Seattle Underground

28 Jul

Early morning at the Market, Elliott Bay in the background

We began our day with an early morning trip back to Pike Place Market.  The delivery trucks were already busy unloading their goods and vendors were busy restocking their stalls for the day.  There was no crowd at all this time of day, and we really enjoyed being in this area and having it all to ourselves.  We made a stop at the original Starbucks for coffee, which is right across the street from Pike Place Market.

They only served coffee at this Starbucks, so we had to walk on down the block to find breakfast. Speaking of Starbucks, there is practically one on every corner.  Honestly, there are so many I decided to Google it to see just how many there are.  424 in the city of Seattle!  They all seemed to be doing just fine, guess the cool weather helps.

We found a little shop called Three Sisters Bakery, and bought our breakfast.

Notice my lens cap in relation to the shrimp. They were huge!

After we finished our breakfast of  bagels and muffins, we headed over to Pioneer Square (the oldest part of Seattle) and took the Underground tour.  This tour  took us under the streets to old Seattle  that had been covered up by the “new” street level after the great Seattle fire of 1889.  The old streets and sidewalks lie under the present day streets in this old section of town. We were able to see old buildings covered over and everything we saw was just as it had been left when they raised the level of the street and sidewalks.  When we entered a building to go down to the underground, it was actually the second floor window (made into a door) that we entered through.  Everything had been brought up one story higher, so therefore the groundfloor levels had become basement level, and the second floors had become groundfloor level.   It was very interesting.  When they raised the level of the streets, as the poured the new sidewalks, they installed “skylights” of purple glass squares placed into a grid.  This allowed some light to reach the original streets and sidewalks below. We noticed several skylights as we walked the streets in the last couple of days.  The underground wasn’t wasted space.    The businesses above used the underground for storage.  Extra inventory, such as flour, rice, beans, etc. was stored there by the various businesses above. However,  that practice had to be discontinued because the rat population down there grew so large, it caused an outbreak of bubonic plague.  The solution for that little problem was to hire children to go down there and kill the rats.  The city would pay 5 cents for every rat a child killed.  Those 12 years old and under were the only ones allowed to earn money in this way.  To prove they’d really killed the rat, they were required to  bring in the rat tail as proof.  (And my kids complain about doing little odd jobs around the house for extra money!)

While we were in the area, we stopped at the waterfall and took some pictures of the area. (the waterfall is not a natural feature, it was built by the employees of UPS on the site of where the company got its start) It’s a beautiful oasis right in the center of the city.

The famous totem pole that was stolen from the Indians. Seattle ended up paying them for it years after the fact.

The underground tour took about an hour and a half, so after that, we headed back down to the waterfront to try out another seafood place.

Jimmy had picked out a restaurant at one of the piers called the Crab Pot.  We sat at a table  outside, and by this time, it had warmed up to about 65 degrees. ( The morning began at 58 degrees)  Today was overcast all day and reminded me alot of the weather in London.  It didn’t rain though, but I guess because I was thinking of London, I ordered hot tea with lunch.  It was nice to sit outside overlooking the water to eat.  We had grilled scallops and clam chowder for appetizers, and I had clams and fries and Jimmy ordered something called “Crab, crab, crab”  It consisted of 3 types of crab, (King crab, snow crab, and Dungeness).  The waiter covered our table with a big piece of butcher paper, then brought out a wooden plank and a wooden hammer and sat it in front of each of us.  At that point, I was a little worried I had mis-ordered.  I certainly didn’t want to have to crack open clam shells to get my lunch!  But we found out he just assumed we were going to share.  (Jimmy tends to order amounts of food ample for two people, then eats it all himself! Lol.)  He brought our order out to us and sat a nice basket of clams and fries in front of me.  Jimmy’s meal came in a big stainless steel bowl that the waiter dumped out on the butcher paper right between us.  The crabs were cooked with red potatoes and corn on the cob.

After lunch, we walked up the harbor steps to a bus stop where we caught a bus out to Boeing Field.

Starting up the Harbor Steps

At the top of the Harbor Steps looking down toward Elliott Bay

There, we toured the Museum of Flight and really enjoyed it.  We were able to walk through Airforce One and the Concorde, and see a large gallery of World War I and II fighter planes.  I actually enjoyed this very much.  I wasn’t sure if I would, but I thought Jimmy would really like it.  Since he is so good natured about all the stuff I drag him to see, I figured it was the least I could do, but I ended up enjoying it just as much as he did.

Cockpit of a “Blackbird”

Mr. President steps off of Airforce One

After the museum, we caught a bus back to our hotel, changed clothes and went to dinner.  We ate at a steak place a couple of blocks from our hotel.  Jimmy ordered a bone in rib-eye, which would barely fit on the platter they served it on.  It looked like a tomahawk with the long bone sticking out!

It was a great meal, and we ended with ice cream.  Jimmy ordered a tangerine sorbet in a almond sugar shell and I ordered homemade maple ice cream. We walked back to our hotel just in time to watch the opening ceremony for the London Olympics.

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