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Home arrow Opinion arrow Jeff Petersen: ON SECOND THOUGHT arrow ON SECOND THOUGHT: Splashing in Seattle for raincation thrills


ON SECOND THOUGHT: Splashing in Seattle for raincation thrills

In a forest of umbrellas, downwind from the flying headless salmon of Pike Place Market, in a place where rain is about as common as oxygen, the Wonder Woman and I searched for the 12th Man.

My wife of 2-1/2 years and I are serious Seahawk fans. We went ecstatic when they captured the Super Bowl title. 

The 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in early February was the football equivalent of Cliff Clavin’s dream board on “Jeopardy.” The postal carrier was up against stiff competition, a lawyer and doctor, on the TV show “Cheers.” Then host Alex Trebek unveiled the categories: Civil Servants, Stamps from Around the World, Mothers and Sons, Beer, Bar Trivia and Celibacy.

Needless to say, Clavin won in a landslide.

The Seahawks also won in a landslide. Now, a month later, evidence of the Super Bowl triumph was everywhere. Flags saluting the loudest, proudest fans in the world were evident on nearly every soggy street corner and on many towering construction cranes in the Emerald City. And cranes were everywhere. What recession?

Height-challenged toddlers wore the No. 3 jersey of their diminutive quarterback hero, Russell Wilson. Sassy septuagenarians sported the No. 25 jersey of educated trash talker and defensive back extraordinaire Richard Sherman.

The Wonder Woman and I splashed into our Seattle raincation by chance. Her high school classmate, now a music teacher in Monroe, Wash., shares a passion for all things Monty Python. When the opportunity arose to attend the stage show “Spamalot,” we leaped.

My wife considers Eric Idle, primary writer for the show, a literary god. The quirky British humor agrees with her contrarian view of the world.

The raincation turned into a blast from the space-age past. Budgets temporarily forgotten, we jumped on the monorail, which opened in 1962 for the Century 21 Exposition, a World’s Fair, and were swept downtown at 45 mph for a walkabout at the ultimate farmers market, Pike Place. We also were whisked skyward for day and night visits to the Space Needle, another 1962 relic and once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, at 605 feet. It is now, sadly, the sixth tallest structure in the ever blossoming city.

You can’t see to Russia from the top, possibly to the chagrin of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but you can see a city sprawling for miles.

My quest was simpler. I was trying to decide which house on Queen Anne’s Hill might belong to Robert Fulghum, the author of a favorite book, “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” I had no chance to attend kindergarten, which may be obvious to alert readers, but I did learn all I needed in first grade, thanks to the gifted tutelage of Missy Lane, who had her street named for her, later.

Not all was old school on our Seattle adventure. We capped our visit with a tour of Chihuly Garden and Glass, an art museum in the shadow of the Space Needle. For color addicts, this is the ultimate fix. Being a big fan of the Grande Ronde Valley glass artists like Tom Dimond of Cove, I was transfixed as room by room we moved through a seemingly impossible array of art objects.

I just hoped for the sake of the glass there wouldn’t be an earthquake.

We did a lot. We couldn’t do it all. Seattle is an expensive city with lots to see and do. Parking costs a lot. Moving about costs even more.

Free stuff was rare but findable if you looked hard.

Catching a splash of Python and what’s left of the 12th Man wave was worth the investment.

Contact Jeff Petersen at 541-963-3161 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Jeff on Twitter @goNEoregon.


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