Canada - Seattle - Day 20
Yes I know, Seattle is not in Canada but for the purpose of this blog it is much easier to keep under the heading.
Today breakfast was busy. In fact the whole Hotel is busy. It is not up to the usual Holiday Inn Express standard. It is older and feels different. Nevertheless the breakfast was exactly the same as elsewhere. We have stayed in too many of this chain of Hotel this trip and it would be nice to have some variation.
After catching up with the boys who were at Trent Bridge for the cricket (where we should have been also until we changed the dates for this trip), we set off on foot for the day in the direction of the Space Needle. We hadn't planned to take a trip up as we had done some twice in our previous visit to Seattle. Instead we wandered round the general area including the bits we were permitted to at MoPo (full name - Museum of Pop).
From here we caught the monorail down to the Westlake Centre where after popping into a couple of shops (and Karen purchasing a couple of much needed tops) we found a Starbucks and drank them in the hot sunshine.
Then it was onto Pike Place where we bought some fruit and then went to the meeting place for the Seattle walking tour we had booked. This again was very good and enjoyable. In 2 hours we only walked about 2 miles but learnt so much from Joe the Guide. He had a large group of people but kept everyone totally absorbed with his tales about Seattle. The time absolutely flew by. We ended the tour down on the watrefront and made our way back to downtown via a secret elevator he took us to, saving a 12 storey climb of steps.
We both needed a drink so went to yet another Starbucks and had a relaxing chill for 30 minutes. We then ventured to the Gum Wall which is a Seattle institution albeit a disgusting one of an alleyway where people discard chewing/bubble gum on the walls. It is gross, bizarre and interesting all mixed into one.
As we wandered to our chosen dinner venue we looked around a couple of other shops (to make sure Karen had enough tops) before arriving at The Cheesecake Factory. This had the usual wait but we were sitting at our table within 20 minutes. I had my usual Caesar salad whilst Karen had a some chicken concoction. She ordered the Ghirardelli Cheery cheesecake to go.
On the way back to the Hotel we walked past the Amazon HQ and their first Amazon Go concept store. This is where there are no checkouts. You have the app on your phone and as you remove things from the shelf it automatically bills you. We were fascinated but today didn't want to buy anything (only sells groceries), however may try it tomorrow.
It was also noticeable how hazy the sun had become as the day progressed. As we got closer to the Hotel and the Space Needle it was astonishing how even the top of it was covered in the smoke haze from the fires in BC.
This marked another good holiday day. We like Seattle. It is walkable, friendly, with lots to see and do. The only problem here is that it has the largest proportion of dropouts and homeless in the USA. They are a problem that needs to be sorted. Please can someone add that to Mr Trumps to do list.