The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 31, 2013

The 30-minute Seattle Vacation

Filed under: Seattle, travel, Wanderings — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:03 pm

As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention and/or complain about a few times in my recent Blog posts, work for me has been quite busy lately.  This means that even as the weather starts getting nicer and Spring starts settling in over the land, I haven’t had a whole lot of opportunity to take advantage it.  Normally I try to get out of the office for a walk each afternoon to provide myself a bit of a break and to collect my occasionally scattered thoughts, but I haven’t been as good as I might like at doing this lately.  Then again, sometimes when you’ve been going at full tilt for a while there comes a point where you just need to get away from it all, even if you can only manage to do so for a half hour.  This is what I did a couple of days ago.  The weather outside was simply too nice to ignore, and the Spring blossoms have recently begun to come out in force.  Working in the more touristy part of Seattle means that several of the popular Seattle landmarks are easily within walking distance, so if I feel like getting away from things for a bit I can always just go wander out and impersonate a tourist for a little while.  Thanks to the miracles of modern technology I’ve even got a convenient camera built into my Smartphone to take a few photos (nobody is going to notice, right?)  This combination of ingredients makes for the perfect opportunity to go out and take a little 30-minute Seattle mini-vacation.

Naturally, in the tradition of seasoned tourists everywhere, I’ve come back with all sorts of pictures and a story or two, and I can’t wait to bore people senseless with them.  Since it’s kind of hard to find a slide projector these days. I figure I might as well do it here.  After the jump, you’ll find some of the highlights of my 30-minute mini-vacation in Seattle.

Given the very limited time I had available for this trip, a visit to the Space Needle probably wasn’t in the cards this time around (and even if I could make it, going up there is ridiculously expensive anyway.)  Thus, the most logical course of action for this trip would be to go straight for Seattle’s other famous tourist destination:  The Pike Place Market.

Since the budget for this particular trip was a little low (well, just about nonexistent really) my travel options were kind of limited.  I suppose that if I really felt like splurging I could probably grab one of those CAR2GO Smart cars off the street and travel in style (or something resembling it) and just drive over to the Market, but then I’d have to actually sign up to use the things, which would require all sorts of paperwork and travel planning, and with all the stuff going on at work I really didn’t have time to do much planning.  Instead I just decided to walk over, which takes all of five minutes anyway.  Even then, I’d have to make the visit somewhat quick, since time was of the essence.

With the ongoing emergence of Spring, it became quickly apparent that colorful was the order of the day.  All along Pike Place, boxes of yellow tulips were placed everywhere.

The theme of color extended to the ever popular bundles of flowers being sold inside the market.  Just about a month and a half ago I was here to purchase some flowers on Valentine’s Day, and found the selection at that time to be far more limited.  Aside from the fact that I have no idea what I’d actually use these for, I might actually be tempted to pick some of these up.

Elsewhere in the market, the ever popular produce stands brought their own sets of colors as well.

And of course no trip to the Market is complete without taking some time to watch fish being thrown.  It’s usually a good idea to stand back though…  Oh, and don’t forget to take a good close look at the Monkfish…

Unfortunately the shortness of this trip didn’t leave much time to linger, but there was still enough time to wander down to the waterfront.  Along the way, I took some time to observe the various trees as they emerged (slowly or quickly, depending on the tree) from their Winter slumber.  This particular tree, at the top of the Hillclimb, was just barely getting started.

A few other trees were a little bit further along in the process.

And still other trees were already well on their way to their Summer coat of leaves.

And then of course you’ve got the slacker trees that seem to just be hitting the snooze button for a couple more weeks.  Just as it is in the Fall, Spring doesn’t exactly happen all at once.  As I’ve discussed here previously, different trees seem to operate on different timetables, and although it seems that in general things are a little bit behind schedule this year, eventually all the trees will manage to end up with leaves at some point.

And then, of course, there’s the few wiseguy trees here and there that have decided to just not bother dropping all their leaves in the Winter.  Nonetheless, even they find it necessary to put on a show in the Spring, owing mostly to the biological mandates of self-perpetuation.

The trip continued with a walk along the Seattle Waterfront, which has gone from being a rather quiet place back during the Winter months to now being quite full of people.  I suspect that the fact that schools are starting to have their Spring Breaks is probably serving to bring more people out here than you might see otherwise.

Even here, the colors were out in force, although not quite as pronounced as over at the Market.  Then again, I don’t think anyone’s trying to sell things here, so a slightly more muted palette probably works just fine.

Unfortunately, by now I had just about run out of time and had to return to the office, but not before taking the opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine.  Well OK, I guess that’s stretching things a bit.  Technically it is local, even if it is basically the exact same thing you can get in New York, Paris, Rio, Beijing or Tokyo.  And no, I haven’t taken up drinking coffee; Starbucks offers a number of non-coffee Frappuccinos that I’ll get on occasion, but not too often.  Sure there’s no coffee in there, but I’m pretty sure those things have enough sugar to send me flying up the walls anyway.  Oh, and if it counts for anything I also had Fish and Chips from Ivar’s for lunch earlier in the day, so the local cuisine angle had been covered previously.

So there you have it, things to do in Seattle if you’ve only got 30 minutes for your vacation.  I decided to pass on the souvenirs this time around because I didn’t really have any need for them.  Besides; if I did need souvenirs I’m pretty sure I could just go grab some on my lunch break tomorrow.  Admittedly, this type of thing is only possible if you happen to live or work relatively close to some of the more touristy areas of a city as I do, but I’d be interested to see what other people would do if instead of taking a normal afternoon break, they decided to sneak away from work for a bit and take a 30-minute vacation in their own city.  Sure it might be places you’ve seen hundreds of times, but then again, you never know just what you might find…


1 Comment »

  1. A 30 minute vacation, what a really cool idea! It sounds like there is a ton of things to do in just 30 minutes. I think I’d like to spend a bit more time there!

    Comment by Sue — May 17, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

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