Last I left you, SPW and I were in Everett, Washington, taking in the Boeing factory tour. I really enjoyed the museum shop… although I’m pretty sure SPW would’ve ditched my ass in a New York second if I bought some of the stuff they were selling. See, they had some kick ass furniture that was a lot out of my price range, especially since people keep winning my lottery jackpot. There was a table made from a repurposed 707 engine… as well as a chair made from the cowling of a Pratt & Whitey JT8D from a DC-9. Together, it would’ve been about $15K and that probably wouldn’t include shipping (and I just checked… shipping would be another $787. I settled for a couple of t-shirts and a book.
Once we were done, it was back into the Hyundai and south to Seattle. I blame a lot on Beci… the whole trip to PNW, for one thing, but I really need to blame this next one on her. She suggested a room at the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. She said SPW would love it.
She was right.
A little history about this hotel. It’s quirky. Very quirky. It’s built right on a pier near the Seattle Aquarium, and it has played host to many famous folks throughout the years. That would include Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Bill Clinton, and this other British band that someone took an iconic photograph of…
Yeah, those guys.
While we weren’t in the same room, we were still treated to some lovely views. We lit the fireplace, opened the windows and just took in the boats and sunset. Very relaxing stuff. I did a total Forrest Gump and was waving at everyone going by on a boat. Because I could.
After the sun set, we got some sleep and even slept in. We didn’t have to be anywhere until 12:30… we were going to tour Safeco Field (Home of the Mariners). Sadly, there was no baseball being played (All-Star break), but we figured we’d check it out regardless. First, though, we had to get there. Having read horror stories about the parking, we actually opted to start walking. We realized we were hungry, so we stopped at Anthony’s Seafood and grabbed an early lunch. This made it impossible to walk to Safeco in time. Enter Uber. I had never used it before, but it is really convenient. Since I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, our first ride was Uber Select, so the guy picked us up in a Lincoln Town Car. Sweet ride, for sure. He got us there in plenty of time and we toured the field. It’s a gorgeous stadium… one of the few with a retractable roof that is simply that… a roof. Or, as our guide kept calling it, an umbrella. It’s a truly massive structure, and we went from the top to the bottom. It was fascinating to hear about the construction and the facts of the field and roof.
After we were done at the ballpark, it was time to play tourist. We summoned another Uber ride (regular, this time) and headed to Seattle Center. A little history of the area… it was the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, or, Century 21 Exposition. It’s the home of many performing arts venues and athletic fields, as well as the most iconic structure of the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle. Rising 605 feet above Seattle, the structure was designed and built in under eight months. The observation deck is a mere 518 feet above ground and is reached via three exterior elevators. Now, I should note that both SPW and I are notorious acrophobics. They manifest differently, though. I love to fly, while SPW is not all that fond of the airborne experience. The tower-type stuff is a different story. I can look, but I have a white-knuckle grip on the railing. Because, if the tower collapses, me holding on to that railing will save me. I know… I’ll keep telling myself that.
We bought our tickets, but our window didn’t open for another 90 minutes, so we saw there was a Dale Chihuly Garden next door that could be combined with the Space Needle tickets. It was, in a word, astounding. The glass looks alive more than anything. I managed to have yet another happy accident photograph, framing the Space Needle in a swirl of blown glass. After viewing both attractions, we took a seat by the EMP Museum and did some people watching.
Grabbed some dinner and headed back to the Edgewater to grab the car and off to SeaTac for our redeye flight back East.
We got the car returned, headed to the terminal, breezed through security (Thanks, TSA PreCheck) only to find that our flight was predicted to arrive in Boston 28 minutes late, giving us a whopping 7 minutes to get to our Baltimore flight.
That could be a bit of a problem, so I went to the JetBlue gate agent and asked what could be done. The captain of our flight overheard my concern and said, “I have a quick turnaround, too… we will get you there on time.” We landed five minutes early. I looked at my flight tracking app and saw we were traveling at 695 mph. In an A320. Helluva tailwind is all I can say.
I know that JetBlue has gotten a bad rap in some quarters, mostly due to circumstances beyond their control. I’ve found their agents and crew members to be very professional and I like the extra space they give you over Southwest, especially on a longer flight. We’ve not had a bad experience with them on any of our flights.
So, that’s our trip to the northwest. We met some great people and found that most folks we interacted with were super friendly. My only beef was the transportation infrastructure (or lack thereof) but you have that anywhere. I look forward to returning and spending some more time in the region, even making it to Oregon to experience some quality microbrews.