"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Highlights of Staycation, Day 1, North

Because my husband and I are stuck at home this year for Spring Break we decided to take a series of day trips to investigate the weird curiosities Western Washington has to offer. Yesterday we mapped out a full day of adventures which took us north of our home in Puyallup.

First stop, Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton to see
the final resting place of Jimi Hendrix
After his death in 1970, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix was buried in an obscure, simple plot. A few years ago, his remains were exhumed and relocated to to this large memorial his family built on the cemetery grounds with access from the street and room for the many fans who visit to park.
If you look really closely you can see lipstick marks on Jimi Hendrix' cheeks left by admiring fans.
At this point I cued up my phone to play music appropriate for the day on Pandora Radio.
First song: Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix

Next stop: Fremont area of Seattle, via the I-90 floating bridge.
We parked near this circa 1950s Cold War rocket which was moved in the 1990s to become a landmark in the Fremont area of Seattle. At one time people could insert a few coins to make steam appear, making it seem like the rocket was ready for blast-off. A sign nearby says that it is tipped just a bit so that it's trajectory aims at Seattle City Hall.

Waiting for the Interurban

Created in the 1979, this Richard Beyer sculpture grouping is named Waiting for the Interurban and it is a favorite spot to decorate and personalize. As you see in the photo above, we (temporarily) added an Oregon Ducks jacket to a gentleman waiting for the bus.

Vladimir Lenin Statue
Moved to Seattle in the 1990s.  A teacher found it on a scrap heap in Czechoslovakia and paid to have it moved here. Lenin often gets decorated, painted, or dressed up. This has to be one of the weirdest and most unexpected sights in the city.
Fremont Troll, under the Aurora Bridge

The troll, made of steel re-bar, wire, and concrete is clutching an actual VW Bug which you can barely see in this shot. We hit a crease when one group of tourists were leaving and before another group arrived so no one is crawling on the troll at this moment.

JP Patches, the clown of early local TV fame

JP Patches was the host of a popular kid's show in the early years of local Seattle television. We saw this sculpture as we were leaving the Fremont District. Don parked illegally and jumped out of the car to get these shots.
Since we were walking around to see the sights in Fremont we didn't have any theme music playing.

Next stop: The Panama Hotel
Made famous by the book, On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
The Panama Hotel still houses items left behind by families who were rounded up in the Japanese Internment following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in WWII. We drank a pot of tea and ate shortbread and sesame seed cookies while listening to music of the era on 78 speed records, played on an old record player.

The Panama Hotel tea room wasn't quite what I expected but it was fun to feel like we were stepping back in time and learning about the city's past at the same time. In the photo above Don is looking through a glass panel to the items left behind by Japanese-Americans as they were being sent away. Many never came back for their things when the war was over.
Back in the car. Cue the music to the 1940s big band sound. First song, "In the Mood" by Glen Miller.

Last stop: The Hat and Boots, now located in Oxbow Park in south Seattle (moved here in 2003.) They were once part of a gas station and an obvious roadside attraction. The hat was the office and boots were the restrooms.

The weather held most of the day only sprinkling on us for a few minutes at the Troll. Here, our last stop of the day, the sun broke through the clouds and we had a glorious few minutes alone in the small neighborhood park with a huge hat and pair of boots.

On our way home we listened to Western Swing music. First song, "Bob Wills is Still the King" by Asleep at the Wheel. Plenty of slide guitar and fiddling to fill the car as we drove home.

Today: we head south: Mima Mounds, Black houses of Olympia, and Tiffany chandeliers.


  1. Wow great day trip! Love the photos. A few of these weren't there when I left Seattle in 1993, so I'm glad you updated me. The Fremont area was fun. Thanks for the Hendrix photo, and the Panama Hotel (I liked Jamie Ford's novel!). I wouldn't expect Lenin. Pretty crazy.

  2. So many of those places I've never been and they look and sound fascinating. What a beautiful photo of you at the Panama Hotel. Spring break agrees with you, my friend!


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.