Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2008 holiday bus adventures, part 2

On December 30th, the day before New Years Eve, I did another bike/bus commute. Meantime, my wife worked out a date downtown with some college friends and their kids, and she made a day of it there, first with just our kids and then with them as well. She took a #358 bus from our neighborhood to Pine, then walked to an elevator to Alaskan Way and the Seattle Aquarium. After a couple hours she took the elevator back up to the Pike Place Market to meet her friends there. They visited the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton and the Carousel at Westlake Center, they checked out the toy trains in the Macy's window and walked around Pacific Place where they'd heard there would be "indoor snow", which turned out to be bubbles that my wife described as "really kinda weird, it wasn't like snow at all." Ah well, it served its purpose in getting them to visit.

Finally, they took the monorail from Westlake to Seattle Center and stopped in at Zeeks Pizza, where I'd arranged to meet them.

After de-boarding my bus from Tukwila, I biked from the University Street tunnel station to Seattle Center. I had a little trouble finding Zeeks, but a little backtracking with open eyes cleared that up. Zeeks was yummy as usual (we visit their Phinney and Green Lake restaurants on a regular basis) and it was nice to see our friends again. Afterwards, we headed to Seattle Center House to see the model trains there, which, while closed for the night, shared the building that evening with an acrobat troupe and an accompanying band. The kids wanted desserts, caramel apples and the like, which we did our best to accommodate. They ate it up.

Our friends drove home from there while we all crowded onto a northbound 358 bus, my bike on the front. We had to run to catch that bus at its Dexter and Denny stop, but the driver saw us coming and waited half a minute for us to get there.

Have I said lately how much I like bus drivers in Seattle?

Our day downtown, or at least my portion of it, felt a little weird in that we didn't really have a "home" to go back to while we were there. On other trips, such as the one we made a couple weeks earlier, we had a parked car to get back to and to leave purchases in, and even a deadline in getting back to it before the garage was locked up for the night, but this day we had several bus stops to choose from, and while service at that hour was not frequent (one reason we were so thankful to the bus driver for waiting for us), it was at least fairly predictable. Yes, I've done this sort of outing before, and it was as fun as always, but I don't recall feeling this dependent on timely bus service to get home before. Maybe it was that this time I was traveling with young children on a bus route that, late in the evening, often has a higher proportion than usual of drunks, though tonight we found seats towards the front of the bus and everything was fine.

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