Friday, February 29

Where You Are

Robin's been gone from home almost 12 years now. We haven't had the opportunity to see where she is most of the time. A trained journalist, there's nothing lacking in her written descriptions; and she does send pictures- but it is still hard to visualize her world.
(Photo = Graduation from North High School w/I.B. Diploma)

The dilapidated house she lived in with 5 or 6 roommates when she graduated from BYU was impossible to describe; seeing it in person shouted volumes. It is the exposed electrical wires sparking by the leaking, rotted shower (just for starters) that will condemn the LDS slumlord that shamelessly profited by it when he stands before God at the judgment bar.

She has described multi-colored walls and the wishful plumbing of the tiny village at the base of an active volcano in Mexico, and tick-infested, dirt floor homes she visited as a missionary in Brazil. We saw some great pictures of her dodging scorpions and champion-sized cockroaches from thatched roof African huts she helped rebuild in Mozambique. We heard about G.A.'s she bumped shoulders with and the oppressive regulations suffered in the Church's Barlow Building in Washington D.C. where she lived during her internship. We imagined her apt. in Arlington (though 2 of her siblings got to see for themselves) when she was a producer at the t.v. station and the tiny hardwood floor apt. she rented solo in the beautiful Shenandoah River Valley area of Virginia where she was a t.v. reporter/anchor/writer.

Finally ~ we have been together with her in her newly married world in Seattle! Our night-time approach revealed the city and its trademark Spaceneedle gleaming like a be-jeweled magical post card. While Christian was at work, his wife played tour guide. Our hotel was within walking distance of the 'needle', which was very convenient and a lot of fun. These are the walking shoes of choice. But before we went anywhere, we had this to look at:...a 2 man jacuzzi in full view of the t.v., the kitchenette and the 2 full-sized beds for the girls! This was not very convenient and probably wouldn't be a lot of fun unless you are a partying rock star. Asia borrowed one of Robin's bathing suits and relished a good soak. Too bad this was not documented.

Defying a totally gloomy forecast, we enjoyed sunshine and completely unobstructed views of the breathtakingly beautiful Sound and the majestic, snow-capped Olympic Range. This was very good news for a Spaceneedle observation deck experience.You KNOW you're not in Phoenix when this is everywhere, ever-present:
Did you know moss flowers? I didn't. Here it is doing its thing. Dismiss the small-scale and pretend it is a mass of trees atop a great, granite cliff face. Do you see it?
Here are the girls, doing their thing:
The Public Market is a must-see. Abutting the wharf, it is a multi-leveled open air collection of crafts and wares, absolutely amazing fresh cut flowers, good food, interesting street musicians and of course ~ the famous fish market. Bidee ("Bee-dee" aka Robin) insisted we had to stand and wait for the fishermen to "throw a fish". We asked, "Why?" She said, "Because they're going to throw a fish!" After positioning ourselves, it wasn't long before a strange turn of events found Rachel up behind the fish counter (Robin said she's never seen anyone get asked to go up there before) getting pointers on how to catch an enormous, slimy, gutted fish almost half her size from a very burly, very hairy rubber-aproned fisherman. Why? Because they were going to throw it at her! The promised crowd magically materialized, and before we knew itthe fish was airborne, the fishermen were loudly chanting in unison, and Ray caught it to cheers and applause all around. UN-believable.

This is our beautiful, accomplished, A-personality daughter with her impressionable little sister. We are always telling her that life isn't so serious - lighten up. Admittedly, this could be the result of the stunning 200 yd. monorail ride - I don't know...

We rode a ferry to Bainbridge Island. The ferry was huge! Tons of cars rolled into it's gaping belly while scores of people rushed aboard like there was a prize for first place. Inside were hot drinks, sandwiches, snacks, fresh pop-corn, newspapers and arcade games. It was incredible all the stuff supplied to keep people comfortable on their 30 minute ferry ride. We chose to tackle hurricane force winds on deck to gawk at the wonderful views.Saturday Christian could join us for our tour of the infamous Seattle Underground. It's like this; settlers picked the wrong spot to build and ignored pesky flooding that followed high-tide twice a day - until toilets were introduced. This being a brilliant idea, everyone had to have one - but once again, the laws of physics produced a spectacular back-flush from the humble "crapper" spouting 4-5' high IF you happened to be stupid enough to attempt a flush at high-tide. A fire conveniently leveled down-town and Seattlelites decided to create their own physics by building on top of the old foundations. They went straight up about 13' to 18'. Some of what was the original ground level is preserved for us tourists to explore. Our guide was really funny.I thought it was the inspiration of the "crapper" that gave him his good humor, but maybe it was because we all looked like this:Christian is unaware of the underworld living-dead attempting to savagely bite him.Asia was distraught when we saw graffiti was welcome at this point in the tour and no one had a sharpie. She was so ready to add to this lame post:
It's just as well. She signed the guest book thus: "This tour made me have to pee." Emerging up into fresh air again was a relief. Our historical adventure easily prompted really deep thoughts from everyone - well, almost everyone.Downtown is a rich display of colorful old brick, stone and ironwork.The narrow alleys teased with contrasts of light and shadow. It seemed like all we needed was a suspenseful movie soundtrack behind some of these scenes:This is Gasworks Park across Union Lake. The abandoned refinery is not considered an eye-sore, but is celebrated for "going green".This is the top of the last hill facing the water.
This point is the supernatural convergence of freezing Arctic winds that killed Woolly Mamoths in a matter of seconds while the locals frolic apparently immune to its effects. What a perfect spot to fly a kite! Or two, or three!Bi ("Bee" aka Robin) and her reflection during our final lunch together.
Good-bye, Seattle. Good-bye, Christian's car. Good-bye, Redskins' license plate holder.
Good-bye, dashing young Attorney husband who loves Robin,
Good-bye, our Beautiful Baby Bi.


Yaj said...

What a terrific, terrific photo/journalistic tour! And a handsome family to boot...! And here I thought those LDS slumlords only existed in South America! Kudos to Rachel (I saw a guy catch those fish too, but he was thoroughly trained, certified and slimed), great traveling shoes (the best), I will have to see if the underground has the same bladder effect on me some day, and finally, LOVED the Redskin license plate holder. Your travel guides humor is genetic, though from one particular strand... Thanks for the ride!

Heidi said...

Looks like it turned out to be a fun trip. Rachel had been talking about it for a while.

Cynthia said...

That is one part of the country I have never visited, but would love to. Thanks for the tour. It looks like you had a marvelous time and you have some fun photos of your family.
So . . . the purpose of the fish throw is -- what?

two forks said...

The Fish Throwing Tradition: "One of the Market's major attractions is Pike Place Fish Market, where employees throw three-foot salmon and other fish to each other rather than passing them by hand. When a customer orders a fish, an employee at the Fish Market's ice-covered fish table picks up the fish and hurls it over the countertop, where another employee catches it and preps it for sale.
According to the employees, this tradition started when the fishmongers got tired of having to walk out to the Market's fish table to retrieve a salmon each time someone ordered one. Eventually, the owner realized it was easier to station an employee at the table, to throw the fish over the counter."

it's just pretty cool... and even cooler that they let rachel behind the counter!

thanks for a fun visit!