Yesterday we ventured out into Seattle. First, we checked out Pike Place Market – famous for it’s market where fish are thrown from the back counter to the front. Our success finding willing interview participants hit a bit of a standstill at this juncture and we headed toward the Space Needle. The Space Needle was erected for the 1962 World’s Fair when nearly 20,000 people used it per day. Now, the attraction charges $26 a pop to take a ride to the top. We skipped out on that privilege but did enjoy the grounds nearby known as the Seattle Center – which was hosting the Taste of Seattle and the championships for the video game DOTA 2 – dubbed The International. We spoke to one DOTA 2 aficionado who noted that, while gamers do tend to be introverted and nerdy, the gaming community is exactly that, a community, and events like The International demonstrate that. The International sold out the 10,000 person Key Arena in less than an hour and has a $10 million purse.
We then made our way to Gas Works Park – a must see destination in Seattle. The park is on the site of the last remaining coal gasification plant in the states which, combined with it’s waterfront view of the Seattle skyline, makes for a very unique park experience. Here, we were able to get a couple more interviews and end the day on a high note. We returned to our accommodations to sit down and watch the interviews we’d recorded. This was very rewarding as we were able to find gems from every single interview we recorded – which just goes to show you that everyone has something to say. We ended the day with a night out on Capital Hill where we enjoyed a beer at Elysian Brewery before heading to Unicorn – a little karaoke on Pike Street – nothing to report on what transpired there.
Today, we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island. Homer looked at home on the waters of the Puget Sound. We spent our two hours or so on the island at the Bainbridge Island Brewing Company where we enjoyed samplers of the local craft brew. Interestingly, the brewery is right across the parking lot from Bainbridge Organic Distillers, home of the 2014 International Vodka Competition gold medalist. Bainbridge Island is heavily forested, gorgeous, and, if our bartender and fellow pub patrons are a fair indication, houses some down-to-earth and respectful people.
We then made our way north through the farmland and evergreens of Mt. Vernon and stopped for a bite in the quaint little town of Bellingham, Washington. This place must have been a close second to San Luis Obispo’s famous categorization of happiest town in the country because the old town square lined with ivy covered brick buildings where people where quite literally frolicking to some variant of Nordic folk music brought a tear of joy to my eye. After our quick stop we finally crossed to boarder where we were greeted by our very gracious hosts, the Frey’s, and fresh Alaskan halibut washed down with some Steamworks beers (the pale and pilsner are both excellent). Tomorrow we trek the streets of the jewel of British Columbia – Vancouver. Onward and upward.