Home > Uncategorized > Finally, another vacation post

Finally, another vacation post

This time I have no excuse for a late post beyond being too jet-lagged and too busy catching up on DVRed shows.  Let’s see, I left off on Monday morning.  First thing we did was the ferry ride across Puget Sound, where they let us conduct a ceremony for the ashes of my father and grandmother.  They were very accommodating, and apparently do this as a regular service.  They stopped the ferry in the middle of the bay for us, and after words were said and the ashes consigned to the sea, they sounded the ferry’s horn in tribute to the departed, which was a very nice gesture.  I took no pictures of the ceremony — that’s private — but here’s a shot of the Seattle skyline from the back of the ferry, taken shortly before it:

Seattle skyline

The trip to the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum was disappointing, because the latter half of the combined museum apparently no longer exists.  All the SFM stuff was gone with only two exceptions.  The first was this:

Spinner 1

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...

 Yep, the Spinner car from Blade Runner, designed by the incomparable Syd Mead, still hangs from the ceiling, all lit up.  I think that writing on the side must be front-projection material (Scotchlite), the same stuff they use in road signs to reflect headlights, given how bright it is in photos regardless of angle.  Here’s another look:

Spinner 2

All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain.

 As you can see from the sign, the other residual bit of SF in the museum was the Battlestar Galactica exhibit that occupied a small display hall upstairs.  I wasn’t too interested in the stuff from the new series, though I did love the attention to detail on the Vipers:


"Caution: Do Not Stand in Front of Cannons." Gee,whyever not...?

 But I was far more enthusiastic about getting a look at this, a replica of the Galactica filming miniature from the original 1978 series, which is so very much cooler than the drab grey thing from the new show:

Galactica 1

Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny...

 Galactica 2

The last battlestar Galactica leads a ragtag fugitive fleet…

I tried taking a side view of the whole thing, but I was crouching and wobbly and the picture came out all blurry.  But these give the idea.  Too bad it’s just a replica, but it was neat to get a close look at the kitbashed details.

Dinner for me was a pizza slice at the Seattle Center food court, and that evening was the last I saw of Cousin Cynthia and her friend Drake, who had other places to go.  We parted with Uncle Clarence and Cousin Barbara after the ferry.  So I had Monday evening free to watch TV in my hotel room, and I just hung out in there on Sunday morning until checkout time.  It was good to get some time by myself to rest and decompress after the previous few eventful days.

After checking out, I decided to walk up to the University of Washington and check out the campus.  The really pretty hotel clerk cautioned that it was a long walk, but I overconfidently figured it would be within my tolerances.  She recommended a route that took me alongside Lake Union, and by the time I was halfway along the lakeside path, I was pretty worn out.  Part of the problem is that I was carrying my heavy backpack with me, since I don’t like to leave my laptop in hotel coat-check rooms (since the one time I did that, the screen got scratched).  Anyway, I managed to hold up until just across the drawbridge (drawbridge!) to the Fremont District, but then I found a bus stop and decided to ride the rest of the way.   I didn’t have the time or energy to see too much at the University, but I did get to visit the Suzzallo Library, a remarkable Gothic cathedral of a building, and the most gorgeous library I’ve been in since the New York Public Library Main Branch.  I hung out for a while in its amazing Graduate Reading Room:

Suzzallo Library reading room

Words fail me, but you shouldn't talk in a library anyway.

After that, I went to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture on the northwest corner of the university grounds.  I didn’t think to bring my camera with me when I checked my backpack at the front desk, so no pictures.  There were some interesting exhibits, with the upper level having natural-history displays of the fossils and geology of the region (including a plesiosaur skeleton) and the lower level focused on Pacific Rim cultural anthropology (my favorite exhibits were the ceremonial masks, especially the elaborate bird-head mask that opened up like a flower to reveal a human-head mask inside, part of a transformation ritual).

Once I was done there, my sister picked me up (she used to work there, as it happens, so she didn’t need directions) and took me to her and Larry’s place, going via the scenic route so I could see Green Lake up close.  Once there, I got to meet their two tomcats: Rupert, who’s an enormous brown tabby, and Hugo, who’s a younger, utterly black cat with yellow eyes.  Hugo was a bit shy, but Rupert spent much of the evening on my lap, and I was a bit concerned that if he didn’t want to get off, I might have to miss my flight, because he’s simply huge.  Strong, too.  He likes to wag his tail, and having that happen when he’s sitting on your lap is something like being beaten in the gut with fuzzy nunchuks.  Anyway, it was a nice evening with nice food (thanks, Larry) and leftover wedding cake.  And once I got too sleepy to be good company, I got a ride to the airport.

The flight home wasn’t as carefree as the flight out.  First off, there was renovation going on above  my gate, so I barely avoided having a chunk of ceiling fall on me (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but not much).  Then, when the plane started to taxi out, there was a clunking noise from the port engine, and we had to go back to the gate for a “maintenance issue” (which I assumed was related).  When we finally got started again, the clunking briefly resumed before going away, and I was kind of nervous the whole flight about something going wrong.  Obviously nothing did, but I was stiff and sore from all that walking I did and couldn’t get comfortable in my seat.  So I didn’t get any sleep on my overnight flight.  And when we got in, the signage directed me to the wrong baggage carousel, so it took a while to discover where my bag was.  The one good thing that happened was that on the express bus back to Cincinnati, the people who got on ahead of me overpaid, so I saved about 90 cents on the fare back home.

The first thing I did when I got home was to take a nap for a couple of hours.  Then I got up and just web-surfed and watched recorded shows all day.  I got really sleepy and went to bed at 9 PM,  slept for about 11 hours, and was still sleepy the next day.  I’m still getting readjusted.

Oh, and the DVR failed to tape Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  And by the time I realized that and checked the VCR I’d programmed as a backup, it had already taped over it (because I’d stupidly rewound without checking what was on it, figuring the DVR had taken care of everything).  So I guess it’s not a foolproof machine.

So that was my big Seattle vacation/family gathering.  Now I’m back home, I’ve caught up with my recorded shows, and it’s about time to refocus on my writing, specifically several original projects I have in the works.  *Yawwnnn*  Once I get a little more caught up on sleep.

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