It was back to class all day for Lar but that was fine by me because it’s now Wednesday. New Comic Book Day. No time for touristy things today.
You will recall that before leaving St. Lou I researched comic book shops in Seattle. No. 1 on the list was Golden Age Collectables. The shop opened in 1971 and claims to be America’s Oldest Comic Book Store. Really? It had never occurred to me to hunt down America’s Oldest Comic Book Store, and now here I am, en route to it via LawyerCon. What a strange world.
I’m a little skeptical that America’s Oldest Comic Book Store is located in Washington state, but surely that’s not something someone would lie about. I knew I had to check it out.
We actually visited GAC on our first day in Seattle but didn’t stay long as it was crazy crowded. I know — a comic shop crazy crowded and it’s not Free Comic Book Day. The mind boggles.
It wasn’t quite as busy Wednesday. I wore my Hawkeye T-shirt and was greeted with “Nice T-Shirt” by two employees of the store. No one in any of the comic shops I frequent back home has ever complimented my Hawkeye shirt. No wonder they’re still in business after 42 years.
That night we had dinner at the Museum of Flight. As usual the buses were late. Dinner was good and we sat beneath a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, which as everyone knows is the official aircraft of the X-Men. We had a nice view of Mt. Rainier from the tower. Lar made me ride the flight simulator, which surprisingly did not make me sick. Another good day.
For our final day we took the monorail back to Seattle Center for lunch at the Space Needle and an afternoon stroll through the EMP Museum. Dining at the SkyCity Restaurant ain’t cheap, but it’s just a few dollars more than buying a ticket to the observation tower, so if you’re gonna put out the money for the view you might as well get a decent meal out of it. Plus if you call and make a reservation at the restaurant you avoid the long lines to buy tickets to the observation deck.
We arrived 30 minutes before our scheduled time so we could do the observation deck walk-about before eating. Of the two major man-made state landmarks that serve no real purpose, the Space Needle has it all over the Gateway Arch. Not only can you get a decent meal at the top, but you don’t have to hunch over and peer through tiny windows to see the view. And of course the view in Seattle includes mountains and the ocean.
The menu was pretty fru-fru for the most part but there were enough basics for us to get by. Andrew had the ling cod and chips — alpine pilsner batter, napa cabbage slaw, herb remoulade, sea salt and vinegar fries” (which is fru-fru for “fish and chips”), I had the american burger because it was the only thing I could pronounce and it had the word “burger” in it, while Lar enjoyed the hazelnut crusted chicken sandwich with baby arugula, pancetta, mama lil’s goathorn peppers, artichoke aioli and steak-seasoned fries.
You can understand why it’s not cheap. I felt like I needed to pay someone just to decipher the menu.
The restaurant was on a turntable so you got a nice 360 degree view while eating. The waiter was very attentive. I was beginning to think he was either psychic or had our table bugged because twice when Lar and I were talking to each other about something we didn’t know the answer to, he would come over a few minutes later with the answer — and we hadn’t asked him. He did get a nice group shot of us.
After lunch we made our way to the oddly-shaped and oddly-named EMP Museum. It’s a pop culture museum with an emphasis on music. In short, much more interesting than all museums that don’t have dinosaurs. The day we were there EMP had exhibits on horror, fantasy, Jimi Hendrix in London, Nirvana, Icons of Science Fiction and Women Who Rock.
They also have a room dedicated to the guitar, an area where you can play various instruments, and a room where you can dress up and make a music video (for a price). They had the best museum gift shop I’ve ever been in. There’s a huge sculpture made of instruments in the middle of the hall and it is also home to Sky Church — a massive HD LED screen that shows music videos and short films. We caught a Who video there which explains why they call it a church. It was a religious experience.
You could easily spend a day there but we only had a few hours before Lar had to get back for her evening farewell dinner. Since we had no desire to make a video or play instruments, that just left the exhibit halls. Not a problem given how quickly Andrew and I can burn through exhibits, more a problem for Laurie.
The exhibits were all well done — full of TV/movie/concert memorabilia, costumes and clothing. Not a lot of WOW items, unless you get really turned on by Captain Kirk’s chair or Cher’s Indian dress. I was happy to see Mr. Pointy in the horror exhibit.
Our last stop was the Women Who Rock exhibit because I figured it wouldn’t take long to get through that. Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, then what? Turns out EMP has a much broader definition of “Rock” than I do. Loretta Lynn? Really?
This has gone on way too long and I don’t have much to say about our final travel day other than it was Hell as expected. Checking out of the hotel was much easier than checking in. The Seattle airport is much busier than St. Louis. Why won’t Southwest give you assigned seats? I will spare you the details of how I ended up with my second-worst case of barotrauma (look it up) upon landing. It’s a good thing we come home on Friday because it took a day-and-a-half for me to recover.
Despite that ugliness, LawyerCon 2013 can go down in the record books as a big success. I recommend a week in Seattle to anyone. Try to go there when it’s not raining. I don’t know that I would’ve enjoyed it as much otherwise.
If you made it all the way to the end, I admire your perseverance. I wish I had a prize for you. Now for a 5-hour break before I have to go back to the weekly grind of churning out a movie review.