Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Battle in Seattle Labor Day Weekend Aug 30-Sept 1

The Labor Day weekend, which was a planned break for resting and urban tourist activities, turned into the longest kidney stone battle I have had, and one of the most painful. We did some things to pass the time, but I have been in pain for 120 hours now, with laser surgery scheduled for about three o'clock, on Wednesday, September 4. In my Percocet induced fog, I will try to document the activities that led us to that point.
Thursday night I woke up at about 4-5 in the morning to that familiar pain in my left lower back, and I knew what was going on. When this happens, I usually just ride it out, drink lots of water, occasionally toss cookies, and then I'm fine. All day Friday, that's what I was hoping for. Pam drove us (Mike was in such pain he couldn't ride so he just rode in the motorhome) twenty miles north on interstate 5, and we set up camp at the huge Tulalip Indian Casino, in Everett, a pretty big suburb on the north side of Seattle. There were probably fifty motor homes set up in two parking lots that the casino has set aside for RV ers. It's all dry camping, but we are within walking distance of the casino, Olive Garden, Walmart, the Seattle outlets, and other urban camping amenities. Friday evening was spent checking out the casino, eating dinner there, and Pam dropped 10 bucks on the slots. 
Saturday morning, when I woke up, the pain had subsided, after a pretty rough night. It didn't take long for the pain to return, before we could do anything, and it hurt bad enough for a trip to the emergency room at  Providence hospital Colby campus. So that's how we spent our 28 th wedding anniversary, August 31, in the hospital, and filling a prescription for Percocet, which has turned out to be a lifesaver. Saturday night I took my first pills, because I was in misery. Pam - I would like to add that the staff at Providence is wonderful!  They are so friendly and helpful.  Hearing about our situation - travelers and Mike in pain - invited us to a family barbecue at her house on Sunday!
On Sunday, we decided to go into Seattle and do some things, rather than just sit around in misery. We went downtown, found parking, which wasn't easy, and walked to the space needle. There were tons of people around on the holiday, of course, largely due to a music Festival in Seattle Center, which is the complex where the space needle is located. The area is a benefit of the 1962 worlds fair, similar to the Spokane complex. Which we were at on the other side of the state. We decided to buy a package of tickets that combines six attractions that we can do over nine days, but the biggest benefit was that we didn't have to stand in any lines. We got to go right to the front of the space needle line, and up we went. The needle is 520 feet high (fifty two stories), and is taller than any building in town because it is built on a hill. Seattle rises quite rapidly away from the sea due to the hills. You cannot see the Pacific Ocean, but the Puget Sound and several bays, rivers and lakes that go all through the city. We could also see the Olympic Mountains and Mt Olympia out beyond the Puget Sound to the west, and the Cascade Mountains, which we came through, to the east. It was a sunny day, and that in itself is a luxury here. Seattle doesn't get as much rain as Pittsburgh does, but it is only sunny about sixty days a year. 
After the needle, we decided to take advantage of the sun and take a cruise around the Puget Sound on the Argosy Cruise Lines, which was in our ticket package. We gathered lots of information from the tour guide about the harbor and ships, buildings in Seattle, and wildlife in the water. Familiar scenery from Frasier and Greys Anatomy was pointed out to us. Those are two TV shows supposedly based in Seattle. The national headquarters of Starbucks and were also pointed out. We saw the stadiums where the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners play football and baseball. We saw Coast Guard ice breaking ships, and Alaskan cruise liners. The whole trip was very nice, but my pain was present all day long, and that sort of took the fun out of it. We had dinner at Evars Seafood, a Seattle legend, I guess, and I was at home, in bed, with two Percocets in me by 8:30, because the last few hours were really miserable, not just miserable, like early in the day.      
Sunday night was another terrible night, with only drug induced sleep, and the Percocet wasn't lasting more than four hours. I decided I was going to battle through it on Monday, so we once again headed downtown, and we went to the Seattle aquarium, which is right on the water on Alaskan Way. I wasn't terribly impressed, but we got to see some sea otters, river otters (sea otters swim on their back, river otters swim on their belly), harbor seals, different types of salmon, and lots of smaller sea creatures. After the aquarium, we went to the EMP museum by the space needle. It was a weird museum, which celebrated Seattle rock and roll (Jimmy Hendricks, Kurt Cobain and Nirvanna, Heart), it had a great section on guitars and a great collection of outfits worn by women in rock and roll, including a lot of older stuff from the 60's and seventies. Pam and I were actually museum pieces because we remembered a lot of the stuff that the younger kids were checking out. There were also sections of the museum that were dedicated to horror movies and science fiction. We weren't impressed. Pam got me home and in bed before sunset again. 
Upon awakening after another terrible night, we made an appointment at the referred urologist, and spent the day at doctors offices that led to my scheduled surgery for tomorrow . Right now, kidney stones are winning my battle in Seattle, but tomorrow I plan on winning the war.

The "tourist" picture that they take before you go up in the Space Needle

View from the Space Needle

Up in the Needle looking down on a rock concert in the park

Looking up at the Space Needle

Down by the waterfront.  This was a neat fountain with their famous Ferris wheel in the background

Is he joining the fire department!!??

Photos from our cruise

This is where they unload cargo ships from all over the world

Coast Guard ships.  The red one on the right is an ice breaker

Looking at all the cranes that unload cargo ships

Harbor seals hanging out at a buoy

The building at the top is "Seattle Grace" from the Grey's Anatomy show

This is the 4th most expensive private yacht in the world!  It is owned by a Russian vodka magnate 

Where we had dinner - awesome fish!

Only in Washington!!!

On our trip to the aquarium, we got to see an octopus

He was flashing us!!!

Mike regrouped long enough to be a jellyfish!

Posing at the Olympic sculpture park.  This is actually an art "thing" that has a picture of Seattle

"Eagle in Flight"

Yup!  That would be an eraser!

Mike found this advertisement for a concert!  No, that's not him!

In the science fiction area of the EMP museum.

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