Friday, December 14, 2007

Tuesday, or The Day we Walked for Miles and Miles and Miles.

We had one of the most jam-packed days I have ever been part of. The Mr. and I had driven down to the Seattle area Monday night and stayed with his mom. On Tuesday we went out for Lunch at a fun place called Soup Daddy Soups on Occidental Ave in downtown Seattle near Pioneer Square with Mom J, Shawn, Seth, Stephanie and Krystelle as well as Sallad and Grace. Then we took the Seattle Underground tour, which I really like. It is very educational, extremely interesting and it is fun, although not for young children. Some of Seattle's early history details would be better left out. The good thing is that the tour guides have a lot of leeway and depending on the crowd, their reaction to jokes and the ages present, tend to change things up a bit. I really enjoyed the tour this time, even though it was my third visit! We relaxed at Starbucks with some yummy drinks- I love sitting down with a nice hot egg nog latté- good thing they are a seasonal only drink. The nice part about this day was that I definitely worked off that fattening yummy latté! After relaxing, we walked and walked and walked to find a certain bus stop while listening to each others teeth chattering. A lot of people were cold, but I really enjoyed the walk and seeing parts of Seattle that I had never been too. I also should have started the "let's count Starbucks coffee shops game" because there sure were a lot! The buses downtown are free, so we rode the bus to Westlake Center Mall. We went through Nordstroms, visiting each level briefly in order to reach the skybridge on the top level and walk across to the Pacific Place mall, which is neat because it is built in an oval shape and looking down to the bottom level from the top makes you quite dizzy!

Smith Tower from the base, doesn't look as tall! You can visit an observation deck in this building, but I have never gone. The photo on the left is the center area at Pioneer Square.

These three photos above are of the sky lights for the level of Seattle which is referred to as the "Seattle Underground." You will see them in many places in the sidewalk as you walk around the area called Pioneer square. The first photo is taken from above, the last two are from below. It is a long story, but basically you can walk around underneath the sidewalks on what used to be ground level before Seattle was raised. Here is the tour schedule and information. You can read this website to get a fairly accurate overview of the story behind the Seattle underground and what you learn about on the tour. It is extremely interesting! The city was built on tide flats basically. There was no way to have safe streets or properly working plumbing because of that. There was a fire that destroyed the city. The city decided to raise the level of the city before rebuilding but the business owners didn't want to wait. They started building anyways and then the city had to build huge retaining walls around these buildings, since they were lower than the rest of the city. For a long time store patrons actually visited store fronts that were 17-34 feet below street level and have to deal with carriages and horses flying by above their heads. You can imagine the mess that created! They would have to climb up and down ladders to cross the street. It was just crazy. Eventually, new sidewalks were built at street level and for some time, the bottom sidewalk was still in use, almost like our modern day indoor shopping malls. There are still a few shops that use their bottom levels, and it is neat to see history being preserved this way.

This is the building where the tour starts.

The first photo above is the door and windows of the first floor of the building which still stands above it. Freaky isn't it! What is now the in-shambles basement used to be the main floor. The photo to the left is another skylight from above. The glass peices would have been clear, but because of impurities in the glass and time, they have turned purple and cloudy.

Nordstrom in downtown Seattle. This is the center of the building where the escalators are located. They display strands of lights during Christmas that hang from floor to ceiling for the entire height of the building and it looks really cool.


That evening we decided to go on a ferry boat ride. I love the ferry boats, and usually like it during the day so you can see all the beautiful sights and the water. This time it was at night and it was incredible because of all the lights in Seattle. We went to Bainbridge Island and went for mexican dinner in Historic Winslow at Isla Bonita. I took this photo on our way there.

These next three photos are by guest photographer Stephy. She did a great job!

It was really windy and I just love the way this photo turned out. She used the night time setting, but there was no way to keep the camera steady!

The Seattle Space Needle can be seen in the center of this photo.


  1. Wow that is so interesting about the basement city! Great pics too! Sounds like it was a great day:)

  2. Wow! I went on the tour years ago and I agree with you about the sometimes off-color jokes. I found the whole thing facinating, especially the upper and lower streets that were filled in and became the streets that are there now. p.s. hemet is getting a Nordstrom's. go figure.

  3. Sounds like a full day! Those are great photos.


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