Spent some Marriott points to stay a night in downtown Seattle.  Kind of a free night – it was $45 to park!  We did some touristy things – found the original Starbucks, watched the fish throwers at Pike Place Market, toured the market, rode the monorail.  I would have fresh flowers every day if I lived near the market.  Beautiful big bouquets for $10 – $20!  Even though the forecast said 10% chance of rain – it rained so we didn’t go up in the Space Needle or access the observatory on the 73rd floor of a downtown building (of which the top 10 or so floors had disappeared into the clouds).  We did engage in some retail therapy.  Oh, Ann Taylor, how I’ve missed you!

We walked and walked and walked throughout downtown, Pike Place and Pioneer Square.  We also watched some of the Rock and Roll Marathon runners from our hotel window.

Our hotel was on the edge of Pioneer Square and we walked into that area the morning we left.  Our hotel had warned us that there was a homeless mission there and the panhandlers could be aggressive.  Even though there were four bicycle cops at what appeared to be the Main and Main of Pioneer Square, it looks like the City of Seattle has ceded that area over and are not enforcing any kind of behavior rules.  We were panhandled by a man as he peed against a building.  People were just laying on the sidewalk.  Most of these folks were obviously homeless and probably mentally ill.   Very sad.  We actually saw a lot of homeless in Washington and Oregon – camps were set up in busy areas.  In Portland we saw one on a sidewalk leading up to an interstate ramp.  It looked like it had been there a while.  Our problems seem very small in Springfield compared to what we saw in the northwest.


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