Monday, May 5, 2008

Surprising Seattle

I spent the last weekend in Seattle, Washington and was surprised by the experience. Maybe we should start with what I expected and why I went. I went to join some friends for a Celebri viewing of Corteo by Cirque Du Soleil - for those of you that know me you know I am a big Cirque fan. What I expected to find was granola thrown at my feet by a grunge rocker as soon as I stepped of the plane, but I found the Greater Seattle Area to be a very beautiful area with a great mix of water, hills, mountains, trees and lots of aviation related industry.

I arrived on Thursday and after checking into my hotel in Renton headed north to Everett. I took a tour of Boeing's Everett Manufacturing facility where they build the 747, 767, 777, and the 787 and visited the Future of Flight Exhibit. I can describe this in one word - amazing. If you get to the Seattle area this is a must do for anyone. I am an aviation buff, but most of the people on the tour I took were not and they were in complete awe of what we saw. I also visited the Museum of Flight next to Boeing Field just south of downtown Seattle and it was one of the best aviation museums I have been to ranking right up there with the Smithsonian and the Museum at Wright Patterson in Dayton, Ohio. For dinner I took Mike Spencer's advise and went to the Metropolitan Grill and had one of the top 10 dinners of my life.

Friday I went to downtown Seattle and saw the usual sites - Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the Duks, the floating bridges, athe waterfront and then spent some time taking a second tour around the Reston Airport where Boeing assembles the 737 before realizing that gambling is legal in Washington State and finding a casino in Tukwila to play a bit of blackjack before joining some friends for dinner at Teatro Zinzanni where I learned the bald mans handshake. If you ever get to San Francisco or Seattle I would recommend going to Teatro Zinzanni - it is a bit pricey, but the food is good and the entertainment is great!

On Saturday morning I got up early and went to the Silver Dollar Casino at SeaTac and played in a Holdem Tournament where I went out mid-pack on what I thought was a good hand, but 4 4's loses to 4 Q's anytime in anyplace and I got mine at a bad time. I then went across the casino to their Ultimate Holdem Table and made back my $40 investment and hit quad 10's for a huge payoff more than doubling my money. I then went back to my hotel and got ready to head to my friends house for a "wake" - that is a pre-show party for Corteo. The show portrays a clowns funeral. My friend, Rich Alford, went way out and created a pre-show party that featured lavish hours devours, great adult beverages, and good camaraderie. We left there and went directly to the show which was a spectacle in itself and after the show I headed back to my hotel to rest my weary self.

On Sunday I just got up and leisurely took my time packing and got some breakfast before heading to the airport for my return to Atlanta.

So on a trip rating of 1 to 10 this trip ranked about an 8. I like Seattle and found there was much more to do there than drink coffee, wrangle with environmentalists or slip on left over granola. Seattle turned out to be a diamond in the ruff with nice people and lots to do and see.

Maybe I wasn't so much surprised and misguided.

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