Another lazy morning. The whole family, well actually the kids, have now gotten into the habit of staying up late and sleeping late. It doesn’t seem to get dark until about 9:30 or so which has thrown us all off. In addition, the Marriott has a great pool so the kids are as excited about just playing around the hotel as they are about seeing Seattle. After swimming and working out for a bit in the hotel fitness room we walked up to Pike Place Market again for something to eat. This time we picked up some local produce — fresh cherries and peaches. Ryan had a fancy crepe with nutella, strawberries and whip cream and Roby got an enormous cinnamon pretzel doughnut.
After strolling through the market, Rusty ventured off to get a haircut (a close summer buzz with a #2) and then travelled down to Renton for a business meeting at Classmates.com.
Meanwhile, Ryan, Cal, Roby and Sue walked to Pioneer Square for to catch a tour of the underground city. Along the way, Roby shopped for a
Seattle T-shirt and immediately wore it proudly. We had about 45 minutes to kill before the tour started so we played a few games of pool. Ryan and Cal played on one table, Roby and I played on another. Unfortunately we ran out of time for the championship game, but it was fun. Ryan is quite the pool shark now.
The tour started with a twenty minute briefing session that described the city’s history and its first settlers. Roby said, “this is going to be so boring…twenty minutes?” But…it actually was hilarious, right up the boys’ alley: full of bathroom humor and corny jokes (the invention of “the crapper,” sewage issues, etc.). The mood quickly changed and they couldn’t wait for the next leg of the tour. Our guide, Bruce, was very funny throughout the tour. I watched the boys wriggle their way to the front so as to not miss any good jokes. The tour was cool: we walked below the city streets, able to look up every now and then through skylights but mostly wandering through narrow passages that showed us old storefronts that had been burned down by a fire in 1889. There were also some old sidewalks and historical artifacts. Bruce kept joking about rats and Ryan was disappointed didn’t really see one. There were a lot of interesting things we learned about the history of Seattle. For example, for a few years after the fire they raised the street up but left the sidewalks and stores at the same level. People and horses were falling off the sidewalks and dying (Cal loved that part). They later added stairs to go down (Roby said, “duh!”), and eventually just filled in everything and rebuilt the city where it is today. We also learned about the corruption of Henry Yestler, the city’s mayor. All these interesting sights, good jokes, and historical tidbits made the time fly. The tour ended about 3:45 pm. Naturally we were forced to exit through the gift shop. In a silly mood we couldn’t resist the pig catapult (it was between that and the chicken chucker). It was $3.95 well spent.
We strolled from Pioneer Square down to the waterfront and stopped for a bite to eat along the pier. We dropped in the Aquarium but given the expense, decided to wait and see the one in Vancouver, as a family. It was a pleasant walk back to the hotel, where the boys immediately headed for the pool. It was so convenient being right across the hall. They played around, diving for coins, racing, doing handstands and other stuff until Rusty returned. Shortly after we met friends for dinner. An old college friend of ours, Laura Midgley, and her family live in Seattle. They suggested a restaurant called Chinook’s, located at Fisherman’s Terminal. We met there at 6:30, put our name in for a table, and walked the docks while we waited. It was a great setting to look out on all the fishing boats while we ate. As expected, it was delicious food and a part of town we hadn’t yet explored.
After dinner we rushed to see the boat locks nearby where there was also a place to watch the salmon spawning. We felt lucky to see so many jump. We also watched them go up a ladder from an underground observatory. It was amazing and we made it just in time. It was a fun way to end the evening and a great place for the kids to run around. Laura, Dave and Katrina (age 10) certainly showed us something special.