Cold, Wet and Gray Seattle (Part 1)


Back towards the end of October, despite having just gone to Orlando for a weekend and booking two mileage runs to Nashville, I decided that I wanted to have one more “legit” trip for the year.  Wanting to head out west I had to decide between somewhere new, like San Francisco for example, or head to one of my favorite cities, Seattle.  Ultimately, it cxame down to price as fares to San Francisco were just way too high (something I’ve noticed all year).  Of course I could have tried to wait it out (I did buy unusually early for my tastes), but considering how I’ve noticed an upward trend in airfares this year, I figured it would be better just to purchase than to potentially miss out on a trip.

With that said I bailed out of work a few hours early last Friday and on my way to the airport. The flight was particularly full which is always good when dealing with CRJ-200s and despite an initial delay due to the inbound aircraft being late, we got to Atlanta essentially on time.  With a leisurely 1h45m layover, I decided to head to the Cafe Intermezzo/Buckhead Books in the Concourse B centerpoint.  The chances of an upgrade looked very slim, so unless if I was going to eat, now was my chance.  Besides, they have a nice view of the ramp facing Concourse C and watching planes never gets old.

As boarding got close, I noticed on my phone that I was #7 of 51 on the upgrade list for exactly zero First Class seats.  I wasn’t exactly betting on getting the upgrade as flights between Atlanta and Seattle have always been a failure for me.  All I could do was hope that I would win the seatmate lottery (which I all to often lose it seems).  It turned out I lucked out for once and actually sat next to someone interesting for once – we probably talked for the first hour or two into the flight before settling into our own music and TV.

On arrival I made my way to the light rail and took it into downtown.  Seeing as how for my first night I would be staying at the Sheraton Seattle I went to the end of the line at Westlake Center.  Walking into the lobby of the hotel I was greated with a massive crowd.  Turns out the Sheraton builds large gingerbread houses or something that attracts tourists.  I just wanted to get my bags up to my room and then head back out in search of something to eat.  I’m not sure if I got an upgraded room or not, but it was plenty large enough for me.  Ultimately after walking around for a while and not really lucking out in the food department I settled for the Rock Bottom Brewery.  Considering that by my internal clock it was past mid-night, my brain wasn’t as functional and wound up with a massively large plate of nachos.  And no, I did not even get close to finishing them.

Sheraton Seattle Pike Tower - King Room Entry

Sheraton Seattle Pike Tower - King Room

Sheraton Seattle Pike Tower - King Room

Saturday, December 10

Getting up in the morning, it did not look like it was going to be a great day in the weather department.  Essentially it appeared to be the typical Seattle weather: cold, wet and gray.  That didn’t matter much to me however.  Walking down 5th Ave I made my way to Top Pot Doughnuts – my favorite doughnut shop anywhere.  Even better was a get $10 if you spend $10 AMEX Foursquare deal, so on top of two delicious doughnuts and a mocha, I figured I needed a coffee mug!  I have to admit, I’ve been enjyoing all of these credit promotions that AMEX has had lately.

After breakfast, I made my way towards Pike Place Market.  I love to meander throught the market when I visit Seattle, not nothing really did catch my eye this morning.  Tried some Chocolate Pasta, but honestly I wasn’t getting the chocolate flavor.  Besides what sauce would even work with that?  The best part was that there were not many tourists out at all, which also meant I could stop into Starbucks #1 for a quick coffee before heading over to the park next to the market to watch some of the traffic in the sound for a bit.

Watching the Ferries in Puget Sound

More wandering about occured until I made my way back to the Westlake Center to catch the Monorail to the Seattle Center.  The Space Needle wasn’t my interest here – I’ve been to the top twice before.  One attraction I’ve never been to is the Experience Music Project-Science Fiction Museum EMP Museum (apparently the name changed earlier this year), which focuses on Music and well Science Fiction (Bet you didn’t guess that!).  The great thing about it was there was not many people here.  This meant that I got to take my time through all of the exhibits and at times be alone at some of the exhibits.  One awesome part is the Sound Lab exhibit.  Basically it gives you the opportunity to use keyboards, guitars, drums, or your own voice, and for the less-than-musically inclined (like myself) instruments had built in assists.  This meant keys that lit up, where to place your fingers on the frets, etc.  A few times I could have swore that I actually heard real music – believe that!

EMP Museum - Tower of Guitars

EMP Museum - Battlestar Galactica Exhibit

After enjoying the museum it was time to 1) Find Lunch 2) Switch Hotels.  I’ll pick up the rest of the weekend in Part 2…Time to take a break!

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