That cute little snakey thing on the hood gives you fair warning of what’s under the hood should you think about that “race ya for pink slips” challenge.

As is our modus operandi, we have been cooling our heels at the local Elks Lodge while enjoying their bar and restaurant and adjoining golf course as well as the occasional pool-side concert with a 20-piece orchestra…

Now the problem with living in a place with so many amenities is we begin to get lazy and become content with just laying about reading books and playing on the Internet.  We do manage to drag ourselves away from the lodge whenever we need groceries and for an hour or so every morning when I go for a walk and my daredevil bride terrorizes walkers and joggers alike as she speeds along the riverside nature trail on her Ellen DeGeneres Townie bicycle scaring the bejesus out of 4-year olds on their tiny animal-shaped trikes.  The woman is becoming a genuine menace!

After 2 full weeks of wasting away in this laid back lifestyle we decided to throw caution to the wind and spend a Saturday in Seattle doing all the things which draw tourists to this area.  Although we have been here several times in the past, Seattle, like San Francisco, is always a joy to visit.

Also, like San Francisco, many of the prime attractions for tourists are located near the waterfront and parking anywhere in this area is very expensive and available spots fill up very early in the day, especially on weekends.  Here’s a hint: Leave the car. Take the boat!

Considering the value of copper in today’s market, it is a wonder that the bane of electric utilities, copper thieves, have yet to discover these beauties.

Puyallup is also home to Bumpy’s Classic Car Show and my favorite of the fleet, the 1941 Willys coupe, complete with one of those badass 800hp Cobra engines…

  Wheels And Waterways                                               August 10, 2012

Unfortunately, on this day, sanity prevailed and the fish were being gently handed over thereby precluding anyone being impaled by a determined swordfish or clobbered by a wayward halibut.  Though disappointed with the show, I think we all enjoyed the free samples of smoked salmon the crew were handing out as well as the banter between them as they filled orders for a variety of very expensive seafood.  This place ain’t cheap, folks!

Pike Place Market is best known for its fish market but it is also an excellent spot to pick up some fresh fruit and veggies…

Pike Place Market is a must see and many travelers consider it a necessary stop if only to rub the nose of Rachel the Pig for luck…

Notice that the Space Needle is orange?  For its debut at the 1962 World's Fair it was painted "Galaxy Gold."  Though usually white, it has been painted orange on the occasion of its 40th, and more recently, on April 21, 2012, its 50th anniversary.

We arrived in Seattle shortly before noon and our first order of business was…you guessed it: lunch!!  With so many great restaurants to choose from we decided on Elliot’s Oyster House nestled on the water’s edge…

Her mouth dropped open, eyes widened to the size of golf balls, steam blew from her ears, her hair went full on porcupiney and her head actually spun in 2 complete revolutions before coming to rest facing backward.  The next several moments were spent reassuring my Bride that my Senior Discount translated into a GREAT DEAL and we should grab it before our fellow "wheelers," most of whom were still in their teens, realized that we were receiving special treatment and handcuffed themselves to the machinery to prevent us from riding.  I consider myself very fortunate to have actually survived what we now lovingly refer to as “The Seattle Purchase.”

The view to the north from atop the Ferris Wheel includes the cruise ship terminals at Piers 66 and 91 as well as one of the Navy’s guided missile frigates which were in port for the Seattle SeaFair…

And to the south are the Mariners and Seahawks sports arenas as well as a veiled image of Mt Rainier, approximately 100 miles distant…

Having retired from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in California, eating in this place brings back all those fond memories of working back-to-back 12-hour shifts in the dark of night in driving rain surrounded by flashes of lightning which you try to convince yourself won’t find you even though you are standing beneath a thousand foot long 230,000 volt electrified steel structure that is taller than anything within 100 miles and your wet hands are firmly gripping a steel switch handle.  In retrospect, it may be that electrical workers are not the brightest bulbs in the box!  In addition to stacks of assorted insulators throughout the bar and restaurant area, they maintain the theme with solid copper single and double blade switchgear in the powder rooms…

This is the vendor you so often see in travel documentaries with the fish mongers tossing 50 pound salmon over the display cases to the cheers of the hundreds of gathered tourists standing with cameras at the ready to “catch” the catch…

And if you really want to make a good impression with a girl on a first date, you can always “say it with flowers”…

After a day of browsing though the Seattle waterfront we always enjoy one last stop at Kells Irish Pub in Post Alley for a cold glass of Harp Lager, some corned beef and cabbage and live Irish music. ‘til we meet again.  Hugs, Chuck & Kalyn

I had to forcibly dismount a half dozen ice cream laden toddlers in order to get this mostly unobstructed picture which still includes a couple of the little urchins who refused to go quietly into the night.  Rachel can be found in front of the Pike Place Fish Market.

Although we tend to shun all things which require a wait of 10 minutes or more, especially so if it is outdoors beneath a blazing sun, I convinced my fellow thrill seeker to ignore the blistering heat, dehydration and tsetse flies, as well as what promised to be an hour long wait, only to nearly lose the argument when she got close enough to the ticket booth to see this…

It’s difficult to believe that we have been gone from Yakima for nearly 3 weeks and have gone no further than Puyallup, some hundred or so miles west.  Puyallup is a moderately sized town and boasts a couple of Wal-Marts, a Costco, and an entire host of brand new never before tried by a Bryan restaurants!  One of our favorite local eateries is the Powerhouse Brewery…

While I went with my boring but reliable halibut fish and chips, my epicurean playmate dove into a hearty bowl of cioppino piled high with crab, fish, scallops, mussels and clams.  Considering the quality of the restaurant and its location, we found the prices reasonable for nearly everything, including the wine.  The one over-priced indulgence we allowed ourselves was the $26 per dozen oysters on the half shell.  Having just spent 6 months on Mobile Bay enjoying large Gulf oysters for 35 cents each, I had to do some fast talking to convince my ever frugal Bride to pay 6 times as much for something that was only one third the size.  And, honestly, they weren’t nearly as tasty.

Our next stop was the brand new waterfront Ferris wheel which opened only last month on the pier behind The Crab Pot restaurant…

A short drive to West Seattle will save you a lot of time, money and frustration.  The Water Taxi runs every hour from Alki Beach in West Seattle to Pier 50 on the Seattle waterfront which is within walking distance of Pioneer Square, the aquarium, Pike Place Market, great restaurants and nearly everything else that lures folks to the city.  The adult round trip fare is $7 and if you are an olde fart, such as myself, the fare is half price.  That’s $3.50 for those 65 and older.  There is plenty of FREE parking available near the dock and the boat ride offers some views you just don’t get in a car…