Exploring Seattle – Part 1
Prior to leaving on vacation, Terry and I were sweating it out, as United Airlines was threatening to strike on the Wednesday before our departing flight. Terry came up with the idea of flying to Vancouver on Canada Air, if United were to strike. It is about a three-hour drive between Vancouver and Seattle. We were using frequent flier miles, and Canada Air was probably the only airline that would have honored our tickets, as they partnered with United. Fortunately, United did not strike and we were able to fly to Seattle. We were headed to Seattle to see our friend Chuck take command of the U.S.S Paul Foster. This would be his first command of a ship.
Friday, February 22, 2002
Our flight was at 7:15 this morning, so we were supposed to check in at the airport at 5:15. Well, as everyone knows, it is Terry’s job to wake up the roosters in Central Florida. He was up at 2:45. Therefore, we arrived at the airport at 4:45, prior to the ticket agents. I stood in line while Terry foraged for coffee and the breakfast of champions – muffins at Starbucks. (How did we ever live without Starbucks?)
Both of our flights were on time, and we only had a little turbulence. Flying is so cool. We both really like the take-offs. One can feel the power when the plane lifts off the ground and one’s head is forced back against the seat. Absolutely amazing!
We picked up our rental car, a 2002 Ford Explorer, which only had 10 miles on the odometer. All right! It had the new car smell and no previous drivers to trash it, very cool. Or so we thought. We were headed toward our hotel, and we were ahead of the rush hour traffic. Then another driver motioned for me to roll down my window and he told me that we were leaking fluids. We pulled off the interstate and found that it was the transmission. Fluid was everywhere. Terry could not get the Explorer back into gear, so we called the emergency 800 number.
Apparently, Ford does mean Found on Road Dead. We also heard the reference, Ford Exploder.
Budget (no, we didn’t rent from Thrifty again-reference to Yellowstone 2001 trip) told us that they would send a tow truck and that we were to go with the driver to the nearest Budget location. But they didn’t have any vehicles available. Then they drove us to the next nearest location which was downtown Seattle (so much for beating the rush hour traffic). The Budget agents were quite friendly and very helpful. They told us next time to call the local number, and not to go through the 800-service number. They would have brought a vehicle right to us, where we were stranded. The original agent at the airport should have told us that!
While we were driving around downtown we saw a Wyland mural on the side of a building. Wyland is the artist who always paints water and sea life scenes. We went back later on and took a picture of the mural.
We also saw a place called Cosmopolitan Motors. They had a bunch of rare cars that made Terry drool, including Delahayes (my favorite), old Jaguars, and a Bugatti. We still wanted to get on the road fairly quickly, so we didn’t go into the dealership right then.
While we were driving around we saw a tow truck that was a toe truck. It was this pink truck, with the toes on top of it, being used to advertise a towing company.
Once we got another Explorer, we headed to our hotel to check in. The suspension in the replacement Explorer moaned and groaned and creaked in the front end worse than Terry’s knees. (Terry’s knees may have more miles on them than the Explorer had, as it only had 8,000 miles on it.) Our 12 year-old Honda Accord, with 119,000 miles, doesn’t even make this much noise. Surprisingly, we didn’t have any problems with the replacement Explorer.
We stayed Friday through Monday nights at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood. The lobby was gorgeous with two waterfalls, and lots of shrubbery. Leave it to us to find a hotel with waterfalls right in the lobby. Terry likes hotels with suites since he wakes up so early. He usually gets up and watches TV while I am still sleeping.
To be continued…