Goodbye Seattle — Hello Portland!

by Katy on July 21, 2008 · 2 comments



We came back from our week-long Seattle vacation today. I wrote about it herehere and here. We had a fabulous Non-Consumer trip!

We mooched a stay at my sister’s house while she went on an Alaskan cruise. This meant free lodgings, cooking facilities, extra clothes, laundry, tubs of Legos for the boys and the use of a Seattle library card. (Most important!) 

It’s like I won the big trip package on “The Price Is Right” without the dilemma of where to put that life-size ceramic dog.

While driving the three hours home this afternoon, my husband and I dissected the positives and negatives. 

It turns out that the parts of the trip that were our favorites were also the cheapest. The splurges, (pricey restaurant meals) were simply not worth the extra expense.

The biggest bang for our buck was definitely the commuter ferry we took from Seattle to Bremerton. The cost for the four of us was $24 round trip, and it was 50 minutes each way! 

The 10-year-old was so excited, and kept referring to it as a “cruise!” We scored a booth-like set-up with a table, but mostly we walked around on the outside part. I saw what I think was an orca whale, and the view of Mt Rainier was spectacular. It was lovely.

We ate our packed-from-home picnic lunches at The Bremerton Fountain Park, which is right off the ferry launch. This small-ish park has five huge sculptures of submarine tops (sorry, I’m sure there’s a better word for it) that dribble water until they suddenly spout water about ten feet into the air. This, to the delighted squeals of the kids playing below. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring water friendly clothes, and were actually dressed for chilly weather. However, there were granite boulders to climb on, some of which had slides carved and polished into them. 

We also took a “foot ferry,” (too small for cars) over to Port Orchard which was another $10 round trip for the four of us. We wandered around a bit, noting the proliferation of bars and bail-bondsmen before taking another small ferry back to Bremerton. It was fun though, because all the ferries were really different from each other.

Other favorites on this trip were three Goodwill trips, two of which were to the fabulous store on Dearborn street. It not only is enormous, but is well organized and cheap, cheap, cheap! My already lean wardrobe has been dwindling lately, and I found some great high quality  pants, skirts and tops for pennies on the dollar.

Another trip highlight was the matinee we took in at The Majestic theater of the Disney/Pixar film, “Wall-E.” The Majestic is a wonderful old theater and, (according to my friend Ed) is the oldest continuously running movie theater in the U.S. Neet-O Jets!

But the highlight for a library freak as myself, was our trip to the glass paneled Seattle downtown library. I’d been itching to go here since it was first built, when my now 12-year-old uttered the now-famous line of:

“But what if an opera singer went in there?!”

It was not to disappoint. We stuffed our re-useable shopping bag with manga, Pokemon movies and even a DVD for us grown-up types. (Knocked Up, which my husband hadn’t seen yet.) No opera singers though. Whew!

The expensive meals bought here and there were all disappointments, and the cheapie meals all hit the spot. The pizza by-the-slice was great, the fancy-schmancy brick oven pizza — not. 

I am happy to be back home, and am looking forward to putting a renewed effort into de-cluttering my home using Max’s suggestions. I’ve already gotten started on the coat closet. I’ve replaced the random plastic hangers with nice wooden ones from the Seattle Goodwill. But that, my fellow Non-Consumers, is an entirely different blog entry.

Don’t let your lack of riches keep you from a fabulous vacation. House sit for a friend or family, and then find some free or cheap entertainment. It’s probably easier than winning big on “The Price Is Right,” and there’s no ceramic dog to deal with.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Thank you to all The Non-Consumer Advocate readers who sent in suggestions for places to go, and places to eat. The “Dick’s Drive In” suggestion was especially enjoyed.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

JDM September 5, 2008 at 7:48 am

OMG, I love-love-love the Dearborn Street Goodwill! I used to go there ALL THE TIME when we lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. And I assure you, as the mother of a resident of Port Orchard, there is more to the city than the tattoo parlors, bars, and bail bondspersons! Just a half mile or so down the road, taking a left at the KFC, is a used bookstore and a cute little local-color seafood restaurant. The PO Goodwill is pretty fabulous, too! Thanks for the reminder about the fountain park–it’s been a while since we last went. And thank you for inspiring me to visit Portland next spring.


robbiekay January 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

My husband is from Seattle and I love books, so he’s always telling me, “I’m going to have to take you to the new library in downtown Seattle. You’d LOVE it!”


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