Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

After sleeping the sleep of the well-traveled tourist and soaking myself in a hot shower long enough to feel awake and alive again, I stepped out of the room while B cleaned up and ventured downstairs to seek coffee. Our accommodations at this hotel are simple but not uncivilized: There is a coffee shop sharing space right next to the lobby; I had to stand in line blinking in the harsh light of day for maybe five or ten minutes while the baristas worked their magic at the espresso machine before I could order the plain black cuppa joe I so craved.

Biscuit Bitch Seattle WAWe looked over our breakfast options the night before and decided the place we most wanted to visit this morning was Biscuit Bitch. There were a lot of good reviews from visitors posted on-line who said they had the best biscuits in town, but I’m not gonna lie: I wanted to go there because I liked the attitude. I liked it even more once I got there and saw that the breakfast sammie was named the “Bitchwich.”

My Darling B is a big fan of biscuits & gravy (or, as it’s known at this particular breakfast place, a “Straight-Up Bitch”). Back at home, whenever she finds a place she hasn’t been before that serves her favorite breakfast dish, she puts in an order to give it a try and see how it stacks up against all the other places she’s visited. This eventually morphed into an eternal quest to find the best biscuits & gravy anywhere. Obviously, she won’t be visiting Seattle any time soon just to satisfy a craving, but she still likes to try them wherever we go. She gave these high marks. I was very pleased with the breakfast sammie on a biscuit and ate every bite, washed down with plenty of strong, boiled coffee.

After breakfast we went back to the Public Market to take a longer look at the things we might have missed the night before when everything was winding down. And a good thing we did, too, because we would have missed the first Starbucks, the fish market, the flowers and all the artsy-fartsy crafts. Not sure what I can say about those that wouldn’t be boring. The first Starbucks still sells coffee, but of course it’s mostly a tourist trap now. Aside from taking your selfie in front of the “First Startbucks” store, you can get one of a dozen styles of First Starbucks coffee mugs, First Starbucks t-shirts, and I don’t know what all else. There are boxed of merch stacked up to the ceiling. You should probably go see for yourself.

Having been there & done that, it was off to find the gum wall.

Gum Wall Post Alley Seattle WA

The gum wall is just what it says on the box: Many moons ago, someone – I like to think it was a passing traveler who wanted to leave a memento of his visit, but I don’t think we’ll never know for sure – stuck a wad of gum to the wall in the part of Post Alley that ducks under the Public Market. He probably did something weird or unusual with it: Maybe she stuck it to the nose of one of the faces on the many handbills posted in the alley,, or he used it to stick a note to the wall, or she spelled her name with a particularly large wad of gum. Whatever the first passing stranger did, it attracted the attention of the next passing stranger who thought it was pretty funny, or took it as a challenge, or just wanted to leave his mark, too, and he stuck his wad of gum right next to it. Then a couple more people strolled by and stuck their gum to the wall. And several more people. And so on.

After what I can only guess have been years and years of people doing that, about fifty feet of Post Alley has been transformed into an amazing cave of grossness so awesome that people from all over the world seek it out to take photos of themselves dabbing the wall with their own chewing gum. Why they would want to come into contact, however briefly, with even the tiniest part of all that saliva-soaked gum is beyond me. I wouldn’t have missed seeing it, but just being there for ten minutes made B & I want to take a week-long shower in hydrogen peroxide.

Not everyone in Seattle is thrilled with the gum wall. One of the building tenants taped signs to the insides of their windows that said, “No gum on the windows.” Not “please,” just “NO.” Defiant gum-chewers have blotted out the “NO” and dabbed the windows with gum. Call me an asshole, but I thought that was kind of funny.

We walked almost to the end of Post Alley but stopped short because it’s pretty boring down at the far end, about as boring as the near end would be if there wasn’t gum stuck to the walls. Fortunately there was a stairway that gave us a shortcut to the street above so we could cross town to the Westlake Center, where we caught the monorail to Seattle Center.

B&O on the Space Needle Seattle WAWhat’s at the Seattle Center? Well, the Space Needle, for one. I almost didn’t want to do the Space Needle, after the Great Empire State Building Fiasco of 2012, but My Darling B really wanted to go up there so I went along, too. Thank goodness it was nothing like the experience we had at Empire State Building. We paid through the nose for a thirty-second elevator ride to the top, but once we were up there we found the observation deck was not thronged by angry masses of pushy adults hoisting bawling, miserable children over their heads. Instead, it was oddly like the imaginary observation deck of the Empire State Building you see in Sleepless in Seattle. Tourists strolled around, inside and out, some in quiet contemplation of the view, some goofing off with their camera phones, but almost all having a good time. I liked it a lot. I think B did, too. And we had beautiful weather for it.

The revolving restaurant on the lower floor, called SkyCity, was a slightly different story. B wanted to sit down for a drink, but they don’t do just drinks. A greeter meets you at the door to tell you flatly that you have to spend at least twenty-five bucks on food and drink if you want a seat in the revolving restaurant, and if you decide to sit down, your waiter reminds you within minutes after greeting you that there’s a twenty-five dollar minimum. But B really wanted to sit in the revolving restaurant, so, to get the complete tourist experience, we asked for a table and racked up a sixty dollar bill for noshies and a couple drinks, just to tick the Space Needle well and truly off our bucket list.

Well. I can tell you that, unless you order an entree at SkyCity, the staff will let you know in no uncertain terms that you, as far as they’re concerned, are little more than an offshoot of the Clampett family, and they are serving you only because it would be gauche to eject you. No, I take that back, I saw them round up a bunch of Amish people by shouting across the heads of the diners. I think they would’ve broken out the lassos if the whole lot hadn’t immediately returned to the lobby. Our waiter barely spoke to us after taking our order, and pointed out once more than we would not be entitled to free drinks unless we got the entree. Okay, feller. Whatever. My Darling B still got to twirl all the way around the Space Needle in your restaurant, so sniff your nose at us all you want, just do it way over there. Bye now.

After visiting the Space Needle gift shop, because it wouldn’t be a tourist trap without a gift shop, we went right around the corner to visit the Chihuly exhibit. I honestly don’t know what to say about this, other than Dale Chihuly sure knows how to make brightly-colored glass curlicues. That’s about all I got out of it. My Darling B, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough. “Maybe because I like beads. They’re like big glass beads.” Can’t argue with that; they really are. We spent about an hour there, me on a bench mostly, B happily snapping one photo after another, or getting me to pose for photos in front of a big glass curlicue, before we hopped on the monorail to return to the city center.

We made a quick stop at the hotel to freshen up, with an additional stop at the street cafe for our afternoon pick-me-up of espresso (me) and green tea latte with pumpkin art on top (B) before we hoofed it back down to the vicinity of the Public Market to meet a couple old buddies of mine from way back in the glory days of my Air Force career. They treated us to a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, and we treated them to a nightcap at Von’s 1000 Spirits. If you’re going to have a nightcap, by the way, Von’s is the place to get it. Just sayin’.

pacnw day 7 | 10:05 pm CDT
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  1. 1 This Is Drivel » Blog Archive » vacay drivel said at 8:37 pm on October 7th, 2014:

    […] Day 7 of our trip to the Pacific Northwest is up! You’re welcome. […]