Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"Is this Heaven?" "No, it's Seattle."

Bah, Mariners lost, so I'm in a foul mood this morning. :-(

More on the game later... After we bought the tickets on Sunday we walked out of town towards Volunteer Park, via "Group Health Central Hospital", which appears on my birth certificate as "place of birth". Spooky! We went into the North Building, which houses the Maternity Ward, but got a bit freaked and ran away before we could see much!

The hospital is at a junction between 16th Avenue East and Thomas Street. Coincidence? I think we should be told ;-).

After a healthy Subway lunch (we've collected loads of Club Stamps!) we explored Volunteer Park and its conservatory. Much to my surprise I actually recognized several of the flowers and cacti there - I've even got one type of cactus at home, and mine's much bigger! (No thanks to me, of course :-).

That was Monday. On Tuesday we went to Klondike Gold Rush Museum, to learn about how Seattle became a staging post for the last great American gold rush to the Klondike River in Alaska. (We had actually tried to go the day before, but a TV crew were filming a commercial on the street outside so we couldn't get in!). After a bit of window shopping (in the famous Niketown store) we went to Starbucks, of course! We first visited the original, first ever store, on Pike Place, which is still going strong, but doesn't have anywhere to sit down, so we headed downtown to a more central - and comfortable - location. I had a "Chocolate Brownie Frappuccino"; Katherine a "Caramel Apple Cider". Very nice - although drastically out of our price range!

We went down to the waterfront, and then came home via the Market to buy some fresh veg. We cooked an early meal, then hopped on the bus at 6.15pm to Safeco Field.

You can read the gory details on - it was a far more exciting game than the one we watched at Wrigley Field. Initially it looked like the Mariners would win relatively easily, 4-1 up in the seventh, but it all went horribly wrong after that, and they ended up falling apart and losing 5-4 in the tenth. Whatever the result, it was still fun to be there. Safeco was built in 1999, so its PA and video system is state-of-the-art, and it's a lot of fun responding to the "Make Some Noise" signs that flash up whenever there's a full count, or a runner on third, or whatever. Lots of the Mariners have their own jingles (Edgar Martinez's tune is the Star Wars theme :-), and fancy graphics that play whenever they're doing well. Disappointing to lose - particularly at this vital stage in the season (and worse, Oakland and Boston both won) - but there's always tonight's and tomorrow's matches to make up lost ground...

OK, that's what we've done up to now. We're going to head out towards the Cultural Center (home of the EMP and of course the Space Needle) this morning. We'll let you know how it goes!

PS. Anyone got our photos safe and sound? Anyone? :-(


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