Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Seattle Mariners have a penny machine in their Main Team Shop. It had the normal amount of four designs to choose from. Since this is a ballpark trip I choose the one that says Safeco Field. Mik choose one of the Seattle Mariners logo ones for his collection.
We got to the Mariners game about four hours early, so we could have time to walk over to the Klondike Gold Rush National Park location in Seattle, which was located a few blocks from Safeco Field. The main reason I wanted to go was to add a National Park stamp to the blue section of the passport. Maybe, by the end of the trip I can end up with at least one stamp in each section.
The Klondike Gold Rush National Park is actually an international system of parks in Canada and the United States. The Seattle location is located in the historic Cadillac Hotel in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, where many of those that went in search of gold stocked up on supplies before heading to the Klondike. The Seattle location is simply a small two level exhibit that shows the main journey of five different people that went in search of gold in the Klondike Gold Rush including Nordstrom, who started a shoe store in Seattle after he came back from searching for gold and that store later evolved into the Nordstrom department store chain.
My favorite part was they had embossing stations as you journeyed the route the gold seekers went. This included one saying Seattle, one saying Yukon Territory, and one saying Alaska Territory.
It was a fun place to visit, although Mik did not even care to see anything and he just sat by a bench and played MLB on his PSP. He did at least try the interactive exhibit that you stand on a scale that then tells you your value in gold if you were worth your weight in gold. The scale is actually like a wheelchair roll on scale, so Mik could actually try it just like when he gets weighed in his chair at the doctor’s.
Today we got up around 5am to pack up the tent and leave for Bismark. We got on the road a little after 6am. We have pretty much driven straight through the day only stopping for gas, bathroom breaks, and to get a late lunch/dinner. We also made a stop in Idaho at the Welcome Center to take a photo of Mik and me by the Welcome to Idaho sign since it is the first time we have both been to Idaho.
We are currently still in Montana with Dad’s GPS currently saying we will get to the campground in Bismark around 3am. Tomorrow is another mostly driving day, but only about 7 hours of driving to get to the campground in Minneapolis. Also, we are going to stop at the Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, ND, hence why we did not make the stretch to drive straight through to Minneaoplis and just sleep at a random rest area.
Husky Deli is where we had ice cream on Day 12 when we spent the day mostly shopping. We went there just to have the ice cream. Mik had chocolate chip cookie dough, which is his favorite ice cream flavor. He liked it, especially since it had large chunks of cookie dough. I had the Reese’s Peanut Butter flavor, which I thought was very good, but Mik seemed to think was only okay. I think he did not like that the ice cream base was chocolate. Dad had licorice, which Mik refused to try since he hates licorice and it definitely was true to its name.
At the Avenue of the Giants there was a gift shop near the end of the drive that had a smashed penny machine. It only had the one design, so Mik and I got the same penny this time. The design has images of redwoods and says Avenue of the Giants along the top and says California Redwoods on the bottom.
Parking at AT&T Park was really annoying since we arrived about four hours before the game. The parking lot did not have anything blocking you from going in, but also had no one taking money. We found the handicap parking, but were not sure what to do because it was suposedly a permitted parking lot along with being the lot for handicap parking and across the waterway from the park. We ended up getting a parking pass off of a scalper that instantly hounded us when we pulled up. It ended up working out and we saved $4, but I would not trust it under normal circumstances and would have felt better if we had been giving our money to those actually in charge of the parking lot.
Parking might have been annoying, but the actual park experience was quite the opposite. While waiting in line for the park to open one of the Giants staff actually pulled us out of the normal line and showed us over to line up by the gate that opens for wheelchairs to avoid the turnstile entrances. We entered through the O'Doul Gate, which has steps right after you enter, but to the left there is an elevator. We then headed to the bleacher section that our tickets were in to find that we had to go back down to our seats.
A very helpful usher not only told us how to go down to our seats, but actually escorted us the whole way to them. The handicap seats in the bleachers at the Giants turned out to be in front of the bleacher section right against the outfield wall compared to up at the top of the bleacher section like at the Oakland Coliseum. Dad and I thought these seats were awesome and a nice barrier free view of the park. Mik did not exactly like them, though, because it was very much so in a spot a home run ball could possibly come right at you and he was nervous about getting hit by a ball, although really the outfielder would probably have caught any ball that came right at us and any home run ball would have probably gone over his head.
At the end of the game we exited the park on the level we sat on, as the right field gate was on that level. We then just walked along the boardwalk on the outside of the park to get back to the bridge and the across to the car avoiding the whole going up and down the elevators route we had taken to get to our seats.