Cruisin’

6 09 2009

I am battling with technology and my camera. Uploading photos has become incredibly tedious, although I think I’ve hit on a good size. Due to the learning curve, I’m behind on my blog.

Also, I had hundreds of photos to go through. I take too many, but that’s better than not taking enough, right?

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago two of my best friends took me on a cruise for my birthday.

You read that right.

A cruise.

I have such great friends.

We headed out on a Thursday morning, the early sun only just starting to clear the tops of the tall buildings.

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Remember this. There will be a quiz later.

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Down on the pier, it was fairly quiet. None of the restaurants were open yet.

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I think this might be my favorite photo of the day.

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The sky was too hazy to get a really good color, but I liked all the closed umbrellas.

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Here are my two beautiful friends, Amie and Tami, making jokes about the paparazzi. (I told them I was just trying to check my exposure.)

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My ticket!

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We rode a bus to our starting point. I couldn’t help taking a picture (albeit a poor one) of the Space Needle. It’s Seattle’s mascot. In fact, I think if you took a picture of the Seattle skyline without the Space Needle, no one would know what city it was. This is the northeast view. We went all the way around and ended up on the southwest side. 

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Our tour guide, John Erik (a theater and Shakespeare major), gave us all sorts of interesting facts about the buildings and bridges we passed. He was a little bit annoying, but his informativeness (is that a word?) outweighed that. I also found it funny that our captain, Christi, called him John Erik a couple of times and then slipped a Chris Erik in there. Double names are so confusing!

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I took many, many bridge pictures, but I won’t foist even half of them on you. There’s just something about a bridge that completely fascinates me.

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There were lots of corporations right along the water. I can’t even imagine the worth of their real estate.

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Real live tugboats.

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The name of our ship. I got a lot of mileage out of that. (And the jokes never got old, either.)

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This is a reflection of the three of us when we went through the lock. It makes me wish I would have spent the $10 for the cheesy photo they took of us before we started. At least you could see us in that one. Hindsight . . .

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This is our boat, with the lock closing behind us. Look how high we are compared to the railing.

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Now look at the railing. It’s ingenious. We went from a freshwater lake (Lake Elliot, I believe) to the salt water of the Puget Sound.

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Coming around the horn . . .

There’s definitely a different smell on the ocean, and the water even frothed differently. As we went past this wooded spot, John Erik pointed out the various places where landslides have crashed homes onto the rocks below. I only had my short lens, though, so I didn’t get any pictures.

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Again, the Space Needle . . .

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And another. (I think this is its best side.)

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That little building on the far right was built around the turn of the century, and it was the tallest building in the Seattle skyline until the 60s. That’s a lot of construction over the past 50 years.

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The building in the middle (formerly known as the Washington Mutual Building; I’m not sure if it’s still called that or not, and John Erik didn’t say) has been voted the “nicest looking skyscraper” in Seattle for several years running. (Raise your hand if you knew buildings had beauty contests. Not me.)

We spent about 2 1/2 hours on the boat, and it was completely lovely. The perfect day for a cruise.

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Afterwards, we ate here, where I had the best pizza of my life, I think. Incidentally, we also had a great view of this from the balcony:

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I couldn’t tell you which side this is.

I’m all for iconic, but its omnipresence is almost a little creepy.