Starbucks City

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Oct 27, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, August 29, 2011

Seattle: The home of the modern day coffee shop, grunge music, and Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan chick flicks. And our home for a few days at least, although more specifically we stayed in the town of Kirkland with our extended family Marc and Ju Wheeler (Tara's bro and sis-in-law). Here we learned why hot cookies and milk is such an evening delicacy *I WANT SOME MORE RIGHT NOW!* and also got our hands on Dairy Milk chocolate for the first time in months (absence makes the heart grow fonder). Plus we had some nice Brazilian cuisine too, which was strangely similar in taste to traditional beef casserole, which is never a bad thing. More culinary highlights to come later...

Our first day there we tried to get the car sorted out with new tags (like road tax but more related to insurance or something). We had to get it emissions tested first (easy) and then take it to the U.S. equivelent of a DVLA office. Here we had problems, there was some kind of problem so we would have to get the car owner to go to a DVLA office, sign something, then we could renew the tags.

So we abandoned this and went to Seattle and did "The Duck Tour". If ever you have the chance to do one of these tours (they're here and in Boston if not more places), you definitely should. A big truck thing that drives around trown and then goes into water and turns into a boat! How cool is that?! All the time a driver gives you great info and makes it a real fun experience for everyone (apart from playing The Birdie Song that is). We learnt more about Seattle in 90mins than you would reading the city's Wikipedia page. However if you want to here it is:

The next day we went back to sort out the car, as it's owner had done what he had to. This time when we got there we were told we couldn't do it as we had only got a *copy* of a signed document authorising us to renew the tags... or as the lady put it "where's the signature?". Well lady, the signature is right there on the piece of paper that I gave you, so what difference does it make if it's a photocopy or the original with actual ink from a pen?! As a chav would say "You are a drain on my life!". We left there angry, frustrated and facing the prospect of postponing our trip to Canada. Why did they neglect this little nugget of information when we drove 45mins out to their office yesterday?! Livid! So we went back in to try with a different attendant (sneaky). Thankfully, she was less dismissive and made a phone call to a superior who eventually told us the tags could be issued. Phew! What a palaver... so we were given new number plates to put on the car (huh?) and sent on our way.

Late afternoon we went back into Seattle with the Wheelers to do the Underground Tour. If you've visited that wikipedia page you'll know that the original town of Seattle was not very high above sea level and originally had a lot of problems with flooding and sewage and stuff. Eventually the town was to suffer a huge fire which caused massive damage, so with the prospect of rebuilding, it was decide to raise the street level of the town and thus solve the flooding problem. As a result, today's Seattle is built on top of the remains of the old town! So we went down below the streets to see some of the cool stuff that's still down there.

After that we were all starving and went to a nice Mediterranean/Turkish style cafe for dinner. Lamb kofte, chicken pittas, falafel, marinated olives... Good Times! Followed up by a trip to an exsquisite chocolate shop (10% discount if you've done the underground tour)... even gooder times! That was some luxury chocolate!!

Then we went for a nice walk along the seafront and visited Ye Olde Curiosity Shop... full of the wierd and wonderful... and some junk too. We managed to resist the chocolate covered ants/beetles (good job we were full from the nice stuff). Also got to see some real Mexican Jumping Beans... wierd.

Seattle is another beautiful city, much like Portland but with a much richer history. We barely touched on the many things you can do there as a tourist and are so glad we're going back there before we fly to Hawaii... probably another week's worth of stuff to see and do.

Now the question is will we make it across the border into Canada? Well as I am writing this in Canada you probably know the answer to that one...

But after Canada will we make it back across the border to the United States to return to Seattle? We sure hope so!!

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