GNABRT Day 23 – Seeing Seattle

IMG_0408The Great North American Baseball Road Trip is back to wandering around for the next week or two, with a variety of stops and visits that will only be interrupted twice by baseball.

Today is one of those times, but I still managed to walk around a bit of Seattle before the game.

I took a recommendation from my friend in Houston and went to visit the Space Needle area, a conglomeration of museums and displays, both paid and otherwise, in downtown Seattle.

The EMP museum was a particular treat, featuring displays for Rock and Roll, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.  All of the displays were top-notch and each section was thoroughly enjoyable.

Were I to have more time in Seattle, I would pick up their 5-in-1 pass and do the Chihuly Museum, the Aquarium and other areas of interest for the (currently) low price of $69.  It is good for 9 days, which is sad since I only had part of 1 to spend.

The City:  After first sitting with the unwieldy name of New York-Alki, the city changed its name to Seattle in honor of the Duwamish Indian leader who befriended the settlers.  This makes Seattle the first city I’ve visited that bears some reference to the native Indians who lived here before being displaced.

The early years of the town (1850’s) were dominated by lumber production.  A couple of decades later, coal production entered the economic picture.  After gaining a connection to the railroad, Seattle began flourishing, with fishing and shipbuilding also joining the output.

After a slowdown in the economy, Seattle got a lift from gold being discovered in Canada.  In effect, the city became the “one stop shop” for outfitters heading up to the Yukon (there was no mention of it, but I’m sure it’s where Yukon Cornelius got his gear).

Seattle has been a city of extremes, from politics to economics.  It boomed and suffered to greater levels than the rest of America in WWI times, the Great Depression and WWII, where a small company named Boeing began to get not-so-small.  The city fed into the post WWII boom and sparked a reputation for futuristic vision.

Seattle has teams in two of the four “major” sports leagues:  The Mariners in baseball and the Seahawks in football.  They used to have the Super Sonics in basketball, but that team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.

The game:  Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros.  Two teams I’ve already seen before.  This turned out to be Star Wars night, with people in costume gear, trivia quizzes and fireworks.  It also meant I had to spend extra for a seat.  Oh well.  At least I got to see Darth Vader and young Anakin, flanked by storm troopers, throw out the first pitch.IMG_0411

The game was bizarre for 1 inning.  The first pitch of the game, an Astro hit a home run.  Sadness reigned.  Next a batter was hit and nervousness reigned.  The inning ended without further runs, however.

In the bottom of the inning, the Mariners got a runner on with a hit, an error, a walk and then another walk to drive in a run.  Finally a potential double-play grounder was not turned, allowing a second run to score.

The home team went on to add three more runs over the course of the game and won 5-2, giving me a home record of 7-2 through 9 games.

The Tab:  Ticket, $47; Hot dog, $7, Soda, $4.25; Light Rail, $6; Total – $64.25

Miscellany of Day 23:

– I wouldn’t call myself an experienced hand at public transport yet, even though I successfully navigated the Light Rail in Seattle.  I still stood confused on the platform trying to guess which train was “mine”.  All ended well.

– On the way back from downtown, I was sitting next to a quiet woman dressed in a black business suit.  She seemed to shake her head occasionally and I thought she might be on a bluetooth, but she never talked.

Of a sudden, she started gesturing to the air in front of her, yelling with foul expletives about someone who did something to anger her (greatly, obviously).  Several passengers looked her way and caught my eye.  I decided to become a statue rather than perhaps have that finger point in my direction.

She left the train at my stop without further display.  Thankfully, in the direction of the other exit.  No idea, really.

– The fireworks, set to Star Wars music, was poorly thought out.  Whole sections of the stadium could barely see or not see at all.  I was in a barely section and even after moving down a few rows was still only able to see pieces of the bigger shots.  Thumbs down.

Off to Kalispell tomorrow to get attacked by a bear the following day in Glacier National Park.  If they have wi-fi in ICU, I’ll post a blog to tell all of you about it.

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