It was hot in Seattle. Africa hot. Did I mention?
After a cool night sleep in our air conditioned hotel room Tuesday night, we woke up late and took our time getting ready for the day. We packed our bags and checked out of the hotel, heading to downtown Seattle to have lunch with Ron who is currently working for Amazon.
Ron met us in the lobby of the tallest building in Downtown Seattle and took us first to the observation deck on the 73rd floor. WOW! What a spectacular view! This is looking northwest:
Though why I chose this framing is beyond me. Where is the water?
The haze didn't help, but it was still an almost 360 degree view around the city. Here is looking south to the two new stadiums for the Mariners and the Seahawks. The train station is just below and left of the stadiums.
Close up on the train station:
Looking east toward Bellevue across lake Washington.
You can barely see the Cascades back there.
Looking southwest toward West Seattle. At-Ats in FG.
There was so much to see, it was hard to tear ourselves away, but we finally decided to have lunch as planned, so we headed down. As in most huge/tall buildings, we had to take two separate elevators and on the transition floor (40, I believe) there is a lobby area and guess what? A Starbucks. A full on, full blown Starbucks. We stepped in just to say we were in the highest Starbucks in the world.
We then went down to the food court in the basement levels to have lunch as it was way too hot to walk around downtown. Great lunch conversation ensued, then we went to check out Ron's office. Last of all he showed us the spot where the free books are. Amazon gets (as you might imagine) tons of books sent for review purposes. There are shelves and shelves of books in various stages. Some are finished but in review form (paperback with "please review this awesome book!" verbiage all over it). Some are unfinished (editing not complete) with plain red covers with just the title and author name. Fascinating. We ended up taking a couple books, one of which I just finished reading "The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane." We said our good-byes to Ron and headed down to the car and began our trek to Port Townsend.
We opted to drive instead of taking the ferry. Cheaper and we could guarantee we would have air conditioning the whole way. This was the day of the record breaking heat. Did I mention? It was a lovely drive south through Tacoma over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge northwest past Bremerton and Poulsbo and across the Hood Canal Bridge and then up into Port Townsend. We did stop outside of Tacoma for a caramel frap to cool off.
We arrived in Port Townsend around five o'clock and needed a place to stay for the night. The old downtown is a Victorian extravaganza with hotels and bars and stores and theaters. It's very cool and gets tons of tourists. We drove around, got a lay of the land then parked the car near the first hotel and went to see about rooms. We met a nice man who said he had rooms, told us the numbers, the doors were open, we could go up and look. He also kept telling us all the different prices he could offer us, with decent discounts. But with the caveat: no air conditioning.
We climbed two major sets of wide stairways into the center of a beautiful old Victorian building. But it was hot and the rooms were just okay, kinda quaint but kinda funky. If it hadn't been 100 degrees, it might have been more fun. We left, saying thanks and went to the next one. Basically the same thing: the person at the front desk either handed us keys or waved us up, saying which number rooms were open and to just take a look. More tall stairs, more amazing 2nd floors of the Victorian buildings.
The buildings are amazing and I'm a huge lover of old buildings. But holy cow it was stifling.
This routine happened at four different hotels and who could blame the front desk people? It was hot, why schlep up and down stairs in this heat? The routine was broken at one hotel when we asked about rooms and the woman said, "I'm kind of dizzy." Seriously. We looked at her, wondering if we should help or what. She then said, "number seven and number 8." We went up then came back down. Luckily she was still upright when we waved and left.
We went to another, newer hotel toward the end of the street and looked at a room there with the manager. It seemed okay, but not historic or very interesting. I asked if they had wifi and the guy told us a five minute work history at the hotel to explain why he didn't know if they did or not. A simple "I don't know" would have sufficed.
We left and got in the car and went half way up the hill to another Victorian house B&B. This one was really well kept. The beds were new -- you could tell because the mattress were thicker than four inches and didn't sag in the middle. The decorations were modern but matched the house beautifully. As with the other hotels though, the woman handed us a rate card and listed the numbers of the rooms that were available. Up we went, looking at the sweet rooms, end up on the third floor in a large room. I stood fanning myself with the rate card as we discussed if we wanted this room -- third floor, no air con, imagining ourselves hauling luggage up and down. I noticed then on the rate card (between fan strokes) that they had bungalows. No stairs! They were more expensive, but hey, why not look.
The kind woman showed us where to go -- out the back, through the garden to the green door. We walked as instructed and came across this sweet statue:
Wait a minute! That's no statue, that's a sweet little baby deer! We froze, it froze, then it walked away into the garden. Whew! That was sweet. Then we got to the bungalow, which was a modern little place and we were sold and we splurged. Turned out though, that we got a discount because when the woman said, "We serve a full breakfast in the morning in the dining room" (which would have been great!)
We said we had plans with friends who lived in Port Hadlock for the next morning. She said, "oh, so you know some locals? Great, I'll give you the local discount!" Sweet! So I think we got $30 off the room. Super nice. So we drove the car to the front door of our little bungalow and unpacked. No stairs!
And look at the view from inside. Heaven!
We were stoked. Still no air conditioning, but the place was in shade and there were fans and we could just rest and be still and look at the view. Ahhhh.
But soon it was time to eat and we headed back to the downtown area and went to Siren's. The nice woman at the B&B had suggested it for the balcony over the water where we could best watch the sailboat race at 6pm -- SOLD! We hustled down there and were so happy to perch on the balcony, order up some cool mojitos and watch the sailboat "race".
First of all there was barely a breath of wind so "speed" was not a factor. It was hilarious and just the perfect end to a very hot day. Oooh, and they had Oly Beer for a buck a can. Had to order up one of those for old time sake. Hilarious and I have to say, very refreshing!
We ate dinner there -- couldn't be bothered to move as it was finally, finally cooling down slightly. After dinner we walked next door to the 50's soda fountain and had some ice cream, then meandered back to our room and took cool showers and just sat on the couch and looked at the water. Ahhhhh.
Finally the long hot day had come to an end and in a gorgeous, comfy place. Couldn't wait for tomorrow!