I went out to Seattle last week for a very whirlwind trip. I flew in Wednesday night, had Thursday there and flew out Friday morning. It was AMAZING how well all of my hotel, plane and car arrangements worked. It was like the whole trip was charmed. I landed a little bit late (stupid Chicago weather) but got to the car counter right before the guy left for a smoke break. Getting the car at the offsite location took a total of 15 minutes and 10 of that was the drive to the car lot and 3 of it was me inspecting the car and figuring out where the various switches were. I ended up with a Subaru Impreza with which I was really impressed.
My hotel room was at an Extended Stay in Lynnwood, a community north of Seattle. We have friends of the family who live there and I was hoping to make things more convient if we could meet up. It turns out that Pam and her family lived 5 minutes away from my hotel. Also, all I had to do to get there from the airport was take I-5 north and the hotel was right there. It was so easy to get down to Seattle, too.
I probably should confess this, being a librarian and all, but I didn't do any research for this trip really. Well, except for the yarn stores. But I didn't even do a google map for the hotel or where I was going in Seattle. I just looked at the little guidebook map. On reflection, I'm really happy I picked up the guidebook on Tuesday when a patron asked me to show them the Alaska guidebooks and I happened to see it. But, like I said, everything was charmed.
I had an appointment in the middle of the day in downtown Seattle so I found a place to park the car (10 blocks away) and remembered the cross streets. I got to my appointment early so I had a chance to cool off from my hike. After it was over, I took a detour to Pike Place Public Market and roamed around for a bit. I got a fabulous thing of mac and cheese at a cheese store/deli and some flowers for Pam and her family. I drove back to the hotel and got ready to meet Pam.
You know the best part about visiting Seattle? Pam is a knitter. Pam knows yarn stores. Pam had a plan and a map of the stores we could get to. Pam is a native and can find her way around so much better than I could. The second best part? The Seattle yarn stores were having a yarn crawl that weekend starting on Thursday. If you were able to get to all 23 yarn stores in the near Seattle area, you were entered into a drawing for a set of Addi Clicks. Pam and I knew our limits, though, and were happy to make it to 4. We went to The Fiber Gallery, Bad Woman Yarn (hysterical name!), Weaving Works, and Pam's LYS, Acorn Street Shop. Because it was a yarn crawl, every store had a free pattern and would stamp your yarn crawl booklet. It was so much fun! I didn't buy and yarn but fell down hard with the fiber and fiber tools. I blame the delightful Weaving Works!
I came home with 4 ounces of Falkland fiber, 1 ounce of cotton roving, 1 cotton spindle and 1 wooden drop spindle made in Kent, WA. I should have never picked up any of the Cascade spindles to try them out. I tried a couple and they didn't click. I tried the .95 oz one and knew it was going to come home with me. Then you can't leave without fiber because what else would you do in the airport? Knit on the 2 different projects I had brought? Ha! Of course I spun in the gate waiting area! I came home with the cotton and cotton spindle because I've never seen those in fiber stores and, the last time I was looking for one, I couldn't find one. At Bad Woman Yarn, I picked up a bluebird needle felting kit. Mom has been watching a bluebird family in our backyard so it was the perfect present for her.
After our mini yarn crawl, Pam and I went up to the ferry landing for Whitby Island and met Pam's sister, Nikki, for dinner at Ivar's, a local seafood place. It was so much fun to see both of them and catch up a bit. Pam and I arrived right as Nikki's ferry was landing and, as we finished dinner, a ferry was arriving. Talk about timing! If we had taken any longer, Nikki would have had to wait until 11.
The next morning, I was worried about getting to the airport and Seattle's notorious traffic. After consulting with Pam, I decided to leave at 8 just in case. It definitely wasn't a problem getting up and out that early because I was still on Eastern time. By 8:30, I was getting ready to drop the car off. Can you believe that? I didn't even hit any sort of slow down. Definitely charmed. All I had to do with the rental car was get out, let the attendant scan the barcode, and get a receipt from him. The ride back to the airport was 10 minutes. By 9, I was in line getting ready to check in for my 11:30 flight. It was fantastic! I had plenty of time for security and getting caffeine. And spinning.
I guess the only downside is that I am back on the terrorist watch list. Have I mentioned this before? About 2-2.5 years ago, I couldn't check in online for a Southwest flight. Now, this was for the return trip. I was able to check in online 3 days before for the outgoing trip. At the airport, I tried the kiosk check-in and it went through all of the steps but, before printing the boarding pass, told me to go to the desk to check in. So I waited in another line. What being on the watch list means is that you can't use the curbside, online or kiosk check ins. You also might get more security. I got copies of my social security card, passport, driver's license, and birth certificate notarized and sent in to the TSA in order to get off the list. After many months later, I could check-in online again for my flights. Suddenly, 2 years later I can't check in online again. It's so frustrating! I guess I will go through all of that again sometime soon.