walked to the famous Smith Tower. Pioneer Square had bronze statues of firemen, the Merchant’s Café and Yesler’s sawmill.

Meeting at Doc Maynards pub, we embarked on the most bizarre tour I have ever been on- a tour of the underground. When Seattle was flooded with mud and sewerage, instead of excavating, they just built a new city on top of the old one.

Our first lesson was that the glass tiles on the ground used to be skylights for residences underneath and I have never looked at those tiles on the street the same again. We went found the hardware store under the Denny building and a red circular couch which was the only remaining identifiable debris from the Occidental Hotel located under the Corn building.

Under the Pioneer building we saw a temporary door, the original water system and tin walling made to look like stone. There was also an original crapper toilet, washing and coffee machines and an old cash register.

Back above ground we headed for the famous Pike Place Market with its plethora of fruit, vegetables, flowers, baked goods and seafood with added thrown fish. There were cute little hoof prints on the ground leading to the money box pig statue.

We found a sports bar that served real hot wings for dinner and a small pub close by that played live music and had gangster pop artwork on the walls.

The following day was another excursion to where my HTB wanted to go- the Museum of Flight. I actually really liked going on the actual Air Force One plane and the Concorde to learn about its contracting design. It was also interesting to see the car plane, stealth bombers and the dune buggy. My HTB enjoyed sitting in a jet plane and trying out the flight simulator; while I was much more partial to the World War 1 balloon and the old war planes painted with faces.

I wished we had more time to explore the islands of Pugent Sound by boat or drive up the Pacific Northwest coast through Oregon. However, we had run out of time and it was the bus to White Rock for us so that we could make it to my uncle’s house in Canada before Christmas.

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Canada, 1997-1998

After my European adventures and spending Christmas in England, I decided to go back to Canada for New Year’s Eve.

I went to a big New Year’s Eve party in Vancouver with cousin Jay, his girlfriend Sarah, Geoff from the band and his girlfriend Celina. It was a lonely feeling having no one to kiss as midnight when everyone else was coupled up. I shook hands with a stranger instead- she must have been the only other single girl at the party!

It was snowing in Richmond, so we built a snowman in the backyard and went tobogganing at the school next door that had a big empty sports field- all very novel activities for an Aussie that didn’t grow up with snow. We visited the pretty local Buddhist temple and went back to Steveston.

Jay was training to be a hairdresser at the time, so I let him put in the only streak that has ever been in my hair. It was red and you could barely see it- just the way I like it.

In Vancouver, it was so cold that the dock at Stanley Park froze over. I went back to Vancouver Aquarium with Jay and Sarah and saw the killer whales. I also went to see the steam clock in Gastown again and saw the Chinese New Year show at the Plaza of Nations.

I wanted to get a tattoo, but didn’t know what to get that wasn’t cliché. So I went into downtown Vancouver to get my belly button pierced with my friend Jeanette who already had a tongue piercing. We went to a tattoo parlour which is meant to be better than a hairdresser. They didn’t use anaesthetic, just smelling salts, but it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, so that was ok.

My uncle took the whole family up the Grouse Mountain Sky Ride for a fancy dinner at the Grouse Nest restaurant. The view of the city as night was awesome. They had lots of wood carvings at the top of the mountain of goats, bears and wolves and we went on a real sleigh ride in the snow.

I went to Mt Baker, just over the border in Washington State, on a skiing trip with cousin Kate. We stayed in a real log cabin (apparently very hard to maintain) and I found out what mono boarding was. On another family skiing trip, we took the Sea to Sky highway to Whistler, seeing Chieftain Rock on the way. We sat in the warm outdoor spa in the cold air and skied Blackcomb.

The last big party before I was due to leave was Arts County Fair at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Bands played all day and I got a souvenir plastic mug for beer refills. There were not enough toilets so we took turns peeing behind a rug and it was the first time I had ever been in a mosh pit- scary stuff!

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