My uncle messaged me on Facebook on Tuesday asking if I was going to make it to Vancouver. I thought he’s been spending the majority of his time in Thailand since getting married a few years ago to a Thai woman, so I never even thought to reach out to him when I was planning this trip.
He had some work lined up in Canada, though — he’s a flamenco guitarist — so he’s in Vancouver for a couple more weeks.
So I needed to free up a day to go see him, which meant that I needed to condense two of my Seattle days. I decided to head to Vancouver on Day 11, which meant that Day 10 needed to encompass all of Fremont and Downtown.
Tako and I headed off early, straight to Fremont, which I was pretty sure was going to be my favorite part of Seattle.
Spoilers: It was totally my favorite until I saw Ballard.
I’m going to rush through this day a bit because Tako and I did a lot in a short amount of time, and a lot of it was pretty bad and I don’t want to dwell on that stuff.
Our first stop was the Fremont Troll, along with about fifty other people who were already there by 8 a.m. Everyone was politely waiting for their turn to take a picture, and I didn’t want to queue up, so I snapped one from the side while they were changing shifts of models, and moved on.
He is pretty cute, though. And he has a pretty cool view.
Next on my list was the segment of the Berlin Wall just down the street from the Troll. Mountain View has two segments of the wall as well on display at their public library. But theirs are encased in glass to protect them. The segment in Fremont is free standing, so you can reach right out and touch it.
The ones in Mountain View are covered in the graffiti the Wall was famous for, and this slab is raw and broken, with bits of visible rebar poking through the concrete all over it. Somehow, this segment embodied the Wall to me more than the pieces in Mountain View ever have.
Tako nearly jumped up onto it, seeing it merely as a great lookout spot. I grabbed him at the last second, thank goodness. Close call.
From there, we found the Center of the Universe sign, and tried to find as much street art as possible.
We stopped by a Starbucks (sorry, Mark; it was necessary when in Seattle), then walked from Fremont to the most northern South Lake Union Streetcar stop at the most southern point of Lake Union.
We walked the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop, which follows the edge of Lake Union. I passed many signs proclaiming Lake Union as the “jewel of Seattle” along the way. It’s quite pretty!
The streetcar is super clean; way nicer than any of the public transit in San Francisco. But the people on the streetcar were the first clue I had that Tako wasn’t exactly welcome in the city. We got enough side-eye that I double-checked to confirm that dogs were allowed on the streetcar. They are.
We swung through Pike Place (dogs can walk by the kiosks that line the street; only service dogs can go into the structures), and saw the epic line for the Starbucks down there. I think the wait must be about an hour and a half for a cup of coffee from that location.
Fun fact: The Pike Place Starbucks wasn’t the original Starbucks. However, the first one closed back in the 70s and moved to the Pike Place storefront, so it’s still the oldest Starbucks. Also, the original was only a few blocks from there, so does it really matter? Your call.
We headed over to the Olympic Sculpture Park; that place is so peaceful and awesome. We wound up sitting for about an hour, just watching locals and tourists eating lunch or taking photos. You can see some of our bench’s view on my IG stories.
The park also has a view of the Space Needle, which was as close as I was willing to get to that. I could see the crowds of people on the observation deck from our bench, and it stressed me out even a good mile away.
We walked through Myrtle Edwards Park and saw the globe.
I was heading towards the Queen Anne neighborhood, but Tako was panting pretty hard. So I decided that Tako was too hot to keep walking, and we cut over to get on the 62 bus.
I’m going to fastforward to when we were safely back in Fremont, the land of bliss and comfort. Lured by a Four Roses sign, I wound up getting a table on the gorgeous patio of Triangle Spirits.
And we ordered a little medicine to treat the awfulness left behind by hostility.
The bartender (or maybe chef?) came out to say hello to Tako and bring him some water, which did wonders to soothe Tako’s fear. It’s amazing to me how easy it is for Tako to shake things off. He wants people to love him so badly that even a smidge of affection will wipe out anything that came before.
Maybe I should try to be more like my dog?
We were heading to my friend Isaac’s for dinner, so I took a detour to the Magnusson off-leash dog park. Where I discovered that they have a treat truck at the park!
Note: They have nothing for humans. Bring your own snacks.
Tako tuckered himself out, just in time for Isaac to make us an amazing dinner of grilled corn & drumsticks, baked beans, tangy ginger coleslaw, and a homemade Georgia mustard bbq sauce.
I brought store-bought pie and cider. Like a loser.
I also met Isaac’s roommates, Ben and David. Ben had a few recommendations for my trip, including a stop at Nickerson so that I can camp near Cape Cod. I’m getting so many recommendations from everyone I talk to that I’m going to start a recommendations page to keep it all in one place.
Feel free to send me recs, too! I have a contact page here on the blog, but I’m also on IG & Twitter, or just comment on the new Rec page. I’ll add to it as they come in.
I got home too late to see Sumit & Ashwini, unfortunately, but I was getting up at 5 a.m. so it was probably better to go straight to bed anyway.
No High & Low for this day.
Listening to: “Rock the Casbah” The Clash