Early on Valentine's Day, I hopped on the never-reliable, always stinky, packed full of interesting characters Greyhound bus up north to Seattle in the state of Washington. Seattle is the largest city in the Northwest and has a population of about 635,000 (3.3mil in the greater metro area). It is known for the rain (365 days of the year), craft beer and a progressive music scene. The journey was about 6.5 hours and unfortunately, the bus was almost completely full which meant not much personal space. But that's ok, I was excited anyway as I was on my way to see my Canadian friend Tor who I had not seen in 6 years! We met while we were in Europe and were paired up as roommates on a Contiki tour. Since then, we have kept in touch and we message almost daily. When I got to Seattle and we were reunited, it was like we only saw each other a week ago! We got ourselves organised, grabbed a quick dinner then got a cab to Tacoma, about 40 minutes out of Seattle. It cost $100…wow, I think we will get the bus next time. In Tacoma we saw my friend from home perform with the Ten Tenors, a singing group of mainly Australians, a kiwi and one guy from the US. The show was a collection of Broadway classics and was just excellent!
After the show we went to a wine bar nearby and the boys from the show came shortly afterwards. The owner was about to close when we came in and we said we would just have one then move on. We ending up leaving just before 3am and needless to say, we weren't in the freshest state by that time….but it was awesome fun!
It rained without stopping all of Saturday. I had a mission to find the Pokemon Center in a mall in the suburb of Northgate so I could buy some cool Pokemon stuff for Brother Bear and the Neffs. It took me an hour on the bus there and back and it was nowhere to be found. Either it had shut down or I am even worse with directions than I first thought. The rest of the weekend was spent sight-seeing, eating, drinking and generally being ridiculous which Tor and I consider ourselves to be quite expert at. Some of our activities included:
- Visiting the Pike Place Market which was cool but at the end of the day, just a market. Tor got excited at the first ever Starbucks, we got grossed out at the gum wall where people stick their used chewing gum and looked and smelt the endless amounts of fish on offer.
- The Olympic Sculpture Park which was pretty underwhelming, just some random structure that I guess was art, but one piece looked like a rusted ship and another was just a metal wall.
- Lunch and beers at Local 360, which only sources it's produce from a 360 radius of Seattle.
- Checking out the Space Needle, Seattle's iconic tower. It was $20 to get up to the top, so not great value, but something that has to be done while in town.
- EMP (Experience Music Project) which is a music museum dedicated to the music from and developed in the Seattle area. The Jimmi Hendrix and Nirvana exhibits were excellent and there were other rooms with interactive displays.
- Shopping down town.
- Beers at some fun bars downtown.
After we said our goodbyes, it was back onto the Greyhound for me. Again, stinky, cramped and running late. I got back to Corvallis at 2am, all worn out after too much drinking, eating and fun.