We have Health Insurance here……. at a price.  USD700 per month it costs us and covers us for Dental, Vision, and Health.  I’m not entirely sure of all the benefits yet although I’ve been to the doctor twice now and it’s not cost me a thing.   Both HG and myself need new glasses – mine I sat on even before we left New Zealand, and HG’s are so scratched that he can hardly see through them at all which rather negates the reason for having them in the first place!

So my mission of the moment is to find a pair of glasses and I think I have found the retailer to provide me with them!  Warby Parker has it’s store in Fremont which from Bellevue is a rather lengthy two or three bus connection trip, so it seemed sensible to take a ‘quick’ diversion to the store while we were in Downtown Seattle on Sunday with No. 2 son and his lovely girlfriend.

Having caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island, we arrived back in Downtown Seattle at lunchtime   To entice our unsuspecting visitors, I encouragingly said it would only be a short 14 block walk from Downtown Seattle to the bus stop to catch the number 5 bus to Fremont.

Seattle’s numbered streets run parallel from the waterfront upwards – 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. with the named streets crossing them i.e. James, Cherry, Union etc.  We had trudged up the hill on Columbia Street from the Ferry Terminal after our visit to Bainbridge Island to the Columbia Center – me chanting ‘pistons, pistons, pistons’ and No. 2 son chanting ‘glutes, glutes, glutes’ with every step we took.   The bambinos were keen to take the elevator to the 73rd floor for a look over Seattle.

From there we chose to walk along 4th street through the middle of Downtown 14 blocks to the bus stop.  Possibly we could have caught it at an earlier bus stop but without a decent app on my phone I had to rely on what I could find by just googling the trip.  This doesn’t always give you the full choice of bus routes nor the easiest –  but the walk along 4th is flat and the was weather fine so there was no hardship walking it.

The further we walked away from Downtown Seattle the more pleasant the streets became.   Downtown Seattle pulls in the tourists, so it’s a busy and vibrant place – but it’s hard to ignore the drug addicts. I thought that maybe it was me and I was just totally out of touch with the ‘real’ world – is this normal in a big city?  So wanting to know why there were so many who are affected by drugs I googled it!   I found an article in the NorthPoint Recovery website which explained it.  Sadly, Seattle is in the middle of a heroin and prescription opiate drug abuse epidemic which they attribute to two reasons – firstly, the legalisation of recreational marijuana in Washington State in 2012.  Drug cartels who used to supply illegal marijuana now have a smaller market so to make their money have replaced their fields of marijuana with opium poppies and supply heroin.  Deaths related to heroin in 2014 increased three fold!  Secondly, the Nation tightened up on their issue of prescriptions painkillers so those ‘shoppers’ who now find it hard to get a prescription to feed their addiction have turned to Heroin.  It is tragic.  I never feel unsafe in Downtown Seattle but do keep a steady walking pace when on my own and keep my head down!  And the old adage applies here – don’t stare, its rude!

Arriving at our designated bus stop in record time, we hopped aboard for the short trip to Fremont.  The bus was quite full so the four of us were seated a bit apart.  No problem though, a quick look at my cell phone app HERE (has saved many a possible ‘lost in Seattle’ moment) told me where I was ………. it was then just a matter of indicating our disembark by way of  a short nod to the other three (thankfully all eyes were on Trip Leader).

HERE again was enlisted to get us to Warby Parker – just a ten-minute walk down another hill to the buzzing wee ‘village’  in Fremont – lovely suburban Fremont, such a funky and eclectic vibe!  Sunday and WP is open with masses of people trying on glasses, and just hundreds outside milling about enjoying the cafes and local shops.

I did think that having three family members help choose the frames that suited best was a good idea ……….and it probably would have been if I hadn’t had found so many that I liked.  But in hindsight, I think it’s best to take just one other and preferably one that’s not related.  Frazzled patience, having to wait for space to get the glasses off the shelf let alone see them on in a mirror, and sore feet didn’t bode well for glass frame decision making.  But, we got there in the end and both HG and myself having made a decision it was time to go home …………. but how, and from where does the bus leave?

Again googling possible ways to get from Fremont to Bellevue brought up just one choice.  And so it was that we trudged up a hill – pistons, glutes, pistons, glutes – to the said bus stop only to find it only came on a Sunday morning at 2.30am!?

Time to think outside the square and google the same question a different way which gave us another bus stop to try our luck with – just a ten-minute walk down the hill.  During this time, we buoyed ourselves with talk of things like wondering where the nearest toilet was, and why not catch a taxi!  This bus stop looked more promising and eventually a bus did appear which was a relief for lots of reasons but mainly because my cell phone went flat about that time.

Hopping aboard, my sense of achievement in getting my lovely family finally on the right bus was short lived as we zoomed off turning right, then left, then right stopping at the next stop …………….. right outside the Warby Parker shop.

As my mum says – you got to laugh at yourself, and these things are sent to try us!  It was about that time that I came up with the good idea of taking turns at being Trip Leader so as not to leave such a huge and tiring job to one person …….all the time!!  It was agreed that would be a good idea and so it is with excitement I look forward to our next adventure.

He’s just kidding!
Pike Place
Seattle sky
Ferry to Bainbridge Island
Occidental Square
HG in the blue jacket aint waitiing

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