Just a thought... Towered cities please us then, And the busy hum of men. [John Milton]
Hey - thanks for coming along on these travels with me this week. When there's so much sadness and worry in the world, sometimes just packing up your old kit bag and smiling, as the wartime song goes, is what the doctor calls for.
Week two of radio shows is almost under my belt and I've been so pleased to hear from listeners near and far. It's still very strange saying "Ocean 985" instead of "98.1 CHFI", but I haven't slipped up (yet). The people I'm working with have been kind and patient, and while I miss having friends to talk and laugh with, I'm still having fun. Plus, the show makes me research things about my new city - like the fact that there are four cruise ships in harbour today in Victoria! Stuff like that.
Our trip home from Seattle last week was on a high speed catamaran called the Clipper, and it was like a super roomy airplane in terms of its seating. The trip from Seattle took just under three hours and you could stand at the stern and take pictures like the one above.
One more highlight of our quick visit to Seattle was the Smith Tower tour. Completed in 1914 and named for typewriter (Smith Corona) and gun magnate Lyman Cornelius Smith, at one time it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Today, at 35 floors, the Smith Building is still a wonder. Upon paying for the tour, a visitor sits through a brief film explaining its rather shady past...
...which includes broadcasting an evening children's radio program that may well have been giving bootleggers hints on where to drop off their bounty! Ah, radio, is there nothing you can't do?
Elsewhere, we were allowed to "listen in" on recorded, dramatized switchboard conversations among different characters in the Smith Building's lore. After we'd explored the areas of the lower two floors of the tower accessible to tourists (Smith Tower is still very much in operation as an office building, including to Walt Disney internet group and Microsoft Live labs) Lisa and I rode up in one of the human-operated original brass Otis elevators, all the way to the 35th floor and a sumptuous board room formerly known as the Chinese Room. We made our way outside to a protected walkway that surrounds the tower. Talk about butterflies in your belly!
Carefully, carefully, I put two shaking hands and my iPhone outside and around the bars and took a few more shots.
Had it been one day later, I'm pretty sure we would have had a good mountain shot in here, but we took a day without rain as a gift and enjoyed the view. Different signs annotated which buildings were where, which was also a great help.
At about $20 US a ticket, it was, quite literally, a high point of our visit and we're so glad we passed on the Space Needle; I mean, we're from the land of the CN Tower, for heaven's sake! Of course, a comparison tour might have been a good idea. Ah, well, we have to save something for our next visit - which just happens to be June 9-11 when the Blue Jays are visiting the Mariners!
Have a lovely weekend and, in case you missed it, here's a link to a sweet video I shot on Wednesday night and posted on my Facebook page. It was a gift from nature as I just stood in the parking lot of Camosun College, awaiting our friend Michael Bentley of SierraSil, with whom we were seeing the age-embracing film Your Second Fifty. I hope this gives you a smile, because the best cities are blessed with a healthy dose of nature, too. Just click on the photo then scroll down to see the video.