Six weeks ago I set off with Beeny and I have travelled 3000 landmiles here in the USA and been in 6 States - so we have done pretty well.
Rainy days in Oregon followed me as I drove north into Washington to Seattle and it has taken a few more days to brighten up. Nevertheless my hosts Bob and Marti are showing me around their beautiful city and we seem to find pockets of blue sky and haven't been rained on too much. Bob volunteers as a concierge at the info booth at the famous Pike Market so he is an excellent city guide. WE have spent time driving around some lovely neighbourhoods some with quaint wooden houses with verandahs and porches and others with quite grand mansions and super modern architecture. Seattle being on the water there are lots of bays and coves , inland waterways and lakes, marinas and harbours, islands, and locks and in one place you will be at salt water and somewhere else fresh water...it is easy to lose your bearings in a place like this - so it's good to have my own personal tour guides. This is another hospitaly/home exchange and Bob
and Marti will come and stay with me in October. Their home is a lovely old wooden house with lots of character and a beautiful garden with rhodedenrums and clematis flowering at the mo. My dainty corner-of-the house bedroom with windows on 2 sides and patchwork quilts makes me feel like I am in Anne of Green Gables,
We have visited the Ballard Locks to see a boat go through to the Puget Sound, and seen one salmon strugggling up the salmon ladder, ate at a famous fish restaurant , Ivars, where they prepare blackened salmon over burning alder wood the way the native americans did. And we wandered around the Pike Market and talked to various stall holders as I sampled special teas and admired the displays of fish and fruit and veg and flowers..and of course took a shot of the original Starbucks.
We met someone in Sedona who recommended The Underground Tour in Seattle - and yes it was very unusual - we walked the streets below the sidewalks with a very informative and amusing guide - basically Seattle was at sea level so there was a problem with sewage and after a big fire
when all the downtown area burnt down they re-built but filled in the streets so that the original ground floors became cellars - if that makes sense!! I suppose it was your first underground shopping experiences. Well there were lots of funny stories and lots of history of the early days of Seattle.
A break in the clouds yesterday had us bustling off to the Sculpture Park down by the waterfront - an outdoor public space restoriing an old industrial site to a place of wildflowers meadows and a tree lined valley with some MASSIVE sculptures.( Angie- it reminded me of the sculpture walk at Bronte). And there is always a surprise event when doing home exchange - and this time it was to go to a ballet rehearsal...Bob had got free tickets for Directors Choice Preview and we saw the Pacific Northwest ballet Co perform 3 ballets - it was a working rehearsal so they stopped after each one and the choreographer was on stage with them telling them this and that!! The most stunning ballet was a new one commisioned for the company called Tide Harmonics - the music was wonderful as well as the dacing -
all about water...and you could hear and see and feel that through the music and dance. Well worth going to see that if you ever see it perormed anywhere.
Sun is out today - HOORAY!!! A trip into the hinterland to see the mountains is on the cards - so far I haven't seen them becasue they have been shrouded in rain clouds but my hosts insist there are mountains there. Maybe I will get my sunglasses out!!
See you all later. xx
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