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Experiencing Seattle by foot, train, seaplane and more

My elder daughter, Gloria, treated me to a vacation in Seattle. We took a three-hour train ride to that city from Portland. Gloria had found online a lovely apartment for us to rent for a few days. We took various means of transportation on our trip — train, taxi, bus, seaplane, boat and last but not least, legs. The first evening we took a bus to downtown and enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner. The next morning we took a taxi to the airport where we boarded a small seaplane to travel to the San Juan Islands. We were two of the three passengers. There were vents on each side that let in fresh air.

The scenery of the water and various islands was magnificent.

Landing at Friday Harbor, we walked around that quaint town until it was time for climbing aboard a small boat. This exciting ride took us to the other side of San Juan Island where a pod of orcas live. Yes, we did see the black fins of these gentle giants appear above the surface of the water.

And, when one brave whale came closer to the boat, Gloria shot it with her camera as it arched above the water. Our captain said that we were fortunate, sometimes all of the whales are out in the Pacific Ocean and don’t make their appearance in the sheltered bay.

Back at Friday Harbor we enjoyed some lavender chocolate ice cream and bought some souvenirs. The seaplane going back was larger than the first; it held 12 people.

The next day we took a bus downtown and visited the King Tut exhibition. The dazzling gold figures and ancient history of the pharaohs were fascinating. We were a bit surprised that organs of the dead pharaohs were preserved except for the brains, which were thrown away.

While searching for the correct bus to take us to the Museum of Art, suddenly there appeared before our eyes a 48-foot high sculpture, The Hammering Man, silently hammering away. The Museum of Art was right there.

We visited an exhibition of aboriginal art. It was amazing that such detailed designs, which contained maps and/or stories, were created by people who live in very primitive conditions.

Our people-watching in Seattle included a man who was respectably dressed, but every exposed part of his skin was covered with tattoos. It was sad for us to see a woman sitting next to us on the bus who was obviously on drugs, but had a sweet smile. The Pike Street Market was so crowded with people, it was hard to see all of the fish, produce, flowers, etc., which were offered by the vendors. Gloria bought an attractive hat there.

While enjoying a delicious cup of coffee at the famous coffee house across from the railroad station, we almost missed our train. During the ride back we played a game of travel Scrabble.

My collection of mobility experiences has been expanded. A few years ago my granddaughters and I rode the merry-go-round and enjoyed the view from the top of the ferris wheel at Oaks Park. I took a jet airplane to visit my other daughter on the East Coast. We all took a ride on the overhead shuttle that connects the two University of West Virginia campuses. Dreams of rides to come include a horse-drawn carriage at Christmas time, the OHSU (overhead tram), a hot air balloon and soon the trolley from Lake Oswego to Portland.

 

Rosalie Justen is a member of the Jottings Club of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.




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