Feb 252015
 

Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

As I mentioned in my post about Chihuly Garden and Glass these are a tad bit out of order. But, I do you have you on the right day (Sunday)! Well, the right day four months ago. So fasten your seatbelts whether you wore a skirt or not.

The previous night after dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse I asked my aunt what time she would be ready the next morning. She said 9 a.m. sharp as she wanted us to get in as much for the day as we could. There is one thing about me and that is when I’m given a time I stick to it.
I called her in her room to have her say, “I’m not ready. Call me back at 10:30 a.m.”
Another reason Golden Retriever’s rock…they are never late.

Oh before you start in I’ve been around a lot of females in my life and I get it! 🙂

We finally arrived at the hotel lobby floor, checked our bags and out of our rooms. I was ready to blast down the street on foot because I had plans and we were now extremely late!

Aunt B, “I need coffee.”
Me, “Ok.”

Phonograph needle scratching across the record.

Aunt B’s coffee. I don’t drink coffee. Caffeine and I do not get along. We were really going to be pushing our time now.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

Picture of Aunt B while I hold the camera in one hand and impatiently tap my finger on the counter and look at the clock on the wall.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I felt like I was literally dragging her down Pine Street to get to 5th Avenue and the Westlake Center Station when she said, “I need another cup of coffee.”
Me, “Ooookk…”
We got her another cup of coffee literally at the same corner where we needed to be for the Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington.

For 20 years, non stop, this had been one of my two bucket list items to do in Seattle if I ever returned. Every time I would comment on a blog post about someone’s trip to Seattle you would find that I frequently mentioned the monorail. Always picturing in my mind when I had visited Seattle before that I would board this futuristic ride and go back and forth. If you ever wanted to see a grown man turn into a man-child this was one of those moments.

We bought our tickets and I was chomping at the bit. My aunt knew that this was a big moment. Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

Have you ever been at the front of the line waiting to get into a big concert? That same feeling…Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

The Seattle Monorail was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair…

*plagiarism*Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

In its first half-year of service some 8 million passengers road it that year and now that number has dipped to 2 million for a full calendar year.

It is a straddle beam monorail built by Alweg Rapid Transit Systems and has brought in $750,000 in operating profit annually which is split between the city and the operating company. For $2.25 one way you can be one of up to 450 passengers on a train that leaves every 10 minutes. Then you can go flying down the track at 45 mph (70 km/h) for the epic 2 minute ride over one mile (1.54 km).

What? It was epic to me!Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

The gates opened and I went dashing to the front to get the very first seat next to the driver…Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I wrote his name down and lost it. I’m still almost positive it’s Kenny. He would be our Seattle Center Monorail driver in Seattle, Washington. And he said himself he had never met a passenger like me.

I introduced both my myself and my aunt and immediately began chatting him up as my aunt was sitting directly behind me. He had been out late the previous night at the monorail drivers bar. That’s where the drivers talk about riders like me from their day of work. I told him what this weekend was for us and that I waited for this moment for 20 years. I shared that I had a blog and I would be posting this story with him in it. He thought that was the coolest thing ever. Kenny loves his job too but said one really ironic thing to me.

Kenny, “Ya know Mike, no one has ever sat up here and talked to me like this. It’s a nice change.”
I said, “Talking to people in new cities is a big part of the travel experience, right?”
He replied back, “Absolutely. Hey Mike, you want to the hit the button for the horn before we get rolling?”

I could have done backflips!! It was like Walt Disney asking a kid to go for a ride with him on the Matterhorn!
I said, “No way! Are you serious?!”
He said, “Yep, that button right there”, and pointed to the correct one and when I pushed it there was the most resounding, bellowing air horn sound ever. That’s right, Mike Vogler, horn operator extraordinaire.

Meet Kenny. Kenny is bad ass. Because Kenny drives the Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

We took off out of the station and I said, “So Kenny, what you think? Will we be getting her up to 200 mph or so?”
He burst out laughing, “No Mike, that will only be 45 mph on the straightaway this morning.”
I continued, “Oh I see, you have to go slower because of the children on board. I get it.”
“Exactly,” he said trying to keep some composure.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

Now we were really pulling some serious G’s (my story) at about 25 mph here. My hair was flying back and my head was plastered back into the seat.  Ok, it’s a completely enclosed train and it wasn’t that fast. I was furiously taking photos though.

I asked Kenny, “Hey, what time does the meal service start?”
He snickered, “That’s going to be tough as we only have 90 seconds left for the ride.”
Me, “Ah, having to cut down on amenities, I hear ya.”
Completely befuddled by his new-found passenger friend, he said, “I have a Snickers bar in my pocket that you can have, Mike.”
“That’s ok Kenny, you had a hard night and you will need it, ” I reassured him.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

Then, after all of these years we cleared the skyscrapers that were whizzing by. Then the less taller buildings and in it’s beautiful grandeur there it was. The Emerald City’s crown jewel…The Space Needle.

I felt excitement, nervousness, eagerness, anxiety. Like meeting that mesmerizing, intoxicatingly beautiful ex-lover from your past that you haven’t seen in years. And she was just as beautiful as the last time.

I looked at Kenny, with my face beaming, “Do you ever get tired of that view?”
Him, “Never a single minute.”Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

Oooo…looks like we were headed into some sort of Bat Cave. I asked Kenny if we needed to be blindfolded. He said no, the secret was out.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

Now it was time to pull into the Seattle Center Station which is next to the Space Needle.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I started my goodbye to Kenny and tried to get a picture of the smokin’ hot blond in the gray sweatshirt…Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I told him that his picture would be on my blog Pastmycurfew.com if that was ok. He said absolutely and shook my hand and said to my aunt and I, “You two have been my favorite riders EVER.”Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

We walked out and I just stared dumbfounded though we were within minutes of being late for something super special. The second bucket list item for the day. Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

This was it. To meet Darth Vader and one of his Storm Troopers begging for money. No wonder The Force Awakens is out in December…there is poverty in the future!Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

That was it. We saw the Space Needle from the outside and Darth Vader and it was time to wrap it up. We had to get back on the monorail. Wait just a gosh darn minute…is that? It better not be. Kenny??Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

It was!! And he had let some kid in MY seat!!

Ya, look at Kenny’s shocked face seeing me. Ohhhh, this was going to be an uncomfortable ride back to downtown.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I once again bolted for the front seat with my aunt sitting right behind me. Kenny sat down and we talked things over about him giving up my seat to some other passenger. He said he felt bad…with tears coming down his cheeks he was laughing so hard at me. Sooooo, THAT’S the way it was going to be.

I did turn around to see a shy little Asian boy talking in sign language with his parents. I invited them to exchange seats with me but they would not. Through my own hand signals and gestures I did convince them to let the little boy come up and sit in between Kenny and I. The boy didn’t talk but he did listen. I could tell he was both thrilled (I know the feeling kid) and nervous.  Kenny and I both convinced him to push the button to the horn at which he squealed with delight, giggled, laughed and it made his parents sign something that obviously meant incredible joy!

Tears started to flowing down my face as I realized I was witnessing a very special moment in their lives. So, that made for two of us.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I didn’t talk at all but took pictures and kept looking at the little boy’s face as he stared ahead.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I realized the trip to Seattle was now essentially over but I was able to share this perfect two-minute ride with this young soul whose life had been touched today as mine had so many years ago when I was younger.

I thought of making a remark to Kenny about the McDonald’s down to the left. But no, this moment needed to be left in silence.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I craned my head back to get one last shot of my favorite structure in the entire world. A forlorn goodbye…Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

It took me so many years to get back here.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

There had been so many twists and turns over the year that had led up to this trip.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

What was ahead for me in the future?Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I had to take a “Rain Man” picture…Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I felt very uncertain about even going back to Reno and…Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

…that there was a green left turn arrow and a stop light on the Seattle Center Monorail track  in Seattle, Washington that turns to the left.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

It was time to pull into the station. I didn’t want to get off.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington

I looked at all of the happy eager people ready to get on the next ride. I watched the young boy and his parents hold each other in one of the happiest embraces I had ever witnessed in person. He and his parents signing back and forth in a flurry of happy, silent exchanges.Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington
No, seeing Darth Vader was not the second bucket list item and there is one last treat in my next post. No more teasing or foreplay but you will understand why I built up to it the way I did. It’s one of my all time bucket lists come true 🙂

What special moment have you ever had in your travels?
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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  88 Responses to “Seattle Center Monorail in Seattle, Washington”

  1. Sounds like despite a late start, you did have a wonderful day, Mike. Reading your conversation with Kenny made me realize how important it is to reach out to the people around you when you’re traveling. All too often, I’m just lost in my own world!

    • Oh yes, Aleah, despite ironically being shy in certain circumstances I so enjoy meeting new people and talking to them. Even in the grocery store line in Reno! 🙂

  2. So cool… I love monorail too…

    • Awesome, a fellow Monorail lover! That’s a great thing and you get to ride those super fast trains in Japan, Lili! 🙂

  3. I feel your impatience at your Aunts tardiness and need for two coffees! I’m glad you got to tick the monorail off your list though. Kenny was a real sport, I can imagine him telling people about you at the bar. Looking forward to the final bucket list item. What a beautiful day you had, I have heard how it rains a L O T in Seattle!

    • I was blown away by how PERFECT the weather was, Jan. I will be writing about that and how perfect the entire weekend was in what should be two posts after this one 🙂

  4. Aaaahhh! I’ve been around women too, and l don’t get it! I am always on time..not early, not late, l always manage to be there on the dot.. :-). Boy, you were Charlie in Willy Wonka’s factory :-). How very cool! 200 miles per hour indeed!! I love how your aunt has to have the coffee, she was in Seattle after all. Now, you have memories of the monorail, and the hot blonde. 🙂

    • LOL that is funny that you get and makes me feel better coming from a woman, Kemkem. Perfect analogy of Charlie too 🙂 Thank you most of all for catching all of the little fun nuances of my post, my dear 🙂

  5. Got to love an monorail journey! Love your photos Mike especially the one of the smily driver! 🙂

  6. Hi Mike,

    I am really impressed by your ability to convert just a monorail ride into such a memorable experience… with all those pictures, it seems all the more adventurous! Isn’t it another train ride? Probably you have that third eye to focus on people around you to derive fun out of every moment. Loved reading about this pictorial journey. Thanks for sharing

    • No kidding that for most it would be just another train ride, Balroop. As I said it was 20 years in the making and a huge bucket list moment for me. I like your third eye comment 🙂

  7. As a fellow travel blogger, I am so impressed at the number of blog posts you have managed to extract from a 2 day trip! Absolutely awesome. I don’t exactly “get” the purpose of the Seattle monorail, but I’m glad it —and Kenny—were there for you. It’s so refreshing when a public servant actually seems to enjoy their job. I hate it when I can’t even elicit a fleeting eye contact and a grunt.

    Special moment in my travels: Hmm. Looking down on Machu Picchu from the top of Huyana Picchu. Sitting in a little boat on the Amazon at sundown with the motor off, drifting downstream with the current and just listening as the jungle night sounds rose all around us and every star in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere became visible.

    • Thank you for the compliment Suzanne and yes each little micro event was part of the whole experience for the weekend 🙂 I was actually able to picture in mind reading your comment about looking down and Machu Picchu and then also the Amazon. Absolutely amazing and thank you for sharing that! 🙂

  8. It made me smile that you took such pleasure in the monorail ride. 😉

    Memorable moments? Walking in the path of Marie Antoinette at Versailles.

    • p.s. I’ve been to Seattle so many times and it’s taxing my brain what you might have left to share. I think I know, but I’m going to wait for the next post and then I’ll tell you if I guessed right.

    • I’m glad you smiled, Patti! Wowee on Marie Antoinette’s path…that is sooooo cool! 🙂

    • Oh, and you are really good at guessing so I’m betting you got it right too for the next post! 🙂

  9. Oh Mike I know exactly what you were feeling! I had not ridden the Monorail for decades and I was in Seattle for a freelance story I was doing and decided I needed to include it in the article. That meant I had to ride it!!! The joy and anticipation — and the memories from being that little girl in 1962 who was terrified of riding that Space Age Jetson’s Monorail — were almost too much for me. And when you break around the bend and the Space Needle comes into view. . .you nailed it alright, it is pure and simple magic!

    • That is an awesome story, Jackie! I’m huge into nostalgia and I did see some of the original pictures so your comment here really brought that home 🙂

  10. Aw, wow Mike. What a great day! I felt like I went along on the ride with you!! Even starting with the morning coffee. I would’ve been just like your Aunt. Coffee. Must. Have. 🙂

    Your photos are wonderful. I love the shot of the city off kilter. Kind of emphasizes the feelings of uncertainty.

    Ooooh, you made the little boy’s trip. That was so sweet of you to ask him to sit up with you and Kenny.I can’t think of a special travel moment right now. Wish I could…

    • That always makes me smile and feel good when a readers says they felt like there were there with me, Lisa! If we had more time and open itinerary we would have absolutely gone and had a coffee with, Kenny 🙂 Thank you for your compliments! 🙂

  11. Mike,
    thank you for taking us on the trip w/ you. I only wish I could be there in person, so I could give you a big fat hug!!

    xx kiss from MN.

    Great Photos!

    • Big fat hugs are always welcome and that would have been fantastic to have you there, Kim! xx back at ya 🙂

  12. Oh Mike, you sure had that magical Kid Moment on your monorail ride 🙂

    Love it – that sweet little boys, imagine taking his own kids back one day to experience the same thrill, and imagine telling his Grandkids that cool day – what a great moment in time you all got to experience.

    We used to have a monorail in Sydney but it was so damn expensive that no-one rode it anymore, and so they took it down. Now it would have made more sense to lower the cost per ride per person so that more people would ride it to keep it going…but no the powers that be thought charging stupid amount {I think it was like $20.00 for the whole track per person} would cover the running cost!!! Basically it sat there empty.

    I so love that I got to see Seattle through your eyes, and through the eyes of a sweet little boy – great photos.

    Hey you don’t drink coffee…oh man I am with your Aunt – I need my cup of coffee every morning to feel human 😉

    Love your Monorail trip.

    • What a shame that Sydney didn’t figure it out with the costs of their monorail, Lisa! Wow, Seattle sure has it dialed in. Those 2 minutes with that little young man were absolutely priceless to me 🙂 I hear ya on being a coffee lover…but I am just unable to drink it because of the caffeine and decaf still has trace amounts 🙂

  13. I have somehow missed out on the fact that Seattle has a monorail. I must be rather unobservant because I’ve been to both the Space Needle and the “bat cave” building and didn’t notice it either. But now you have me totally wanting to ride it, especially if I get to honk the horn and ride next to Kenny. I’m so glad you got to check off a bucket list item.

    I wanted to ride the outdoor elevators in Hong Kong (2600 ft long!) since I was a kid. When I finally made it there, I discovered that they were one-way only and that the taxi had dropped me off at the end, not the beginning. I ended up walking down the stairs next to it and only got to ride it for a short distance.

    • Ha, that is funny that you didn’t see the monorail there, Michele! I was just like your kids in the joy I got in honking that horn. Oh my gawd on the outdoor elevators in Hong Kong! I’m always amazed at your travels and adventures and what a bummer on the taxi driver dropping the ball! Still, you were in Hong Kong which is so very cool to me 🙂

  14. Love ALL your posts but this one was even more enjoyable, felt like I was right there with you.

    Beyond the “shocked” face of Kenny, I could SWEAR that Wil Wheaton was also riding the Seattle monorail that day! Look behind Kenny!

    It never ceases to amaze me how much joy and pride people take in sharing their daily job or routine with strangers. Everyone has such an interesting personality and story to tell!

    Memorable travel moments….riding a rickety chairlift to the top of Monte Solaro on the isle of Capri, Italy, only to ascend into a dense fog at the top. No view but the feeling was calming and eerie at the same time, knowing you are standing atop a mountain but can barely see the end of your own arm.

    These may be second nature to some lucky left coasters, but for an Eastern Time Zoner, the forests of the west coast are simply magical. Two visits – one to Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, the other to the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park north of San Francisco, competing for the most physically powerful yet serene places I have ever been.

    Newfoundland. Every minute of it. The scenery, the wildlife, the culture, and most importantly the people.

    Getting lost in the labyrinth that is Venice with the love of my life, in a warm rain, while it was flooding.

    Keep on posting!

    • That is a great catch on “Wil Wheaton”! I often see things in pic editing that I did not see when taking the photo. The owl in the gelato post and McDon’s here. Thank you for your compliments buddy. Yes, everyone has a story to tell…we just have to take the time to listen, right? Dude, your comment was a wonderful mini-post in of itself…meaning I was gobbling up with delight every one of those fantastic memories. I was jazzed that we had 2 in common – Vancouver Island and the Redwoods State Park 🙂

  15. Hahaha. I seriously loved meeting bad ass Kenny. Mike you always make me feel right there with you.

    • Thank you for that so much, Bintu! I so wish I had more time to talk with Kenny…he was/is good people 🙂

  16. Okay, Mike…you are on your way. Chatting up the locals is absolutely the best part of traveling, because you always have something memorable to take away. I love you story of the little boy, and I love riding the monorail. Very cool. BTW – I’m pretty sure I’ve chatted up Kenny myself last time I was in Seattle…I’m a little upset he’s forgotten me!

    • I’m sure it was only momentary lapse in memory in Kenny’s part possibly forgetting you, Corinne! I really enjoy talking with folks once that comfortable, mutual dialogue is open. And he was so easy to talk with..obviously I made him laugh 🙂

  17. Why does your coffee always look so good?

    • They are never my coffee pics as I don’t drink it, Agness. But, the thanks to it looking so good is owed to the coffee shop across from the hotel 🙂

  18. I LOVE that you sat next to Kenny and chatted with him, that’s SO cool…(although to be honest, I wouldn’t expect anything less from you–friendliness is your nature, and that rocks!!) I wonder how this compares to the NYC subway? Most of the time we are underground so don’t get the advantage of seeing the city around us like you did, but when the train does go aboveground (mostly in the outer boroughs), it’s SUCH a treat!

    p.s. you aunt cracks me up with her coffee and punctuality, haha!

    • What an absolutely awesome compliment from you, Jessica, and thank you my friend! That’s interesting on your NYC subway comparison though I imagine those legs are far longer than 2 minutes, yes? Wow being able to see that skyline in the Big Apple…what a treat indeed! My aunt is absolutely adorable…coffee and all 🙂

  19. Oh Mike – I love coffee SO MUCH but it doesn’t agree with me either. I do fine with decaf, though. For the taste and smell. And whipped cream. (totally frowned upon by coffee experts!)

    Moving on, I’m glad I scroll slowly because I kept picturing Kenny and was totally surprised to see how young and handsome he is! So glad you both were a part of each other’s experience that day!!

    My favorite part is this: “Like meeting that mesmerizing, intoxicatingly beautiful ex-lover from your past that you haven’t seen in years. And she was just as beautiful as the last time.” I have so been there – with people and with towers. Not the Space Needle, but my own special tower in my own special past city.

    One day.

    • Though I don’t drink coffee the aroma of it still entices me and even enjoy just smelling the ground coffee beans folks bring into work, Tamara! Kenny was my rock star for that monorail ride and you have me very intrigued about your own special tower! 🙂

  20. Mike, that is such a fantastic story about the little boy pressing the button. You are a natural born storyteller and it’s true that listening to other peoples’ stories should be a big part of travelling but perhaps we don’t always make the time for it that we should

    • That is the nicest compliment and it made my day about my storytelling, Suze! I do have lots of stories and I like (fingers crossed) to have the reader “sit down” with me via a post and enjoy them 🙂 I hope you are having a great weekend! 🙂

  21. Mike! What is up with the whole skirt wearing thing and I love that you got that little boy to come up and sit near Kenny and toot the massive horn. Awesome awesome awesome trip you took. Love. I actually really like coffee. Sorry.

    • The skirt wearing goes back to the previous post…and why weren’t you wearing your’s, Kristi? 🙂 It was a very special trip…knocking off this bucket list item and one more to go. The little boy made my day as did the next thing you will read about 🙂

  22. I’ve never ridden a monorail but it looks cool! Too bad you didn’t get to go at warp speed 😉

    • How ironic you mention warp speed when we lost Leonard Nimoy yesterday, huh Melissa? That monorail is sooooo cool and despite it only being a 2 minute ride I was the happiest kid on that train! I first fell in love with monorails at Disneyland 🙂

  23. That likes like it was a lot of fun! Kenny was an amazing sport! 🙂

  24. Dude, great write up. Its been years since Ive been to Seattle. But I can’t wait to go back. Last time I was there I hung out with a pretty young lady who now works in Congress. I have known her since I was about 3 years old. Her mother had just passed away from Breast Cancer. So needless to say we drank too much and smoked stuff, that was at the time illegal. Oh how times have changed. I remember thinking that I would move to Seattle and marry this girl that I had known forever. And than I didn’t. I still miss the city though, but I couldn’t ask for a better wife than the one I have now.

    • Holy smokes! That was an absolutely incredible story brother! You totally transported me back in time…I was picturing it raining there as I read the story you shared. Oh yes on how times have changed…you are spot on there. But, how lucky we are to have those memories in our pasts that have molded us today. Agreed, your wife is amazing, Chad 🙂

  25. Loved reading this post! Must have been so much fun on the monorail, and so cool how you spoke to Kenny. That little boy must have some wonderful memories. The Space Needle is going on my bucket list too. Looking forward to more of your adventures 🙂

    • I think Little Dude would love the monorail ride, Tarana! 🙂 Seattle is so special and do hope you make it there to enjoy all the treasures that the city has to offer. They are all right within short walking distance of each other which is what makes the city an all time favorite! 🙂

  26. Now I feel like I’ve hitched a ride on the Seattle monorail and met Kenny personally. What a pity the metro trains here in Copenhagen are driverless, so there’s no-one to divert:)

    • I’m glad you felt you were there on the monorail, Mette! Kenny made that day even that much more magical. Have a great day! 🙂

  27. What a great post! Looks like so much fun! 🙂 Kenny seems like a really cool person to meet! So happy you got to check this experience off your bucket list! 😀

    • Kenny was fantastic and it was wonderful to experience the monorail again, Michelle! The entire weekend was a lot of fun 🙂

  28. Very cool! Lots of great pics in there. I like all the different building structures. Lots of unique designs! Also very happy that you got such a cool driver in Kenny! To me, that really made the ride. It could have brought it down somewhat if you had a driver with a stick up his hind side! Loved all the banter!

    Oh yeah, should we get you a new name badge at work.. Mike Vogler
    Horn Operator Extraordinaire

    Has a nice ring to it! ;0)

    • Ha, that is funny Tony! I’m glad you liked the pics and I absolutely love skylines. With more time or another trip someday I want to get night photos of the cityscape. Yes, Kenny was awesome and everyone we came into contact over those 2 days were like him in personality 🙂

  29. Mike, I’m so glad you’re ticking things off your bucket list. It looks like you had a wonderful day (meaning the sun is shining) in Seattle. I remember riding on that monorail a long time ago. What a great experience you had with Kenny. It really does pay to talk to the locals.

    • Ya know Mary, the weather in of itself was a story. To be able to walk around Seattle in the third week of October, in a t-shirt, with sunny skies was unheard of! I agree with you on talking to the locals 🙂

  30. What a cool ride! Right now I have one item on my travel bucket list: to stand in the Swiss Alps and sing “the hills are alive with the sound of music….” I’m doing it in July!

    • Oh my gosh, Dana…Switzerland is absolutely HUGE on my bucket list destinations! I’m soooo envious of and for you! I will have to drop you a line and bend your ear on your upcoming trip. Soooo excited for you 🙂

  31. I regret not riding the monorail when I was in Seattle, though I do remember sitting and just watching it when I was at the Experience Music Project. I think we were trying to save a bit of money, but we should have just taken a ride on it. One of my fav travel experiences would be on the Makaw Indian Reservation. Visitors have to take a shuttle van if they want to get out to the most northwestern point of the continent and our drives told us a legend and then sang a Makaw chant while driving. It raised goose bumps that much is for sure.

    • It’s ironic that something so simple could be such a big event to me, Jeri. And those 2 minutes each way certainly were for me! Wow, your story of the Makaw Indian Reservation is incredible and what an amazing experience that had to be for you! I would love to read a post about that 🙂

  32. I chuckled at your plagiarism comment. I love your sense of humour. It sounds like you thoroughly emjoyed your experience, it is always ice to rick an item off one’s bucketlist.

    • I’m glad you enjoy my humor as I do insert a lot of into my posts, Rachael. It just seems that it went over better when it was channeled through Phoenix. It’s dry but it’s there 🙂 The next post will be an even bigger check off that list! 🙂

  33. I thought of you today, Mike. We rode a bus from Nuremberg, Germany to Prague and our seats were on the 2nd level. There were 4 seats right smack up front against the huge front window (on the 2nd level) and I thought, “Mike would love those seats!” 😉

    • OMG this post made my day, Patti! Thank you! Did you guys tour the Rally Grounds?????

  34. What a great experience you had Mike! And Kenny contributed in making it even more special. Great pictures!
    I can’t wait to read your next post!

    • Hi Rita! It’s so awesome to be hearing from you again my Down Under friend! It was a fantastic day and it will all tie into the next post. I hope you and the baby on board are doing fantastic! 🙂

  35. thank you for the monorail ride. I think it is a great way to get around the city. They used to have one in Sydney, but I believe it has been closed down now unfortunately.
    Have a great week and thank you for stopping by my blog.

    • Oh my gosh that is too bad on the Sydney monorail, Jill! Another thing about the one in Seattle is that is super clean – not like many big city subway cars. Your post was fantastic! Have a great week 🙂

  36. I think if your name is Kenny, you’re automatically a pretty cool dude. My husband’s bromance is a Kenny and he’s good people. I think it’s hilarious that he let you toot the horn. Hhahaha!!! And how dare that kid steal the seat. Didn’t he know that it was reserved for you. Mike. Mike Vogler – The world’s most amazing button pusher? Pft…
    I went to Seattle once and that was because we were flying to BC. We had a layover and got stuck in a really crappy area. Let’s just say that we turned down drugs…a lot.

    • That tooting of the horn was yet a microcosm of a bigger picture of how perfect those 2 days were, Kimberly. Like having someone above me waving their magic wand over every step I took. Yikes on your layover back then! I absolutely love B.C. and ironically will give a brief mention about my trip there many years ago in my next post! It’s great to hear from you 🙂

  37. Looks like a great ride! Almost Disney-esque:-)
    Now it’s on my bucket list for a trip to Seattle, too.

    • It was very Disney-esque, Irene, and I still vividly remember my first ride on that monorail in Orange County when I was a kid! 🙂

  38. Love this story, Mike! I’m telling you, I really think you could write children’s books. Not that this was a story for kids per se, but you’re able to capture moments of childlike wonder in your writing. Just remember to mention me in your book’s acknowledgment section. 😉

    I haven’t been to Seattle in years, and when I was there, I don’t recall taking the monorail. I’ll definitely have to pay the city a revisit. I LOVE Seattle – it’s such a beautiful city.

    • You have no idea how you make me BEAM with confidence every time you compliment me on my writing and encourage me to write a book, Dana! It’s only a 2 minute ride…but for this kid it was 2 minutes of a lifetime 🙂

  39. WHat a great experience… the pictures are AMAZING!

  40. Hi Mike; Sorry to get here so late. Your Space Needle reminds me of our CN Tower, but Toronto doesn’t have a cool monorail. The photos you took are fabulous and really convey the sense of riding along with you! Fun dialogue between you and Kenny. 🙂 It would be nice to visit Seattle someday, as I’ve never been to the northwest. There’s a railway tour that does a circle from Vancouver to Seattle and back. Something to plan for. You were asking about our own special travel moments: That would be our tour of Greece in 2013 – number one on my bucket list – never thought it would happen! During that same trip the number two bucket list item – returning to my birthplace in Germany – was also accomplished. Looking forward to your next installment!

    • You KNOW how special Germany is to me and I do remember your bucket list and how much I loved reading about both of them, Debbie! 🙂 It would be a blast for you take one of those Canadian rail rides from Toronto to Vancouver then drive down to Seattle. I think you will love the northwest if/when you visit there someday. Ironically, I was just talking about the CN Tower with a friend the other night! The 360 Restaurant is high (no pun intended) on my to eat at list! 🙂

    • I’d love to visit the northwest, Mike! We would fly to Vancouver, then take the railroad Circle Tour (it’s an organized tour) from Vancouver to Seattle and back. Yes, that bucket list trip was amazing! Looks like you had a blast here, on your own bucket list excursion. 😀 Ah yes, the CN Tower Restaurant. Great view, lousy food, high prices. (At least, that’s how it was when we were there last, about 10 years ago. May have improved in the meantime.)

    • I will always gladly pay extra just for that kind of experience, Debbie! That trip itinerary sounds fantastic 🙂

  41. I think the closest thing I have been to riding a monorail are at airports and at Disney World. So glad you got it checked off your bucket list! I need to start one of those lists. Probably all that’s on there right now is that I’d love to go to Europe one day.

    • Ironically Disneyland is where I first fell in love with Monorails, Krystle!! Europe would be fantastic for your bucket list and I can’t wait to hear what other destinations or activities you add to it!! 🙂

  42. We wanna go!!!! And btw~what a shame you don’t drink coffee because Seattle is known for its coffee. Matter of fact, when you pull up Seattle, that and Grunge is the first thing you get. “Seattle is a world center for coffee roasting and coffee supply chain management. Related to this, many Seattle-area people are coffee enthusiasts and they maintain a coffee culture in Seattle’s many coffeehouses.” This was but one quote in one link we pulled up on Seattle.Now….Inion and I are coffee-holics. lol Sooooo….next time you take a trip to the Emerald City….(uhum…she clears throat) Inion and I can be packed and ready in five. lol 😉

    • Hi ladies, they got that distinction because of Starbucks I’m pretty sure but there are lots of great alternatives. Like hot chocolate! Yummy 🙂

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