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Seattle Trip Part 1 – A Ride on a Duck

August 13, 2009

My brother and I took a trip to Seattle to visit our aunt.  The last time I went out to stay with my aunt and uncle was in October of 2007.  At the time my precious grandmother, Mildred, lived with them and we had a fantastic week laughing and visiting.  Before that, 11 years had passed since I had last traveled to see them and it was far too long.  I am making a point to try and go out to see them at least once a year, as we are the only grandkids/nieces/nephews on my dad’s side of the family.  It’s good to keep close to them, especially now that Mildred has passed on. 

Anyhoo, B-Dizzle (my bro) had not been there since 1996, and he was such a little kid that he didn’t really experience the city the same way he can today.  It’s just different as a grown-up.  I was so excited to spend time with him in one of my favorite places on Earth.  One of the first things we did was head downtown to take a city tour called “Ride the Ducks”.  I have seen this tour go by in the past, and my aunt has seen it about a million times in the 15+ years she’s lived here, but none of us had ever experienced it.   The time, as they say, was upon us.

Ride the Ducks is a really cool company that bought up a bunch of old WWII land-to-amphibious vehicles and repurposed them into tour buses.  The drivers are all really fun and crazy, they keep all the windows down and blast loud music, and they try and keep the whole bus engaged in the whole tour.  We started out at the Space Needle for the tour. And Frank Gehry was smoking some crazy cheeba when he came up with that bazongous nasty Rock & Roll Museum that makes it impossible to get a decent shot of The Needle.  It looks like an dying elephant.  Arggh.

Although not impossible…

 The first thing to note is that when you are on a Ride the Ducks tour, you are not blending in with the background.  If it’s subtlety ye seek, looketh elsewhere.  However, the driver told us you’d be amazed how many people don’t notice a 32-foot boat barreling down the road toward them.  We had two people walk right out in front of the boat while we were driving around!  Interesting… idiotic, but interesting.

And our captain… wait for it… Matt Agascar.  Say it fast.  You’ll get it.  I think his name was changed to protect the innocent.

 

 Clearly “The Dizz” was pumped to get aboard the bus/boat.

         

 So the captain drove the boat all around downtown and showed us nifty landmarks, told silly stories, etc.  Then he took us over this magnificent bridge (I think it was called the Aurora?) and because we were the tallest vehicle around, we could see this amazing vista.  Unfortunately I was ill-prepared and didn’t get a single picture.  Anyway, he took us all through Fremont and down to a marina slip where he proceeded to DRIVE THE BUS/BOAT STRAIGHT INTO LAKE UNION!!!!  It’s completely rad.  He said that one time a lady truly didn’t realize she was on a boat (duh) and when they got to the water she demanded to be let off the vehicle. 

Silly lady.  You missed a fabulous view of some of Seattle’s most beautiful places, like Gas Works Park. This park was actually the set for a scene from “10 Things I Hate About You.”  You know, the part where Heath Ledger takes Julia Stiles to the place and they throw balloons filled with paint at each other and end up making out in a bale of hay?  Yup, super great movie. Anyway, here is Gas Works Park…

So pretty, right?  And here is the Seattle skyline from Lake Union.

And another skyline shot:

And now for the live-aboard homes tour:

This has a crazy story. It’s actually a boat! The lady who owns Lake Union Crew tried to get a permit to build a live-aboard, which is a house built on a sturdy barge that doesn’t actually go out to sea.  Apparently the city limits the number allowed each year, and they had reached their limit.  She really wanted her business to have lake access, seeing as she worked with rowing teams, so she came up with the elaborate scheme to build her business on a boat.  You’ll notice the mast in the center of the upper balcony, and behind it is the steering wheel.  Once a year, she is required to set sail with the entire building to prove it’s sea-worthiness.  How fun would it be to see this thing driving through the water?! 

And, of course, what tour of Lake Union would be complete without a stop at the “Sleepless in Seattle” house?  It’s actually a marina business, which for some reason strikes me as so odd…

And finally, a scenic picture.  Because I had 73,895,392 scenic pictures and figured I should put at least one in here.

That’s all of Seattle for today, but I will back with more installments of the trip!

Peace,

Seattle Sprout

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