Before we left Seattle and headed farther north we needed to check a few things off our list. The first one was to channel our inner Guy Fieri and visit either a diner, a drive-in, or a dive. We took his recommendation and visited Mike’s Chili Parlor in Ballard, WA. It was not a drive-in and did not really have that diner feel so we are classifying it as a dive. A delicious dive! We walked in this no-frills establishment and ordered our lunch. John tried a cup of chili complete with onions, cheese, and jalapenos, while Donna opted for the chili spaghetti with onions. Delicious!! We both like the fact that as modern stores sprouted up around this chili parlor its proprietors stayed true to its roots and refused to sell out. Next time you find yourself in Seattle venture over the bridge, a bit north of downtown, and have yourself some chili. Just remember to bring cash as that is all they accept.
We then wound our way to the Archie McPhee store. This store is filled with anything and everything unusual. You can buy a yodeling pickle or dueling bacon and tofu. We wandered the store laughing at the unusual items everywhere. Who really needs a pair of squirrel underpants? This shop is pure fun and fortunately they have a thorough catalog to meet all of our unusual requests.
Next we headed to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle in search of Roadside America attractions. We were specifically in search of the infamous Fremont Troll but were pleasantly surprised to find a plethora of attractions to add to our list. The Fremont Troll lives under the Aurora Bridge and is big and scary enough to prevent any billy goats from crossing. In his hand he is clutching an actual VW Bug which looks tiny in comparison to this behemoth. Definitely worth the side trip to the Fremont neighborhood.
We then walked down the street to the Waiting for the Interurban statue. This statue is unique as anyone can decorate it as long as they do not use it as a form of advertisement. We found the people decked out in leis with a large HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign strung overhead. Donna wished she knew about this before their visit because she is sure there would have been some way to deck them out for Go Farther West.
We walked a bit more and discovered Rapunzel on the bridge with her long flowing locks drifting down toward the river. We also discovered How The Elephant Got His Trunk. Probably the most amusing site, however, was the massive Lenin statue that stood on the corner. When we passed by it the first time we thought it was a bit odd. Why Lenin? The oddness multiplied, however, as we returned to our car and spotted an older gentleman on a very large ladder attempting to throw a giant noose with a sign attached around Lenin’s neck. What political statement was he trying to make we pondered as we watched try to swing the noose around the neck. Pedestrians stopped to watch and discuss what he was doing (and whether or not he was going to fall off the ladder). He managed to successfully complete his task, dismantled the ladder, and walked away. We rushed over only to discover the sign read SIZE MATTERS. It was merely an advertisement for the burrito store near the statue. This has definitely been a trip of bizarre occurrences.
We both enjoyed Fremont tremendously and look forward to returning another time.