Use our “search” tool (on top of the column on the right) to find your next trip.
Gail Johnson and Mary Williams
Use our “search” tool (on top of the column on the right) to find your next trip.
Gail Johnson and Mary Williams
It’s been awhile since I have posted anything on RBB… time seems to get occupied by things OTHER than blog postings! The RBB trips through SPSCC continue to be well received. It’s so gratifying to see new Rebels evolve into strong public transit advocates. I love it!
I’ve added the specific trip directions for the last two RBB trips: Chinatown/International District in Seattle, as well as MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) in Seattle.
The last RBB trip ruined our perfect weather record. It did rain (and blow) on our last short trek from the South Lake Union streetcar Westlake hub stop to our bus stop. We didn’t get tooooo wet, and we had only a short wait for our warm bus.
I’ll be leading an RBB trip with the South Sound Senior Center in mid December. We’ll be travelling to Seattle for the free organ recital (and tour) of the beautiful Benaroya Hall, home to the Seattle Symphony. We’ll also have time to see the area’s Christmas displays.
The SPSCC sponsored trips start up again after the first of the year… on tap is Seattle Art Museum (Miro’ exhibit), Benaroya Hall organ recital, Bellevue (shopping) Collection, and Theler wetlands in Belfair. Check out the catalog at www.hawksprairie.org
Have you seen the poster that reads, “I do believe it’s time for another adventure?” That’s exactly how I feel whenever I have been on a ‘Rebels by Bus’ field trip. This time I went to “Seattle to Bainbridge Island via Ferry.”
We met at the Martin Way Park & Ride in Lacey to catch a bus to Lakewood and then transferred to another bus, which took us into Seattle.
Once we arrived in Seattle, we walked through a part of Pioneer Square that I hadn’t seen in a long time. That is one benefit to taking public transportation…seeing different areas that you normally do not see.
We reached Pier 50 to take the Bainbridge Island ferry to Winslow. What a great view of the city of Seattle! I spent the ride over to Bainbridge Island reading the newspaper and free tourist information that was available on the ferry. So many places to explore!
We spent several hours on the Island. I ate a quick, but tasty, lunch at Town & Country Market as soon as I arrived in town. It was fun to walk the streets of Winslow to visit the many shops that were open. I enjoyed looking in the art galleries, perusing books at the bookstore, and even found a few gifts in several of the unique shops. I treated myself to a dish of Dark Chocolate Mint ice cream at Mora Iced Creamery. Delicious!
All too soon, it was time for the return ferry ride to Seattle. This time it was fun to visit with other “Rebels” as we relaxed in our seats, before taking the Sounder Train and another bus back to Lacey.
I didn’t travel too far from home, but I had seen beautiful scenery, met new people, and visited interesting places. I had an adventure!
Yup; the Rebels perfect record stands… ALL of the Rebels trip have not been rained upon. No, we haven’t had sunshine and blue sky every time, BUT… no rain?! I should clarify; twice the rain fell, but only when we were safely under the bus shelter (at Pt. Defiance, on our way home from Vashon Island) and when we were nearing the Martin Way Park and Ride coming from the Salish Lodge trip. That rain storm brought a beautiful bright rainbow, which we could all enjoy because we left the driving to the professionals!
Last week the Rebels went to Bainbridge Island and the lovely town of Winslow. Even on a gray day the ferry ride from downtown Seattle to Winslow is special. The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) is now open; it’s free! Directly behind the BIMA is the Kids Discovery Museum. A block from the BIMA (along Winslow Way and up to the right on Ericksen Avenue) is the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. The current exhibit featured Ansel Adams’ portraits of Japanese Bainbridge Islanders who were interned at Manzanar during World War II. This museum is packed with Island archives; a dreamland for historical researchers.
This year the return trip included the Sounder train from Seattle’s King Street Station to the Lakewood Station. Specific details (where, when, what, how much…) of this trip are included in the “trip directions” found under “pages” in the right hand column of the RBB home page.
This past week another group of new Rebels discovered the fun and ease of using public transportation. We took four buses to get to the iconic Salish (Snoqualmie) Lodge in the lovely town of Snoqualmie. Highlights of the trip included good weather, great on tap root beer and gumbo at the Snoqualmie Falls brewery, the hardware/gift store on Falls Avenue, and the walk from the Salish Lodge past the rescued train cars.
Each and every connection was smooth; no more than a 10 minute wait until the next bus. On the return trip, we took the Sounder train between Seattle and the Lakewood Station. For details of this trip, go to “trip directions”, in the right hand column of the RBB home page.
The fall catalogue for South Puget Sound Community College continuing education classes is out. If you didn’t get one in the mail about a week ago, look for it around town. The front cover of the catalogue depicts an exuberant woman, arms wide open, walking through beautiful fall leaves. She must be on her way to a Rebels by Bus adventure!?
SIX trips (two per month) will be offered. Following is the link to all six trips, plus one “How to be a Rebel by Bus” classroom experience.
From the Art Museum, I crossed Pacific and walked north and west one block to Commerce. I caught the free light link at the Convention Center/15th stop, which took me to the “end of the line” at 9th Avenue. Yes, I certainly could have walked, but the (free) Light Link is so fun!
I walked north along Commerce. The old Elks building is on the left. McMennamins has purchased this long-neglected building. It will be great to see this building (and block) re-vitalized! I used the stairway along the side of the Elks/McMennamins to take me UP to Broadway. I walked north along Broadway for a few blocks, then headed UPPPPP hill to St. Helens. Again, turning north (right) up St. Helens to Laura’s Bayview Bar and Grill, where I met a friend for lunch. Laura’s is known to have the BEST fish and chips in town (it’s true!)
Across the street from Laura’s is Kings Bookstore; the Powell’s of Tacoma. Kings is primarily a used bookstore; offering a huge variety of books. You most likely will find what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know WHAT you’re looking for!
From here I took a leisurely (downhill!) stroll back to Broadway. Along the way I stopped to window shop. I went inside the wonderful Giraffe fair trade store (also located in Vashon), which has a wonderful selection of home accents and accessories. Further down Broadway (1100 block) is The American Art Company. The gallery is known for featuring pastel artists. The current exhibit of pastel landscapes was exceptional.
I continued my stroll down Broadway, past the Murano hotel and Convention Center back to Pacific Avenue. Having time before my bus, I crossed Pacific to the Anthem Coffee shop, which shares an outdoor breezeway with the State History Museum. My iced coffee was perfect for the warm afternoon. Anthem also serves wine and beer, and brings in music on a regular basis.
The Intercity Transit bus 605 reaches the U of W campus stop on Pacific at about 3:15.
This trip got me excited about the RBB adventure on October 17th to Tacoma’s ArtMingle. Check out the description in SPSCC fall catalogue.
Hope you can join me for this Rebels by Bus Adventure!
The fall RBB adventures through SPSCC are listed in the following link…
REALLY fun line-up… TWO trips per month!
Salish Lodge and Snoqualmie, Seattle Center, Tacoma ArtMingle, Bainbridge Island, Seattle Chinatown, and Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.
Yesterday I led twelve Rebels to Vashon Island. It definitely took careful planning to coordinate the bus routes and ferry schedule. But, it CAN be done! (Google maps didn’t seem to think so… they stated that from Olympia you would need to go to downtown Seattle, then the West Seattle Fauntleroy ferry to the island, which would take over five hours to get there.) My specific trip directions are found in the right-hand column of the RBB home page, under “pages” and “trip directions”.
Briefly, we left the Martin Way Park and Ride lot in Lacey at 7:55 am and transferred to Pierce County route 11 at the 10th and Commerce bus area. That bus took us to the Point Defiance ferry. The 10:05 ferry took us for our 15 minute ride to Vashon. Metro bus 118 was waiting at the end of the ferry dock. To get a flavor of the island, we stayed on the bus with the ever-popular and cheerful Larry (28 year veteran of this route) as we travelled down Vashon Highway to the Seattle ferry dock. There are wonderful views of Quartermaster Harbor (the idyllic protected harbor at Burton, where Maury Island meets Vashon) along the route. We stayed on the bus with Larry as the bus headed back to the town of Vashon (and the only four way red blinking light on the island) where we disembarked at Bank Road.
We had from 11:15-ish until 3:15 to eat lunch, explore the town, and relax. Most of us browsed through the many small stores (love the Vashon Book Shop), as well as enjoyed a leisurely lunch. I bought a sandwich from the wonderful Thriftway deli which I ate while reading in the Farmer’s Market park.
Have I mentioned our perfect weather? While on the ferry we noticed the dark menacing clouds ahead of us. Sure enough, as we were waiting for our Pierce Route 11 bus, we heard thunder as the rains poured. The bus shelter was big enough for all of us to stay dry.
The rest of our trip home was uneventful. We arrived back at the Martin Way Park and Ride at the expected time: 6:30 pm. We were all tired, relaxed, and thoroughly enjoyed our day and each other’s company. What a great trip AND a wonderful group of Rebels!
For more ideas of what to do and see on Vashon, see the RBB post from 2010 and go to the Vashon Chamber website at: www.vashonchamber.com
Earlier this month I led TWO groups to the ever-popular Theo’s Chocolate Factory in the Fremont district of Seattle. Theo is short for Theobroma Cacao, the latin name for the Cacao tree, the source for chocolate. As we know, chocolate is the Food of the Gods!
Fremont is fun all by itself, but adding Theo’s yummy chocolate is all the more fun! Theo’s $6 factory tour is educational and entertaining, with LOTS of samples.
There is public art scattered throughout Fremont. After having lunch on the outdoor patio at the wonderful PCC Market on 34th, several us walked around the neighborhood… to see the troll under the Aurora bridge, as well as the larger-than-life Lenin Statue (no, not LENNON, as in the Beatle) and other quirky pieces of art.
An early post on the Rebels blog gives more details of what to see and do in the Fremont district.
Bus travel details (where, when, what) for this trip are found in the far right column on the RBB home page.
Earlier this month I took the Amtrak Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago. (www.amtrak.com) To get to the Amtrak Station, I caught the Intercity Tranist Bus 603 in Olympia, transferring to Sound Transit 594 at the Highway 512 Park and Ride which takes you right to Seattle’s King Street train station (4th and Jackson).
The Seattle’s King Street train station has recently dedicated their long-awaited renovated lobby. It’s beautiful, and worth a look even if you’re NOT taking the train!
The Empire builder is a famous train route. Lots of different sights along the way… travelling along Puget Sound north of Seattle, waterfalls going over Stevens Pass in Washington, vast open grasslands, cities and byways. The food was even good!
Then Chicago… wow… what a great city!
I signed up for the Road Scholar (www.roadscholar.org) (aka Elderhostel) “Chicago: Your Kind of Town” five day program. We stayed at Club Quarters (http://www.clubquarters.com) at Wacker and Michigan, which is a perfect location close to many museums and sites. My room had a view of the Chicago River and seven bridges. Over the five days we covered a lot of territory…Willis (Sears) tower, Federal Reserve, Art Institute, Field Museum, Board of Trade, Chicago Cultural Center… the list goes on! Believe it or not, there was also free time to explore the city on our own.
Yes, I did use public transportation while in the Windy City. I arrived in Chicago a day before the Road Scholar program started. Visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in the nearby community of Oak Park was my first priority. I used the Chicago Transit Authority’s travel planning tool to figure out which train I should take, as well as where I should catch the train. The travel planning tool was very easy to use. (www.transitchicago.com)
From the Club Quarters hotel, I walked a few blocks west along Wacker Drive (and the river), then turned left (south) on State Street for one block to Lake. The “L” (elevated train) is very visible; you can’t miss it! I followed the signs, knowing I wanted to take the Green line, towards Oak Park. The vending machines were easy to use ($2.25 one way). The ticket is used to open the turnstile to the train waiting area.
I exited the train at the Oak Park stop. Frank Lloyd Wright’s (FLW) home and studio is located at 951 Chicago Avenue, a pleasant several block stroll through the Oak Park business area (www.gowright.org). Ernst Hemmingway’s birthplace home and museum are also located in this neighborhood. For $25, I went on the excellent docent-led home and studio tour as well as the self-guided audio tour of the neighborhood. The self-guided tour covered several blocks highlighting 20 buildings, most designed by Mr. Wright. I also toured the Unity Temple, which was featured in the excellent Ken Burns documentary of FLW.
My other use of public transportation was to go to O’Hare airport for my trip home. Instead of paying $35 for a shuttle bus (which would have included several stops at various hotels along the way), I opted for the $2.25 trip on the “L”! For this trip, I walked one stop farther than my starting point for the FLW trip. This time I went to the major stop at Clark and Lake. Several of the “L” lines merge here. Again, the ticket vending machines were in the entry lobby of the terminal building. To get to the BLUE line to O’Hare, I entered the CTA building, following signs to the depths of the Blue line subway. The trip was quick and easy. As we approached the airport, I smiled seeing that the freeway traffic was barely moving.
The O’Hare train stops at Terminal 3, which is the terminal for Alaska Airlines. The only thing I knew about Chicago before this trip was O’Hare airport… a HUGE airport with lots of underground tunnels, neon lights, and moving sidewalks. Again, I followed signs to the Alaska ticket counter. It turns out Alaska Airlines has a very small presence at O’Hare… I really had to LOOK to find their location!