I don’t even know that “metronatural” is really supposed to mean, or how it pertains to Seattle, but that’s what came up when I googled the city’s slogan. If I had to give it my own slogan it would be: Seattle: where road trips burn out. This is where we crashed and burned and officially expended every last drop of road trip energy and enthusiasm that we had left in us. How appropriate, though, since this was the last official road trip stop. The downside of this burn out is we kind of jipped this city. It deserved a little more exploration. More appreciation. More credit. That’s not to say that we don’t think highly of Seattle, because we certainly do. And we definitely plan on going back, when we ‘re a little bit recharged.
It was around dinner time when we first arrived in the city, and we were excited seeing the skyline and the space needle. Since we needed to eat anyway, I called the space needle restaurant on a whim to see if we could get a reservation. Falkor luck never fails. We got a table. This restaurant was amazing- Everything from the food, to the wine, the atmosphere, and of course the rotating view. For those of you who don’t know, the top of the space needle, where the restaurant is located, is completely lined with windows and it constantly rotates. So during the course of your meal, you’re sure to see a spectacular view of the city. All 360 degrees of it. It’s fun too because some people (and that I mean little kids) leave notes on the window sill, so when you rotate by you see pieces of paper with “what’s your name?” or “what did you ask Santa to bring you for Christmas?” written in crayon. And since I am a 27 year old child, I had fun answering those notes. We treated ourselves to a beyond delicious appetizer of clams (Richie’s favorite) and some fancy chicken and pork entrees. I love eating. After our meal we took in some more of the views from the outdoor observation deck and then headed back to the van, which was street parked, planned the rest of our Seattle excursions and then called it a night.
Let me tell you… They’re not kidding about Seattle weather. The next day it was cold, cloudy, and misty. The kind of foggy mist that’s just on the breech of rain. Annoying enough to turn your hair into a damp frizzy mess, but not enough to require an umbrella. The top of the space needle was completely lost in the fog. We started the day at a doughnut shop where I guess Obama made an appearance at some point. It was a cute coffee shop, 2 stories, good pastries, good coffee. Next we went to the Experience Music Project and Sci-Fi Museum. This place was REALLY rad. The first floor is just a café, tickets, etc. and the second floor is where the action begins. In the center stands an enormous piece of art entitled The Roots and Branches Sculpture. The medium for this sculpture? Hundreds of guitars, mixed in with some other instruments. This masterpiece stands several stories high and actually plays music!!!! It robotically plays the instruments with impressive precision to play songs. If you walk passed Roots and Branches, you enter a room with high ceilings and a projection screen that spreads from ceiling to floor, with a state of the art sound system. When musicians are pictured on that screen during performances, you’d swear you were actually seeing them live in concert. It’s a cool room, and they play various things throughout the day on the big screen.
The first exhibit we visited was the Avatar exhibit. It’s filled with everything you ever wanted to know about making the film- from how the language was developed, to the green-screen techniques, to the creation of the unique landscape in the film. It’s amazing, I mean these weren’t just artists dreaming up plants and flowers from their imagination with no boundaries. They actually put a lot of thought into what the climate would be like in Pandora, what plants could grow there in those conditions, and how wildlife would possibly develop there. So while it actually IS created through imagination, it has a logistical foundation which I thought was fascinating. They also have exhibits that show the actors working on scenes in front of the green screen. But the amazing thing is that the director can actually use a virtual camera. So when he looks through the camera, he doesn’t see the green screen. He actually sees the actors playing out the scene in Pandora. It was really cool to see how this movie was made, and even though I LOVED Avatar even before seeing this exhibit, my appreciation for the film is not only renewed, but amplified.
Horror Exhibit Pics
Next we found ourselves embedded in the Nirvana exhibit. After all, we are in the birthplace of grunge. The thing that sticks out most to me about this exhibit is Kurt Cobain’s artwork. I never knew anything about his sketching or painting. He had a very unique style, especially when it comes to the lines he would use in depicting facial expressions. His sketches gave off a bit of an eerie and dark vibe, as does his music so I guess that makes sense. To be perfectly honest it was kind of a turn on. There’s something about an artistically dark man, with such talent, and passion just oozing from him effortlessly.. not in the way that so many musicians/artists try to pretend. Just unbelievably sexy. Ricky spent FOR-EVER in this exhibit. He read everything he possibly could about Nirvana and examined everything within the exhibit with sincerity.
Ricky and I have this problem with museums where we get overly excited about a few exhibits and take it all in and kind of expend all of our energy, and then we’re too tired and bored and hungry and distracted to finish. We need to learn to pace ourselves. We checked out the Jimmy Hendrix exhibit, which was cool. I skipped the Battlestar Galactica one, but I’m sure it was probably awesome as well. Then they have this entire floor where you can play basic instruments. It is SO MUCH fun. They have separate little booths and areas for different instruments, fully equipped with automated instructions to teach you the basics of how to play. They also have soundproof booths. So if you want, you can go in a booth with some buddies and jam out on drums and guitar. They have a singing one too!!! It was here, at this interactive exhibit, where I learned how pathetically uncoordinated I am. I mean- it’s just hopeless. I gave drums and guitar a shot and I just cannot stay on beat!!! I’m good with the keyboard though. I just don’t understand, because I’m an incredibly good dancer. I totally feel the beat!!!
From here we walked down to the public market area, and that’s when we really started to lose our desire to do anything at all. We were starving and cold and damp and my hair was frizzy. Ricky was craving sea food, but for whatever reason it was taking us FOREVER to find a place to eat. A lot of things were closed for which is weird, because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a Sunday or anything. Finally, our stomachs were so gnawing with hunger that we decided to settle for BBQ instead. We sat down at the table and picked some delectable items from the menu and told the waitress what we wanted.
“I’ll have some pelligrino to drink please”.
“I’m sorry, we’re out of Pelligrino”.
“Ok, I’ll have the rotisserie Chicken”
“Oh we’re actually out of the chicken right now” …. Now it was Ricky’s turn. “I’ll have the oysters and a bowl of chowder”
“we don’t have any any oysters right now and we’re out of chowder.”
“Fuck this. We’re gonna go somewhere else.” As much as I felt bad because I knew it wasn’t the waitresses fault, I was totally on the same page. What kind of restaurant is out of EVERYTHING!? It took a couple of more stops before we finally found a decent seafood spot to get some lunch. But even that was kind of a failure because Ricky didn’t like his food all that much. It was here that we decided today was the day to call it quits. We were exhausted. And not necessarily tired, I just mean exhausted of all our eagerness, our drive, our motivation. We both agreed that we did it to the max. We did as much as we possibly could do until we felt like we were just dragging ourselves along. We literally burnt ourselves out. And what better way to end the road trip? We did it until we could do it no more, and we both feel more than satisfied.
I kind of wish we had more energy at this point because the public market is really cool. All types of markets open in the streets. It’s your classic movie scene of guys chucking fish to one another, catching them in newspaper. But it was cold, and misty, and we were done. Also in this area is the first Starbucks. Ever. I pretended I didn’t care about that at first, which is another example of how jaded we are, but I forced myself to realize how cool that is. The first Starbucks ever in history!
Our very last sight to see before we headed back to the van was this ginormous gum wall. It was pretty cool to see, but somehow all I could smell when we were next to it was old breath. That was probably just in my head though. So that was it. I few pictures of the gum wall tucked away in an ally in Seattle, and The Great Escape came to a close. We rode the monorail back to the parking lot where Falkor was waiting to take us home. To San Francisco.