We ate a meh breakfast at the hotel, then drove over a bridge and were in Washington within 15 minutes of leaving the hotel. We stopped for gas and snacks, then headed for Seattle, 3 hours away. It rained on us a bit, the first time on the trip. We drove past the turn-off for Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helen’s but decided we didn’t have time 😦
We called for a hotel on the way, and just randomly found the one most centrally located, Best Western Loyal Inn. The girl there was amazingly helpful, too. We checked in, put down our luggage, and headed for Pike’s Place on foot because the girl said parking would be a PITA.
Guess what? More hills! But only about 6 blocks away. We walked down to the Public Market, bought the boy a cool handmade Seattle shirt, walked past tons of cool stuff we couldn’t bring back, past the fish market and the first Starbucks. We got some cash, I bought a long-sleeved Seattle shirt because it’d been chilly on the walk down and I left my jacket in the car. I also bought a little owl made of ash from Mt. St. Helen’s. We walked down a kazillion stairs to the waterfront, where they were making a big hullaballoo about the Great Wheel, a giant ferris wheel with enclosed cars, that looks like the one in London. We watched for a bit, then ate at Elliott’s on the water. We stopped at a couple more shops, including an antique shop, before standing in line at the first Starbuck’s. I got some souvenirs there as well as a coffee. I’d had a beer and a coffee, so they balanced out.
We walked back to the hotel, stashed our loot, rested a bit, then walked to the Space Needle.
That was even closer, and no hills. Honestly, even though we have the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio (and they’re designed almost identically), the Space Needle has the more awesome view. We stayed up there a long time until it was getting cold. We couldn’t see Mt. Rainier, but saw the Olympia mountain range, and it was stunning.
Fred happened to mention Seattle Grace and so I googled. The internet said the exteriors of SG are the Fisher Plaza, which we’d walked right by. So when we walked back I took a bunch of pictures.
I wasn’t particularly hungry, but Fred was so we stopped at Zeek’s Pizza and split a medium pizza and breadsticks. We ended up taking most of it back to the room, and I fell asleep.
The hotel was nice but at 3:30 in the morning the people above us started having a wrestling match or something (not a euphemism!). It went on for about 45 minutes and I couldn’t go back to sleep, of course. I got my phone and checked mail, etc, before Fred told me to turn it off. I did manage to go back to sleep, and slept until 8! We went down to breakfast, which was the worst of the week. We checked out and drove around Seattle a bit before returning the car and going to the airport. We breezed through security because we just happened to line up with people who were coming from a cruise. Once we got through, we realized what had happened when we saw the other security areas–huge huge security areas!
Fred had paid for priority seating so we could sit together on the flight home, and we checked our bags at the gate so we didn’t have to worry about them. We ate fish and chips in the food court, then waited.
The first flight to Phoenix was AWFUL. Behind us were three tweens arguing loudly while their parents sat in first class. I get not wanting to pay for your kids to be in first class, but to sit them in the back so other people can suffer? I was grateful when they went to get their iPads and quieted down.
In front of Fred was a guy who had a condition. Not sure what it was, but he could NOT sit still. For THREE HOURS he twitched and fidgeted. I felt so sorry for the soldier boy who was sitting next to him. Fred stopped the soldier after the flight and thanked him for being so patient, because it was clear the guy couldn’t help it.
We landed in Phoenix with enough time to get dinner, then headed home. We sat across the aisle from each other so I read almost all of the second Lucky Harbor novel, and alternately laughed and cried.
That reminds me, I didn’t see a lot of e-readers on this trip. The boy next to me had a Kindle Fire, and those bratty kids had an iPad, and another girl flying from Phoenix to SA had an iPad, but I didn’t see a lot.