Day 2: Friday May 6th, 2005 View Photos for This Day

While I had a rather early start to the day, I let Adam sleep in, just a little. We got up and made our way down to Pike Market. It was a sort of combination Farmer's Market and Fisherman's Wharf. We did get to see them throw a couple of fish, which was pretty exciting, along with seeing the famous monk fish. We had our late breakfast at the Crumpet Shop there, and they were really really good. Mine had orange marmalade, ricotta cheese and almond butter, which is kind of a weird combo, but worked. Adam's had an “Imported English Cheese” (remarkably like cheddar) melted on the top.

We wondered around the downtown area before deciding to take the next “Underground Seattle” tour. It met in Pioneer Square which 10 or so blocks away, so we strolled down 1st street poking our heads into shops and just generally taking our time. We got to the tour about an hour early (as was recommended) and bought our tickets. I was hitting a low point in my energy, and thought it might be good to chug some caffeine while we waited. Luckily there were a multitude of options in the square -- it is Seattle after all, and we settled on Starbucks for Chai and hot chocolate.

It was eventually time to go over for our tour. A large crowd of people were ushered into a bar lined with wooden benches. I was a little concerned about the size of the group, how could everyone hear on the walking tour bit? It was quickly apparent that there were 3 tour guides that we would be divided between and each group would take a slightly different path.

The tour begins with a short history of the foundation of Seattle, and of the man who began the Underground tour. It was very funny; many of the jokes were kind of corny, but pretty entertaining. Soon, we left to explore the underground of Seattle. Basically what happened was the city burned down in the late 1800's, and there was a bit of a conflict about how to go about rebuilding it. The town wanted to grade the very steep cliff behind the town, in order to raise the town up a bit off the tidal flats (which had been causing all sorts of issues, from floods to sewage crises'). However, as the town had no money in which to complete the project, and the merchants were chomping at the bit to build up their stores, the city decided they would fill in the town as they could. They instructed the builders to make the first and sometimes second floors plain, while focusing their marble entrances etc on the second and third floors.

As the city got more money, they elevated the streets up to be even with the second or third floors. They built a wall on either side of the street and filled in the hole with dirt, mud etc. It took much longer for them to finish up the sidewalks, so for some time, you would have to climb up a ladder to cross the street. The tour takes you through the original covered sidewalks and first floors of some of the old buildings. While there isn't that much to see, it was a really neat story, and very unusual.

After the tour, we grabbed a quick pizza lunch in the beautiful sunshine on the way back to our hotel. The irony of it being warm in Seattle and raining and cold back home was not lost on us. We had about an hour before heading out to our friends, the Dryfus', who live out in Sammamish. The drive was beautiful; it took us over a bridge through Mercer Island and over Lake Washington. The blue of the lake and the green of the trees were stunning.

We made it to their house in about 30 minutes, and got settled in for a Mexican feast! It was a ton of fun to catch up with the whole family, and see their house. We stayed until I got very sleepy, and we needed to get back to pack up for our early morning departure. After dropping me off at the hotel, Adam returned the rental car so we had one less thing to do in the morning and walked back. We both packed up and hit the hay.