I'm transferring ships. I signed off Carnival Legend this morning at 9am. My flight to Orlando is tonight at 11pm. It's wet and cloudy in Seattle, pretty normal for here, but a perfect day for being inside.
Inside at the Chihuly exhibition at Seattle Centre. Apparently the Glasshouse is closed for a private event so there's a reduced admission. Except the Glasshouse is open. Nice!
Some of my favourite pieces are the Sealife Room. Can you see the starfish, octopus, stingray, snail or conch shell?
The Persian Ceiling. I'd like this in my non existent, gigantic house with pillows on the floor so I can just lay there and stare at the ceiling.
The Ikebana and Float Boat
In the (supposedly closed for a private event) Glasshouse
Looking up at the Space Needle
Looking from the garden into the Glasshouse
The Seattle Space Needle reflected in a glass float
Over the last 15+ years I have been to Pike Place Market in Seattle many, many times. I've had coffee at the original Starbucks, bought flowers in the market, eaten the oh so yummy goodies at Piroshky Piroshky, Confectional Cheesecakes, Daily Dozen Donut Company, Chukar Cherries and Sosio's Fruit and Produce to name a few. I've sat on the pig, watched the guys through the fish, walked the steps down to the waterfront (and then climbed back up), had more than one beer at Pike Place Brewery and made just a few purchases at other stalls and shops. So how come I've never seen the Post Alley Gum Wall before?
The Post Alley Gum Wall is about about 1.5km long and 4-5 metres tall and I'm guessing several inches thick with gum - bubble gum, chewing gum, lots of gum. It runs along side the the box office for the Market Theatre.
I did not put that there!
The story goes that people queing up for the box office started sticking their gum to the wall. The theatre staff scraped the wall clean, twice.
Is that a teenage mutant ninja turtle?
They gave up, and market officials declared it a tourist attraction, back in 1999. Some of the gum is over 10 years old!
Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck? I'm not touching that penny!
The exhibition starts with the Sorting Hat - 3 volunteers found out which house they belonged to, Gryffindor (2) and Hufflepuff. No-one for Ravenclaw or Slytherin. I really wanted them to sort the kid behind me into Slytherin.
This is followed by a montage of the Harry Potter films on 8 screens. I didn't know where to look. It was funny to see scenes from the Philosophers Stone, the cast look so young. A train whistle blew, the wall to the right rose, and there on platform 9 and 1/2 was the Hogwarts Express.
Rather than just room after room of movie props, the layout is set up so you feel like a student experiencing Hogwarts and the wizarding world for the first time. Photos inside the exhibit were not allowed, so most of this is from memory, and probably out of order. (all photos inside the exhibit are from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago)
Heading inside Hogwarts, portraits, some still, some moving covered the walls including the fat lady from Gryffindor. She invited us to stop and listen to her sing.
The first stop is inside the Gryffindor Common Room and Harry and Ron's Dorm Room.
We wandered through the various Hogwart's classrooms:
Professor Umbridge's very pink office with all those hideous kitten plates. It looks like a bottle of pepto-bismol exploded.
Many, many photos of Professor Lockhart. Don't forget the portrait of Lockhart painting a portrait of himself.
Jars and vials of stuff (I don't want to know what) in the potions classroom
You could hear the boggarts trapped in Professor Lupin's closet
Heading outside we got to pull screaching mandrakes from pots of dirt. The screaming hurt my ears.
Onto the Quidditch Pitch - souvenirs from the world cup, robes worn by Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Victor Krum, Cedric Diggory and Oliver Wood. Wwe got to try our hand at throwing a quaffle through 3 quidditch goals. I scored every time, even when Andrea made me do it again one handed.
Hagrid's Hut - outside is Buckbeak the Hippogriff with hundreds of handpainted feathers. Inside on the table is the dragon egg, starting to crack and wiggling all over the table.
The Forbidden Forest - don't be frightened by the giant acromantula.
After the forest is an area devoted to the Dark Arts. Dementors float overhead, walk quickly past the statue of the Angel of Death from the Goblet of Fire, chess pieces from the Philosopher's Stone (the rook is like 8 feet tall), and a costume worn by Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix in Deathly Hallows Part 1.
As you approach the Great Hall you'll see Professor Umbridge's never ending Educational Decrees and a wanted poster for Harry Potter (also from Deathly Hallows).
The tour of finishes with a banquet in The Great Hall complete with floating candles, Dumbledore's robes, a buffet of desserts and a selection of treats from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
Some of my favourite items - a book of Do It Yourself Broomcare, Ron's howler and the sweater from his mum, Harry's acceptance letter, the sign in list for Dumbledore's Army, The big black dog in Harry's teacup in the Divination classroom, Hermione's pink ball gown, sitting in Hagrid's chair, school uniforms from the first two movies - they were tiny!
The Pacific Science Centre has it's own list of 20 must sees. You can read it here.
Of course the exhibition spits you out into a shop. Even here the theming continues. It is set up to resemble Diagon Alley. Should you be so inclined you could buy all sorts of memorabilia. Your own Marauder's Map, Monster Book of Monsters, any number of wands, Hermione's Time Turner Necklace and the earrings she wore to the ball. And just in case you can't get to the exhibition you can shop online at Warner Bros or the Noble Collection.
If you live locally and would like to go:
October 23, 2010 – January 30, 2011
Tickets are “timed-entry.” You can buy tickets online at Pacific Science Center website, by phone206-443-2001 or at the door. I wouldn't recommend the at the door thingy, they sell out really quickly as we discovered.
Seniors (65 and up) and Youth (6-15): $24
Children (3-5): $17
All tickets include admission to the entire Science Center. There is an option for an evening entry, which is only for the Harry Potter Exhibition and does not include general entry to the Science Center. There's also a combination entry which includes a Harry Potter IMAX movie. Deathly Hallows opens on Friday and the IMAX movie is sold out for the whole weekend.
Hubby was in California for the weekend, at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Long Beach. He and two other pilot friends flew down in a private plane (this will be important later). So Andrea and I made plans that involved Picasso and Harry Potter. Two things that Hubby has absolutely no interest in.
Friday night - Andrea would get the West Coast Express from Downtown to our place. Dinner while we watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Saturday morning - early start, use NEXUS to cross border, Picasso Exhibit at noon, lunch, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in the IMAX theatre at 420pm, Harry Potter Exhibition at 700pm, then grab dinner on the drive home.
Both Picasso and Harry Potter were timed exhibits, you buy your ticket for a particular time slot, and you must enter no later than 20 mins after your assigned time.
Umm, so things didn't quite go like that. Why not? Let's see, shall we?
Friday Mistake #1 - bought noon tickets to Picasso, but couldn't print them. The printers run through the desktop, the desktop died before hubby left for California, he didn't have time to do anything about it. Called the Seattle Art Museum, they refunded the tickets.
Friday Mistake #2 - Andrea and I decide not to worry about buying any of our tickets online, we'll just wing it.
Friday Mistake #3 - Andrea arrives at our place and discovers no passport. She has to go back downtown to get it (about an hour each way)
Friday Mistake #4 - after Andrea got back with her passport, we went ahead and watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Meaning we went to sleep kind of later than planned. Which led to...
Saturday Mistake #1 - slept in. Left home later than planned around 830am
Saturday Mistake #2 - not really a mistake. Andrea doesn't go to Seattle often so hasn't had a need for a Nexus card. We had to wait in the regular line up - that wait was 90+ minutes.
Saturday Mistake #3 - we arrived into Seattle later than planned, so decided to skip Picasso and just have lunch and go Harry Potter at the Pacific Science Center. We parked at PSC and walked down to Pike Place Market. Remember we hadn't pre-purchased our tickets. From the car park to the Pike Place, we walked right pass the PSC, why didn't we stop in and buy our tickets then? No idea. We are not stupid, really!
Saturday Mistake #4 - Pike Place was crowded - of course it was, it was a Saturday and the weather was good. Couldn't find the Pike Place Brewery. (it was like a block from where we were standing). Walked up to Rock Bottom Brewery instead. Should have just asked some where Pike Place Brewery was, it would have saved us 20 mins of walking.
Saturday Mistake #5a and b - after lunch we a) stopped into Anthropologie. That wouldn't have been so bad expect b) I decided to buy a necklace and we had to wait in the really slow cash line up. It took like 10 minutes. Should have just left it and bought it online. Except they charge a fortune for shipping.
Saturday Mistake #6 - back at PSC, we join the line up to buy tickets to the IMAX movie and the exhibition. They had 4 automatic ticket machines that we ignored. I didn't have a US credit card on me which meant couldn't activate the AT&T card in my iPad. So we waited for the human ticket seller. The couple in front of us, bought the last two tickets for the exhibition. Every single time slot for the exhibition for Saturday was now sold out.
Lesson learned - if we had have done any ONE of the following we would have been earlier enough to still get tickets for Saturday:
get up earlier or
buy our tickets when we parked the car or
had lunch at Pike Place instead of walking up to Rock Bottom Brewery or
Not waiting to pay for necklace at Anthropologie or
Used my iPad or the automated ticket machines to buy our tickets
Oh well. After some umming and ahhing we settled on going to see the IMAX movie. And luckily we didn't think about that for too long, because that sold out too just a few minutes later. We also decided that we would stay the night, and see both the HP and the Picasso Exhibition on Sunday. And finally we did something right. We bought our HP ticket then and there before we went into the movie. Tickets to the 10am entry, the first entry of the day.
The rest of the night went smoothly. Found a hotel near the Science Center with free breakfast and free parking and even better free toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap and shampoo. Had Mexican for dinner and did some shopping at Macy's.
Sunday was going swimmingly, we'd been to Harry Potter and Picasso (more about those later), eaten lunch, done a little more shopping and had just got on the I5 to head for the border. Remember how I said hubby had flown to California in a friends plane and that it would be important later? Well know it's important. This is the series of texts Hubby sent:
325pm: In Sacremento. Figuring out flights or cards to get home. Bad wx (weather) ahead.
328pm: Is Andrea with you? You have the Yaris? We're looking at 11pm flight in SEA (Seattle airport)
332pm: We (3 guys) have a suitcase each, plus small bag. I don't think we'd fit. I'll let you know in 10 min. Steve is trying to book.
401pm: Flights sold out. We're out of plans. Might be driving home.
403pm: We looked at everything. Even renting a car here (Sacramento) and driving to SFO (San Francisco)
410pm: (you and Andrea) Head home. We're going to figure something out.
420pm: Call Me
Out come of the phone call was... Hubby and Steve rented a car in Sacrament and would drive to Seattle. They'd return the car to Seattle airport, I'd get a hotel and wait for them and drive them the rest of the way from Seattle to Vancouver in time for Steve to be at work. Why don't they drive all the way to Vancouver? Because if you have a Canadian Drivers License you cannot take a US registered car across the border.
Andrea needed to get back to Vancouver so she opted for the 600pm quick shuttle from Seattle back to Vancouver. I found a hotel at the airport, had some dinner and then tried to sleep.
728pm: In Redding CA now. Showing about 8-9 hours to SEATAC (they'd already been driving for 3 hours). In Seattle between5-6am.
419am: Wakeup.We're a block away. Getting gas, then we'll be at room.
Needless to say I didn't here that last message at 419am. I was fast asleep. The first I knew they had arrived was when hubby was in the room turning on all the lights and telling me to get up.
We had breakfast, returned their car and were on the road by 6am and back home just before 9am. I went to bed and hubby went to buy a new computer.