Seattle: EMP, a Ferry, and my Final Day

Seattle is not only home to a mixture of traditional architecture and new, but also home to artwork. There is actually a provision in the construction law, where part of the land on which a building is built must be devoted to artwork. Due to this, nearly every newer building in the downtown area had some sort of sculpture. Some where purely abstract, where you stand there and puzzle over what on earth it could represent, and others were just ordinary objects in life exaggerated in size. Another important part of downtown Seattle is the giant hills. Many a biker will gladly store their bicycle on the rack in front of a bus, and ride it up a hill. Sometimes even cars will gurgle and rumble and barely make it to the top, and even at the top of the hills, there’s still a less steep slope that takes them even higher until you reach the crest about a mile north of Interstate 5. Located where Pike or Pine street intersect 12th street, this area is where my friends took me for sushi and ballroom class my first full day in Seattle. This area is also where I went to experience a lesbian bar and delicious dairy free ice cream my last day here. It’s about a mile walk from my friends’ apartment.

So we tended to ride buses to reach downtown due to the incredibly steep hills. Our first visit on Thursday was to the EMP museum, where I encountered not only a beautiful display of costumes from various fantasy series, but also artefacts from many science fiction movies and series. Such as this Dalek:

Doctor Who!

I especially enjoyed the fake guns from various SF series due to how detailed they were, and the old 40s SF version of starships: make them a few inches tall and wide, and then film them “flying” against various backdrops. Also had a chance to dance in front of a green screen and fight off a tyrannosaurus rex in the part of the exhibit that explained how green screens work: basically, through layering of various shots and sometimes CGI creatures. My friend, Sarah, moved the T-Rex and I just posed and punched at appropriate times to try to sync up both movement on the final screen that layered the two takes.

There’s also a fantasy exhibit that held many original costumes from various shows — my favorites being the costumes from The Princess Bride, XENA: Warrior Princess, and Lion, The Witch, And the Wardrobe. The exhibit, of course, could not be complete without a Lord of the Rings display, where there was original drafts of the works and maps and artwork on display in a glass case.

In the upper level of the EMP is the sound booth area, where you can learn how to record tracks, play your own tracks, and mix the tracks into a semi-finished piece. I had a lot of fun just playing around with all the live instruments and the mixing studios. If I only had the money, then I’d make my own mixing studio, but alas, all I have at home is a good quality microphone, and software to record the music I play myself. The mixing part is minimal, so I often just post raw tracks to my soundcloud account, mostly because the software I have isn’t exactly high powered mixing software. It’s really only good at syncing tracks and eliminating noise.

After the museum, Sarah, Marc, and I wandered down to the pier to take a Ferry to Bainbridge Island, the home of the rich.

Slow loading process.
Cars driving into the ferry, where they hang out on the lowest deck. Bicycles and motorcycles are also stored down there.
Away we go!
Wake of ferry as it leaves the Seattle Dock.
Name of ferry was Tacoma!
View of the entirety of Downtown Seattle from the Ferry.
Heading toward bainbridge island, the island between us and that peninsula.
This is the view toward the Olympic Peninsula as seen from the front of the ferry.

We purposely decided to ride the ferry this late in the day, so that we could see the sun set over the Olympic mountains on the ride back to Seattle. However, we had a bit of time to kill on the island, so decided to walk along a beach and pick up some shells and sea glass. There was the rusted remains of what could have been a dock on the beach — all that was left was some rotted wood supports and the rusted metal and concrete base.

Yes, Marc is in the picture to the left.
Towards the ferry dock on the beach we found.

It was a gorgeous ride back to Seattle. Pink melted into red and then blue as the sun set over the distant mountains.

Bloody huge volcano really.
Mount Rainer is a dark silhouette against a pink background.

Why, camera, why!  Colors were way more vibrant than this.
The glow of the sunset behind the Olympic mountains. The colors grew more stark as the sun set further, but it was too cold and my camera just couldn’t capture the vibrancy of the color.

It was dark by the time we returned to Seattle and found the next bus back to my friends’ apartment for supper.

The next day was my final day in Seattle, and to celebrate it, my friends made Meat Fondue — a speciality in Switzerland, where Marc originates. We had to cut up duck, chicken, and turkey and then bread it with egg and rice flour, sprinkled with a different blend of spices for each meat. The sauces Marc made were all done dairy free, so I could happily partake of the deliciousness. Before dinner, my friend, Sarah, and I wandered to the Molly’s Ice Cream, for some delicious vegan ice cream, and then to Wild Rose, a lesbian bar, where we met up with one of her work friends. Together we drank a bit and wandered back in time for dinner, where Marc had cooked some rice and set the table. He and Sarah showed us how to cook the meat in the boiling oil, which was the center piece of the fondue set. So for the next four hours, we happily chatted and partook of the delicious combinations of meat and sauce, along with rice. I have never had any sort of fondue before, so it was a delightful taste of the wonders of a delicacy. I also liked how the hot oil, kept hot by a tiny burner below the main pot, cooked the meat for us. We simply skewered it with our meat skewers, and waited until they were done in the oil. It’s been a long time since I’ve had deep fried anything, so it was great fun.

Sarah’s friend bid us farewell at a bit after one am, and since I had a plane to catch at six am, my friend and I stayed up and chatted until it was time to leave at three-thirty am. Her husband, Marc, joined us for the ride — him having had a nap — to the airport, where they dropped me off in front of the American Airlines section of the airport. After I collected my boarding pass and passed through security, I walked over to my gate. Seattle airport is fairly spacious in its terminal designs, with quite a lot of paintings on the walls and a few obscure art work hidden in corners. The seats in the waiting area was fairly comfortable. I wished my window in the plane hadn’t been frosted over because we passed over several mountain ranges on the flight to Chicago, and none of my pictures I attempted came out. However, I did capture Chicago right before landing:

The frost had melted by then, and so it gave me a clear view of the city.

The plane thumped rather loudly during landing, possibly due to hitting one wheel against the ground first before the other two wheels hit, but other than that, it was fairly smooth ride to the terminal. I collected some tea on the way to the gate to Des Moines, and this time the window seat had no frost and offered a wonderful view of the land below.

It snowed while I was away!
Due to the heading of the plane, this is Lake Red Rock, south-east of Des Moines.

A friend picked me up from the airport, and after we collected some food, she dropped me off at my bus stop, and I headed home from there. All in all, it was a grand and wonderful adventure, and I must admit, even with the ridiculously steep hills, Seattle was beautiful, and I wouldn’t mind returning there again someday.

By Aibird

Open the door, step inside. Here you find a forest, teeming with animals and birds, which sweeps up the sides of snow-capped mountains. Here in the small pocket of beauty, one finds the essence of my soul. A writer at heart, I delve deep into the finer details of humanity's spirit, and seek to share with others what gems I uncover. I find life exciting and full of interesting surprises, and despite the great pain that often confronts me, I persevere with the joy in my heart still bubbling, and the light of my soul still aflame. There is a time and a place to introspect one's self, but often enough it is best to not look back in regret, but leap forward in the present toward the achievement of one's deepest dreams. I am a wanderer. An explorer. One place cannot contain me for long, but to my friends and family, I remain loyal, for love is not bound by time nor place. Once cultivated and nourished continuously, it binds people together on a journey through the unknown reaches of life.


  1. What a lovely account of your week, Amber! Loved the photos and details of your explorations. EMP museum??? Aw, jealous! And that troll was priceless. What a find.

    Would love to hike around Mt. Ranier one day. Maybe we’ll get to this stuff for ourselves sometime in the next century or two. 😀


    1. My friend wanted to take me to Mt. Ranier, but we just didn’t have the time (and their car is somewhat unreliable right now). They tell me it’s an overdue volcano, but it’s possible that it’s just becoming inactive. (Well one can hope, right?)


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