“What happened to the lake?”, Ellen asked (whined?) a moment ago.
Heavy Fog coming off Lake Sammamish obscured the sunrise this morning. Temperatures at 5AM were 47F, 21 degrees higher than yesterday morning. We’re in the West Coast weather system. The mid-west weather system often gets cold air circulated from the north.
Traffic is streaming by, people going to work in Bellevue and Redmond, many at Microsoft I’d guess. The last time I visited Bellevue was in 1969. Antioch, “my” college, is a work/study year round college. I went to Seattle “own plans” which means I’ll figure out what I’m doing for work when I get there. In the winter of 1969 Seattle’s economy was a disaster. Boeing was laying off workers; I was competing with out of work PHDs for dishwasher jobs, seriously. I had one job in Bellevue doing yard work for a wealthy woman. That and a bad Arby’s experience is all I know of Bellevue. Today’s plan includes a trip to Nespresso and Microsoft. We’ll wait for the fog and traffic to subside before heading off.
On site showers vary so much. Some campsites in the woods have fantastic heated showers. Some “resorts” have dirty showers with poor shower heads. It’s hit or miss. I took a shower here at Vasa Park. The shower curtain rod stood outside the shower dam at the floor. Whomever showered ahead of me just let the water slop all over the floor. This led to some mud and grass in the “dry” shower area. This is not the fault of Vasa Park. I simply moved the shower rod back a few inches and “solved” the problem going forward. This was a pay shower, bummer. I had to go back to Li’l beast and bring a handful of quarters with me. I put three quarters in the slot, as the third dropped into the slot I read “10” on the meter, then “15”. Fifteen minutes for 75 cents? Well OK!
Moment of truth. With water flowing and the handle turned to hot, the cool water become piping hot in seconds. Great! Good flow, good shower head (loose, but held position when repositioned). It was a very good shower with plenty of hot water. I stopped well ahead of the 15 minute timer. Like most campsite showers, there could be more wall hangers for clothes, towel, bathroom bags, etc. The shower curtain should be a few inches longer and the rod should be permanently installed. The single shower is in an enclosed room which I thought strange. There is little air flow, though there was no sense of mildew. It worked well for me.
“We could stay here another day”, Ellen surprised me this morning. She’s usually the one to want to go on. We’ll see what Susie has to say about it.
Seattle’s Nespresso boutique is in Bellevue. We chose not to stay another night, but to boogie on down to Nespresso. Our GPS had us going up and down hill in a residential neighborhood that finally opened into a shopping center with a parking structure. Our 11 ft 3 inch motorhome will not go in a parking structure. Ii drove around the rather large mall and parked in a neighboring parking lot. I’m getting acclimated to the “authorized vehicles only others will be towed at owner’s expense”. I parked carefully putting Li’l Beast centered between the narrow parking strips. We were a tad longer than the space, oh well.
We walked back to the Bellevue Square Mall. Inside GPS guided us to “right over” the boutique. “It must be on the level below”. I walked down ahead of Ellen, who stopped at an information desk to ask. There was nothing on this level where the boutique should have been. I turned back to find Ellen coming toward me. She said, “It’s down another level in Macy’s Home” We would never have found it had Ellen not asked!
Walking out we passed a Peloton Showroom right beside the Tesla showroom. I just had to stop and talk to both the Peloton gal and the Tesla fellow. It’s not surprising that the two sit side by side. The companies have similar philosophies and target a similar demographic with high end niche products that they hope will become mainstream.
With mail in bags for recycling our empties and a number of new sleeves of coffee, we went in search of hair products (for Ellen). Back at the information desk, they said the one hair care shop had closed. “Is there a Keil’s?” The info women laughed. “It’s right behind you.” And it was directly behind and facing us. Ellen purchased what she wanted and we headed back to Li’l Beast.
On the way we stopped into QFC, a Whole Foods meets Andronico’s Market for some supplies.
I had wanted to see “the original Starbucks” shop. I remembered it was in a market near the piers downtown Seattle. Google turned up Pike Market and Pike Market Starbucks as the first Starbucks in Washington. We were off on another adventure.
Parking in downtown Seattle is “an adventure”. GPS guided us right to Pike Market and lack of parking guided us right past and up a number of blocks. About eight blocks up and a few blocks off the water, there was pay parking with either website or phone access. Great. I pulled over, dialed the number, and was put through telephone hell for a while. After literally five tries and two hang-ups (the parking service said, “goodbye”) Ii was able to establish an account, my license plate number, the parking zone I was parking in, and then went round about parking time: 240 minutes “I’m sorry that zone does not allow it”, 180 minutes “I’m sorry that zone does not…” HANGUP. Try again. It turned out, had I paid closer attention to the sign above my noggin, that parking in this zone was available until 3PM after which vehicles would be towed. Oh, OK! Redial, recode, ask for 90 minutes (up till 3pm), accepted, we’re good.
Sculpture in The Garden
Pay parking organized this way is quite convenient, if frustrating when first setting it up. With just 90 minutes to peruse the harbor, we walked quickly. Unknowingly we had parked across from the sculpture garden. We looked briefly, but walked on quickly. A long train interrupted our brisk walk. Should we turn back and walk down a block or two or should we wait out the train There was a single engine pulling, we waited.
We walked past the Aquarium, past a shop screaming “steamed clams”, down to and past the Pike Market and Starbucks. I remembered an African Art shop around the corner from the Pike Market; we went looking for it. We knew we’d have to turn back to rescue Li’l Beast from the meter maid. We didn’t find the African shop and we skipped Starbucks too. We did have some sautéed clams on our way back.
Free Shuttle? Well Take This “Next Time”
I noticed parking along the wharf, perfect for our motorhome, but only for 2 hours at a time. Not good enough. Back at Li’l Beast, Ellen had heard back from Jerry. Sunday afternoon would be good to meet with them. “Let’s go on to Victoria” “Ok” “I’ll drive north. We’ll find a campsite near Port Angeles. We can take the ferry to Victoria tomorrow.” I dialed Port Angela into Rand McNally and set off. I asked Ellen to navigate to Port Angela to double check Rand’s navigation. The two diverged immediately. We followed our smart phone until I became increasingly suspicious. We were going down local roads, not headed to highways. Clearly we were not headed to a bridge. Fearing that the smartphone app was leading us to a low height or weight limited bridge, I followed Rand McNally more and growing uncomfortable with the streets we were navigating and uncertain the the GPS were accurate. After a while the two agreed and we started down a road with a “ferry parking” lane. Oh, we’re taking a ferry! We stopped in line for the Edmond-Kingston ferry on the way to Port Angeles. We missed the next ferry, there were 30 openings and they filled well before we even started moving. We did make the next ferry.
Waiting for the Ferry
As I pulled onto the ferry I heard, “To The Left, Don’t Hit Anything!” I suppose he’s seen some strange driving getting on and off the ferry. The ferry ride seemed short. We had time to walk the mid and upper decks, look around, pickup some brochures, then get back to our motor home in time to start up and depart. Port Angela is a fifty mile drive from Kingston. It was already 5:40PM, we would arrive at any campground near Port Angela late. Ellen found a number of campsites, some a few miles from Port Angela, some much closer to us. As a last resort we could stay at a “WallyWorld” in Port Angela. Ellen chose a KOA six miles from Port Angela. We wouldn’t have to leave very early to make the 8:20AM ferry to Victoria.
Magnificent Mt Rainier from the Edmond Ferry
I drove past the KOA and had to U-Turn after mistaking closed truck scales for an exit. I was not happy. At the KOA, there were a number of sites we could take. I drove around trying to find them, looking for 502 in the 800 section. When we finally did find 504, Ellen preferred 502. Ok, 502. Put the money in the envelope, put the envelop under the door, drive to 502 and park. Noooooo. Ellen wasn’t happy with the way I parked. Now less happy than before, I re-parked. *Whew*.
We didn’t take that many photos today. I haven’t gathered Ellen’s photos. This post is pretty sparse.
Today felt like a full day. Nespresso, sauteed clams, walking downtown, “camped” and setup to go to Victoria tomorrow. ALL Good.