Sunday, May 6, 2007
May 5 --Vancouver to Seattle
We're back to blogging. There are three posts today, so you'll have to do a lot of reading. We now have an excellent internet connection to help us catch-up. Mt. St. Helens is located about 50 miles north of Vancouver and about 60 miles off I-5. We wanted a closer look, so we drove the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway to within 10 miles of the Mountain. (It was actually more impressive from a distance.) We also lucked out with the weather and could see the mountain. We then drove on to Seattle with a stop in Tacoma at the Glass Museum. The main attraction at the museum is a display of glass art by a Tacoma native named Dale Chihuly. The glass objects are displayed outdoors on a Bridge from the Museum to Tacoma's Union Station. That's what's in the display cases in the picture. After checking into our hotel, we headed downtown with the sole goal of seeing the Space Needle. We discovered a tour by the "Duck" that was ready to leave, so we jumped on board. The "Duck" looks like a boat and runs on land and sea. Our guide was Captain Skip Town. He said his real name was Oliver Town (it sounds like "all over town"), but he had to get a nickname that was more suitable. It was a very entertaining and informative tour. One of the things we learned was the difference between a floating house and a house barge. The floating house is permanent and the barge can be moved around. Floating houses have street addresses and city water and sewer. The floating house under construction in the picture is being built by a Microsoft Executive at a cost of between $3-$4 million. Even though it is a floating house, it has a cement basement. After the tour, we went up in the Space Needle for a panoramic view of Seattle. Again, we lucked out with the weather and could see Mt. Rainier. Hope you can spot it in the picture. If anyone can, our Seattle native friends, Leia and Alan, should spot it. Also, Dickie should be able to pick it out through the wispy clouds. The sun does shine in Seattle, but the natives don't want you to know.