Driving Around

It’s been a busy weekend for us. Yesterday was  a picnic in Federal Way. Today was breakfast and gaming in Everett.

We could have fit in two burlesque shows this weekend, but decided not to.

Before we left for the picnic, yesterday, we stopped into the QFC on Broadway, looking for something to bring. A guy who worked in the bakery walked over and asked if he could help us. We explained our situation. He asked if we wanted to try free samples of some lemon roll-ups he’d made that morning. Of course, we did. They were delicious, and we looked around the the shelves to buy some for the picnic. We couldn’t find them, and the bakery guy had disappeared. (Why give us free samples and not tell us where to buy the product?) We asked someone else in the bakery, who didn’t know what we were talking about. She called the guy back to the bakery, and he sold us two dozen lemon roll-ups, fresh out of the oven. (We hadn’t been able to find them on the shelves because they hadn’t been put out yet.) It was a weird, but wonderful transaction.

It was a nice picnic. I spend quite a bit of time sitting in the shade, reading Go Set a Watchman.

As we left the NorWesCon Volunteer picnic, in Steel Lake Park, with me driving, I asked Phillip if he was in a hurry to get home. I was in a mood to avoid the freeway.

“Are you kidding?” Phillip replied, “Why would I be in a hurry to get back?” I understood, immediately, that he meant “back to our hot apartment.”

I took the scenic way home, in our air-conditioned car. I took us up Marginal Way, through Federal Way, SeaTac, and probably a lot of other places I don’t know the names of, as far as the north end of Boeing Field. Then I cut through Georgetown, then up and over Beacon Hill, through the International District, through First Hill and Capitol Hill, and home to our hot apartment.

This morning, we drove to Everett and took Judie out to breakfast at Vintage Cafe, in Downtown Everett. It was a nice breakfast, but we’d over-estimated how long it would take, When we dropped Judie back home, we still had a half-hour before we’d planned to pick up Ben, near Silver Lake.

Phillip suggested we kill the extra time by taking surface streets, instead of the freeway. That sounded like a good idea. I was driving.

The problem was, there are large sections of Everett that I don’t know at all. I missed the turn which would have taken us over to the Silver Lake side of the freeway, but I didn’t know it.

We drove through the Everett Mall area. We decided to stop into Bobakhan Toys, but they were closed. We continued down Everett Mall Way. I came to what I thought was the street leading to Ben’s place, and turned. I handed Phillip my phone, and asked him to call Ben and tell him we were 5 or 10 minutes away.

About the time I realized that we were on the wrong street, and too far south, Ben told Phillip that he was not at home, but at the transit center in Downtown Everett. I didn’t know where the Everett Transit Center is, so Ben told us it’s at 33rd Street and Smith Avenue, close to the Brown Bear car wash.

I didn’t know where either Smith Avenue nor the Brown Bear car wash are, but figured I could find them. (I keep thinking of Everett as being smaller than it actually is.)

I got back onto northbound I-5, took the Broadway exit, and from Broadway, turned left on 38th Street, looking for Smith. When I got to Rucker Avenue, I guessed that I’d turned the wrong way. I turned up Rucker, and then right on 33rd.

When we got to Oakes Avenue, Ben called us. Somehow, he knew we’d gotten lost. We were on the right track, however, and soon found Ben, along with the transit center I never knew existed.

It was a good gaming session.

Phillip drove us back. Right at Ben’s exit, traffic on I-5 began stopping. Ben checked his phone, and told us the backup was less than a mile long. Still, Phillip wanted to avoid the freeway back. “Even it takes us an hour to get home,” he explained, “That’s an extra hour in an air-conditioned car.”

Our default freeway alternative, coming home from Everett, is Highway 99 (west of I-5). Today, as we dropped Ben off, Phillip asked where southbound 19th Avenue (east of I-5) lead to. Ben didn’t know. Phillip wanted to find out. I was game.

(By the way, in parts of Everett, streets run east and west, and avenues run north and south. In other parts of Everett, it’s the other way around.)

As 19th Avenue rounded Silver Lake, it became Everett-Bothell Highway. That was a good sign. If we ended up in Bothell, I knew how to get home from there.

We went through Mill Creek, and places that looked familiar, and places that didn’t look familiar at all. But we faithfully followed Everett-Bothell Highway.

When we crossed I-405 and found that shopping center near where my sister’s family used to live, we both knew exactly where we were.

From Bothell, Phillip turned us onto southbound Bothell Way. From there, the way was entirely familiar.

As we passed through Kenmore, the “outside temperature” display on our car’s dashboard read 99°. I’d forgotten to bring our camera with me today (no photo on my other blog today) so I used my cheap cell phone’s cheap camera to snap a photo. Right before I clicked the shutter, the temperature rose a degree. (When we got home, I posted the photo of the 100° outside temperature to Facebook.)

We stopped of at Heaven Sent Fried Chicken on the way home, for dinner to go.

That Everett-Bothell Highway turned out to be a better freeway alternative than Highway 99. It had better scenery, and it kept us on the correct side of I-5 all the way home (mostly).

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