Sunday, June 21, 2009


I'll be traveling to Ohio on my birthday this year so Dominic decided to plan a birthday celebration one week early. I was OK with this so long as I could keep celebrating for the duration of the week. Having been born on December 26th, he's not much for creating a big to-do over birthdays, but I'm hoping to change this in him the longer we're together.

He came over early yesterday and brought Cranberry Almond Crunch (the best cereal ever) with him. We had some breakfast and then he surprised me with a new (to me) older bicycle. This would be our mode of transportation for our "Seeing Seattle" themed day.

The seeing began with a trip down the hill to a nearby neighborhood, Fremont. Each year this community throws a big festival for the summer solstice. We enjoyed looking at a collection of decorated cars, riding the European Super Slide and watching a solstice parade.

The Fremont Solstice parade only has three rules: 1. No printed words or logos, 2. No motor vehicles, 3. No animals. You can imagine (and I'll show you below) what we saw.

The parade, as interesting as it is, had a new addition this year. Just before the costumed dancers, musicians and stilt-walkers emerge there's a large parade of people on their bicycles. People riding bikes alone may not seem like much, but very few of these bikers wear more than their helmets. Don't worry, there's decorative paint. For the record, Dominic and I did not bike in this portion of the parade.

That's a lot of dentures!

The European Super Slide--It's really fast!

There were probably ten women dressed up in these elaborate costumes. Something related to ice... They were beautiful.

Dominic...under the parade... can you see him?

If someone would have made me judge over the parade, this group would have won my award for most creative costume/messaging combination. Their outfits were made out of plastic bags and they were chanting something about reduce, reuse recycle so that bags don't end up in the ocean. There was a man dressed up like a big fish somewhere towards the back of the pack.

It's a bull, and smoke blows out of its nostrils!

This man (a tree) was my favorite stilt walker.

From Fremont we biked to the base of the space needle and, much to my surprise, boarded the most thrilling form of tourism that exists: The Ducks! For those who live or work on the Duck route, I apologize. I'm sure it's a quite a nuisance to have to listen to a car/boat load of people singing the YMCA and shrieking at every Starbucks they pass, but for those inside the Duck it's a blast. I learned all kinds of interesting facts about the city like: The space needle was originally orange, where the Sleepless in Seattle house is located on Lake Union and how much the owners tried to sell it for last year (more than $2 million), how many times a day the Fremont bridge goes up and down (35) and that Seattle is the largest ferry system in the U.S. It was so exciting my face hurt from smiling all day long.

We returned to Queen Anne for a little rest and then took a picnic dinner to my favorite park in the whole city: The SAM sculpture park.

I crawled, exhausted, in to bed-- loving this city and my dear fiance for letting me see it with him.


Peggy said...

What a fun day. I think that Dom is probably still confused about birthdays because we started celebrating his birthday on his half birthday when he was 2. (the reason of course was because no one felt like getting up a big party the day after Christmas) I maintain that he had the best birthdays because people sometimes remembered him on both "real and half" birthdays, but he remembers that some years people forgot to remember either because they thought that they had already given him something on "the other one". Poor boy. But he does have the distinction of being in Iowa one year and Grandma Almquist baked him a cake, cut it in half and only frostened half (I think that she threw the other half away!!) No wonder the boy is traumitized. Personally, I am so glad that your birthday is on his half birthday because I will never forget it!!! (or his) Peg

Lina said...

What a great day! I am glad you have a mode of transportation to truly explore the nooks and crannies of Seattle. I'm sure you will have many more ventures to blog about. Who knows, if you truly like this biking thing you could do a west coast trek and come and visit Mark and I down here:)

Lara Kretler said...

That all sounds wonderful! Glad you had a great birthday celebration. You make Seattle sound so great - I can't wait to visit someday.