Day 10 - What Country Are You From?

Trip Start Jun 05, 2008
Trip End Jun 24, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day Ten- What Country Are You From? Talking and Flying Around the Seattle Area
Today's blogger and photog: Kory
I don't think that we mentioned it before, but I've been surprised at the number of people who seem to have a bit of trouble understanding our accents - and we don't have heavy Southern accents, by any means. We've had to repeat our food orders to people several times, and I've had a couple of people say they liked my accent. Our waitress this morning (Karin at Randy's, a local place near the Museum of Flight with the best breakfast we've had on the whole trip) teased me by repeating my order in her own Southern drawl, but that was just a warm-up for what was to come: when we got to the museum, a man giving out information about a special exhibit chatted with me a minute and then said, in all seriousness, "What country are you from?"
"Tennessee," I said, without missing a beat, and we all had a laugh. He shook his head and said all he could tell was that it wasn't from around here. In his defense, there seem to be a lot of different accents here, many of which - I'm guessing - may be influenced by Canadians in the area, and by the large number of people who are here - either living, working or vacationing - from Asia, India, and other places across the Pacific.
Today was our aviation day, which my boss, Tim, would have especially liked. We started out at the Museum of Flight, south of Seattle, which, similar to the National Air and Space Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, has lots of planes suspended from the ceiling and displayed at ground level for viewing. It also has a lot of Boeing history, since Boeing is based in the Seattle area (more about that in a minute), and a lot of history about the early pioneers of the flight industry: Boeing, of course, and McDonnell, Piper, Cessna, and many more - names that I've always associated with a company but not with individual people until now. A couple areas of the museum were unfortunately closed due to some special events going on this weekend. Matthew found a simulator and landed the Space Shuttle quite successfully a couple of times. But what we enjoyed most was getting to go on the "Air Force One" which served Presidents Eisenhower through Nixon, and also getting to go on one of the Concordes, which ceased service in 2003.
After that, we were evidently all fired up for flying, because we decided to head north about 30 miles to the town of Everett, where Boeing assembles its largest planes and has a museum and tour of its facilities. The Boeing plant is the largest building - by volume - in the country. Or maybe the world. Now I don't remember which. Anyway, it's way big, and although I'm sure there are some other assembly plants that take up more square footage, Boeing gets them on volume since the building has to be so tall to accommodate the aircraft height. What was coolest there was that we saw the newest model plane they are working on, called the 787 or DreamLiner. It has a lot of new technology and ergonomics (I guess you'd call it) which will make the passenger experience much improved. Wider seats, bigger windows, and LED lighting to help passengers adjust to the time zone they're flying to. Plus it's a cool looking body made of new materials that are lighter. The first DreamLiner came off the assembly line last year, but it will be next year (09) before the commercial airlines put the first ones into use. I can't wait to ride on one.
It took us ALL day to do these 2 things. We got back to the Bellevue area in time for a nice downtown traffic jam and, after driving around too much, finally pulled into a burger place for supper to keep from driving anymore. (Having witnessed a somewhat humorous altercation between two motorists on the north side of Seattle earlier today, I'm not any more comfortable with the traffic today than I was yesterday. But at least today was Saturday and, presumably, traffic was therefore a little lighter.)
We've logged almost 1,300 miles in 9 days. Another 130 or so are on the schedule for tomorrow, as we head east to Leavenworth, a small town on the other side of the mountains. I think it's the Helen, GA, of Washington. Kelsey, who's going into her 4th year of German next year, is gearing up for German food and hoping for some German talk as well.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy, and to all the other dads reading!
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