When I was in elementary school, my maternal grandparents did the grand European tour. My Uncle Tom was stationed in Italy at the time, so they had gone to visit him and his family. Afterwards, they traveled around the continent. When they returned, the family gathered for the prerequisite vacation pictures.
In fact, it turned out to be their vacation video. When I was in elementary school, of course, there were no digital videos–Grandma and Grandpa’s 8-millimeter was top-of-the-line technology. So my grandfather and Uncle Rick lugged the projector and screen up from the basement and–with a minimum of profanity–set them up in the dining room. The entire family gathered round, my grandfather threaded the film through the projector (after only four or five tries), and they switched on the grand tour video.
Ten minutes into the video, there was a lot of shifting, muttering, and sideways glances. Finally, Uncle Rick spoke up. “Mom…did you shoot the entire video from the car window?”
Four hours of video–all a blur, all shot out the window of their rental car as they drove along European highways. The video was quickly packed away in the basement, never to be spoken of again.
I thought of that video with each picture I took through the car window as we drove through Seattle. Fortunately, digital photography is quite an improvement on 8mm.
The tall building is the Space Needle. The brightly colored “building” to its right is the Experience Music Pavilion. Some say it looks artistic. I say it looks like the floor of a teen’s bedroom, covered with piles of dirty laundry.
Seattle was our starting point for the trip, but we only spent a few days there. Then we headed up to north Washington…and the scenery was even better.