Six years ago I had a boss who was obsessed with the concept of riding the duck. He would take about it all the time but never got around to actually going. And so for many years now, I’ve had the urge to ride the duck as well but never acted on it. I kept waiting for an excuse like a visiting relative to take on this most touristy of rides, but they always seem to prefer to spend more time at my sister’s house rather the city.
Today’s adventure exceeded my expectations. There really isn’t anything better than getting together with a bunch of friends for the most ridiculous of reasons.
We started the day with brunch at Cafe Campagne in the Market. Unfortunately there were too many of us to be seated at the same table and so the split us into two groups placed at the complete opposite ends of the restaurant. Sadly I wasn’t seated with the cool kids. No wait, of course I was with the cool group.
After eating we walked down to the Seattle Center (with a stop at Starbucks along the way) to start the tour. There was some confusion at the ticket counter. I had purchased tickets for the the original group of people who adopted this goal and Erik had followed up buying tickets for those who decided later on to join us. Even with tickets already purchased, some felt compelled to buy additional tickets for themselves. After sorting all of this out, Erik purchased duck whistles for all of us and we proceeded across the street to board the duck.
I was surprised to find that the duck was almost completely full. Who would have thought the ride would be so popular on such a cold, grey day. We sat ourselves down in the back, the troublemaker’s section as Daniel would call it. While the proper tourists sat attentively in the front, observing the sites as we drove by, we locals in the back were making all sorts of noise.
My years of trumpet playing had finally paid off as I was able to transform the duck whistle from a simple chirp and give it all sorts of variations in texture and pitch. I think I was able to make it even more annoyingly irritating than usual. Fun times.
The land tour through the city wasn’t all that interesting as we mostly just rode up and down the streets where I live and used to work. Because of the cold, the duck had dirty plastic windows installed which not only limited the view but made it difficult to quack at passers by on the street.
Once we hit the water, however, the tour became much more interesting. I’m not sure if I’ve been on a boat in Lake Union before, but if I have it must have been quite a long time ago. It is a rather calming experience to float along the water and enjoy the scenic views of the city in the distance. We passed along the shore to observe a number of house boats and the fancy ships docked in the marina.
Before too long the tour was over and we returned back to the Seattle Center. We will need to think up another wacky reason to do something like this again.