Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Travel stories: Part 1 - Seattle

Last Thurs Spouse & I left DE at 8:30am and arrived at Spouse's mom's house at 11am.  Spouse's sister and brother were also there, and the 5 of us had an early lunch together before his brother drove us to the airport. 

The previous few days at work had been rather quiet so I wasn't expecting much if anything to happen while I was gone, but on the drive to the airport I learned that 1 of my clients had 'slept on it' and decided not to wait to make an offer on the 'perfect' home I'd shown them.  So I made a call to my office and got a teammate to assist my client with writing their offer.  Once at the airport the lines were short so the security scan didn't take very long and we got to our gate with lots of extra time, so I checked my email.  I saw an MLS alert that a home came onto the market in a specific community where another of my clients was very interested.  It is a small, prestigeous, beachfront location where even a small, dated shack is over $1M.  So of course I forwarded the listing to my client and suggested he not wait for me to return to see the home.  I instructed him to call another of my teammates to arrange for a showing.  Of course this flurry of real estate activity made me feel a little nervous about leaving, but Spouse suggested we travel more often if this is what happens when we try to leave town.

The flight to Seattle was uneventful, and Spouse & I were a little proud of ourselves for successfully navigating an airport we'd never been to before and eventually finding our way to the transit station which seemed like it was a mile away.  We bought our tickets for the transit train but thought it strange that there was no one asking to see the tickets before we boarded.  Once we sat down 3 Asian teens, probably Korean, sat across from us.  The young woman immediately began talking to her 2 male friends, 1 who seemed not to really be paying attention and the other who appeared to hang on her every word.  The pitch of her voice was high and irritating, and I thought to myself "I hope they're getting off at 1 of the closer stops".  Unfortunately they didn't, and the young woman continued talking non-stop for what felt like hours.  I looked at my phone and it had been 20 minutes.  How can anyone talk non-stop for that long?  Nobody has that much to say!  After another 15 minutes I was ready to pierce my eardrums with ice picks or strangle the young woman when our stop finally arrived and we exited the train.  We also exited the transit station without anyone asking for our tickets.  We probably could have ridden for free!

From a phone conversation with a hotel employee and from consulting my iPhone maps app, it appeared the transit stop was about 8 blocks from our hotel, which should be quite doable, we thought.  Unless its uphill the entire way.  Spouse & I drug our rolling suitcases up hills that would rival those in San Francisco.  By the time we checked in and got to our room our clothes were completely drenched in sweat and we wanted nothing more than to take a shower.  Refreshed from our showers we went up to the rooftop garden to look at the city.  
Spouse and the City
At the recommendation of the nice young man at the front desk, we walked around the block to a wonderful little mom-and-pop Thai restaurant called Thai Star and enjoyed an absolutely delicious chicken pad thai dinner.  Afterward we walked around just a bit, returned to the rooftop garden, and then watched a little TV before falling asleep.
Great city view

Fri morning we had breakfast in the hotel's cafe, packed our bags, and left them in the hotel's storage room before heading out on foot.  We walked to Pike Place Market where we saw lots of gorgeous fresh cut flowers, fruit, produce, fish, seafood, jewelry, arts, and hand-crafted items.  
Impossibly orange flowers
Then we sat for a bit in a small waterfront park adjacent to the market where we saw these 2 fellows.  
You can use this handy website to see the specific preference of the fellow with the pink hanky in his left pocket.  We enjoyed the views and the people in the park.
Spouse in the park

Next we wandered in and out of a some little stores near the Market and then ducked into a food court to use the bathroom and refill our water bottle.  While waiting for Spouse I looked at my map and saw that from there we could take a monorail to the Space Needle, our next destination, rather than walking there.  Once again we purchased tickets that no one would ask to see and exited the monorail at the Space Needle complex.  Originally built for the 1962 World's Fair, the Space Needle complex also houses a Chihuly glass exhibit, an outdoor concert venue, several gardens, and many food and souvenir vendors.
An enormous glass sculpture

We got a call from The Newlyweds, letting us know they had arrived at the Space Needle so we hopped in their car and picked up our luggage from the hotel before heading north and out of the city.  

Since none of us had eaten lunch yet, we stopped at a seafood that Michael thought he remembered called Ivar's.  He realized his mistake immediately when he looked at the Captain D's-type menu.  But before we turned to walk out, we overheard an employee behind the counter say "OK, let me regurgitate your order back to you..."  We could barely contain our laughter as ran out the door!  I mean, if there is ANY 1 word you should absolutely avoid using in a restaurant, its regurgitate.  We opted for a brew pub lunch instead, then headed north to the border.


anne marie in philly said...

the ONLY way to walk in seattle is DOWNHILL! I thought those hills were worse than SFO and PGH! and the streets go in whatever direction they please with no rhyme or reason.

the only time I visited seattle the space needle was closed - due to a fire.

Bob said...

I adore Seattle, but, yeah, it can be difficult to walk.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to get to Seattle one day!

Your trip looks great so far!

Peace <3

Biki Honko said...

Eight blocks, good heavens, what a marathon walk, and uphill at that! Ya know, the light rail in Phoenix rarely has ticket takers either. Only once have I seen a ticket taker, makes you wonder how they make money with it being so easy to cheat an all.

Regurgitate? At a restaurant? It sounds like you dodged a bullet there my friend.