Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pacific Northwestern tourists

I've been going through photos from this summer, and realised I've barely touched the surface with what I've shared here. Time to fix that.

We discovered fairly early on that it's an easy trip to Downtown Seattle on the public transport - a five minute walk to a bus stop, a direct bus ride for about twenty-five minutes, and then we're smack bang in the centre of it all. I am extra appreciative of this, given we've just had more than three years of crappy, almost non-existent, indirect public transport in Los Angeles. Until L.A, I had been a frequent - if not daily - user of buses, trains and trams in every other city I've lived in. It's nice to have that option again.

Number 1 tourist destination in Seattle, am I right? This, or the Space Needle.

The Gum Wall in Post Alley, near Pike Place Market. And yes, it smelled... bad.

Seattle Central Library - possibly one of the coolest buildings ever.

The view from Kerry Park.

We also squeezed in a weekend visit to Portland, where we stayed with old friends and mostly hung out in their front garden. On our last day, we took all the kids out to a pick-your-own farm in Oregon, and arrived back in Seattle with several full (and mushy - it was a hot day) bags of strawberries and blackberries.

Last month, we briefly explored a massive state forest - 482 acres - close to home. By close to home, I mean hop in the car and drive less than ten minutes. Unbelievably close. It has a number of trails and is bordered by stables so during our walk, we were overtaken occasionally by a horse and its rider. I can't imagine a more beautiful place to go horse riding, surrounded by firs, maples, hemlocks, birch, and ferns.  The entire park is forest - trees stretching so high that the ground rarely saw daylight (judging from the amount of moss, mushrooms and the damp fungal smell). I kept intending to return solo for more walks, but never managed it this month. I know I should make the effort one Saturday morning, and now that I've got myself some hardy new boots, I have no excuse.

X-Files flashbacks, anyone?