Hello Seattle...........we're listening

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Friday, January 12, 2007

After breakfast at the hotel,  we got a taxi to the airport only 2km away for our flight to Dallas Fortworth where it was also very sunny.  On entry we obviously sang the Dallas theme tune, watching the skyscrapers go by.  Were nervous about all the security here as we had a quick turnaround for our flight to Seattle and there were long queues especially for immigration.  It was pretty tight despite our running and we were last on our flight to Seattle.  We were both convinced our bags would not make it.

Our onward flight to Seattle was a bit bumpy and we were informed that due to a snow storm (literally horizontal blizzard outside the plane) that we may be diverted to Portland which would have been a complete pain.  Fortunately though we weren't and had a bumpy and slippery landing!.  We were 50% right on bags.  Mine didn't show up.

After waiting over an hour for a bus in the snow (very surreal experience after sun and heat for so long) we wimped out and got shuttle to town and our home for the night, The 8th Avenue Inn. 
The snow had settled which looked lovely and it was a beautiful clear day.  As ever food being my favourite topic, the breakfast was very exciting and we stole a large amount to feed us for the coming day/s.  We walked into downtown and past the huge shops and department stores (surreal again) and first got bus to Bank of America tower with fab views of river, sea and lakes and the mountains.  Was really astounded at what a beautiful location this city is in.  We met a Yorkshireman who moved here and worked for security in the tower.  Next off went to the very modern Seattle Library with its linear architecture and interesting design way of cataloguing books (literally ascending/descending down the building) designed by Coolhouse - my dad would be proud of me.
Then Pike Place market and lunch in the Athenium restaurant overlooking the river/sea, where we had clam chowder and scallops and sat in the seats from 'Sleepless in Seattle'.  Then onto the first Starbucks from 1970 something.  Then shopping went to Macys which had a great sale on up to 70% off and got some Ralph Lauren jeans for $20 and a DKNY top for $10 - only cos I thought I wouldnt get my bag back (honest).  Then down to the ferry terminal where we got the ferry at sunset to Bainbridge island with great views of the mountains and the Seattle skyline.  Came back in the freezing cold and dark.

Back at hotel bag had shown up thankfully so we quickly changed and walk/ran to Capitol Hill to meet friends of a friend, Pete and Jackie in a great Italian restaurant where we had amazing pizza before heading to their house for a great nights sleep.  They have a 5 month year old son, Jamie, who was incredibly well behaved and an equally well behaved Mastiff called Rooney (yes after Wayne - but their dog is a lot nicer looking). 
On Pete and Jackie's advice we headed down to Lake Washington near their house and saw more fantastic houses and the great view of the lake and mountains.  Was nice to see part of the city we normally wouldn't have been able to if we had been normal paying tourists (!)Then bus into Seattle Centre to see the Space Needle (but not go up it)
and then to more shops before back to the library (as visitors get free internet) before a great Thai lunch.  We then moved onto Pioneer Square and the very interesting underground tour.  Basically due to a fire most of it burned down over 100 years ago and the city decided to increase the land level by pumping earth from mountains to make it easier, safer, healthier etc to not be on the water.  Some people had already rebuilt their properties after the fire and when the new earth was pumped in the first floor became basements.  We visited the now basement bits of some of the city which were used during boom times or for illicit operations after their 'burial'.  Was pretty interesting stuff.  After more shops, but no more clothes we headed back to Jackie and Petes to say goodbye.  Thanks again guys.

Bus to airport preparing for a fight, and a flight.  Weren't entirely sure we were going to be allowed to fly today to Washington as we had changed our flights and potentially gone over our 20 flight allowance but noone at One World had noticed.  This all became completely irrelevant as the flight was delayed which meant we would have missed our onward flight to Washington DC.  So they kindly moved us onto a United flight direct next morning.  Meant being late to meet our friend, John, and paying for another nights hotel but better than flying in a storm!
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