Saturday, June 27, 2009
SEATTLE: Travel Day
Over the next few days I'm going to write about some of the highlights and insights of our recent vacation to Seattle. Russ and I have traveled many places, but never to the northwestern part of our country, so this was a real treat. We have been planning this trip for over a year now. It was originally scheduled for last August, but a series of events put our trip on hold. So, let's begin!
We flew out of Harlingen, TX around 5 PM Central Time, with a brief layover in Houston. No real time to get a meal there, and we weren't really hungry. But we often experienced the pit-of-the-stomach hunger while flying due to in-air snacks limited to nuts and soft drinks. Risking it, we boarded essentially foodless (a few cookies stashed, just in case). So we were pleasantly surprised when their "snack" consisted of a delicious cheeseburger and fresh green salad, and a chocolate bar for dessert.
We landed in Seattle around 10 PM Pacific Time, after being in the air about five-and-a-half hours total. One thing we realized is the older you get, the smaller and less comfortable those seats in the plane become. So, we walked off the plane a little bit like Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein!
The buses were about to close, and didn't sound all that special to take anyway, with our baggage and my wheelchair. We planned to take a taxi, but when we hailed one, he refused to take us due to my wheelchair, even though we showed him it folds up easily for stowing. He said he could call a van for us from the same taxi line, but it could take a while.
This limo driver kept bugging us to ride with him. Finally he quoted us a price just $13 more than the absent van, and after that long on a plane and desiring to get to our room, we succumbed. So this was our first ever limo ride.
The driver decided to be our first Seattle tour guide as well, so there was no glass window between us and the front to provide privacy for our ride to the hotel. That's okay, it was enjoyable to get a sneak peak at what we had in store for us over the next 8 days. And the city was beautiful at night!
We arrived at the Westin, greeted by the valet. That is the last real memory I have of the night. I know we went to the registration desk. We struggled with our luggage up to the 39th floor. We performed the perfunctory oohs and ahs much like a fireworks display when we viewed our room as well as the room's view. But truthfully, that last 15 minutes felt like sleepwalking as if living out a dream sequence compared to the vivid memories of the days that followed.
We sunk into what Westin calls their "heavenly bed" and "lights out."