Saturday, November 08, 2008

First day in Seattle

Well, we had to GET to Seattle first. We had planned on having dinner in the dining car, but didn’t realize you had to make reservations before dinner started and the dining car was filled to the max, so Norm went down to the lounge and got a pre-packaged chicken dinner for us to share. We also finished the last of the jello for desert.

Then we went to “bed” about 6:30 because it was dark outside and neither of us felt like reading and I didn’t feel like knitting. Norm took one set of two seats and I took the other two, across the isle from him. We had brought fleece blankets from home to keep warm (they would rent a blanket to you if you wanted) and pillows – I got three pillows – one for my back, one for cushioning the window and one for my head. Then I stretched out across the two seats with my head against the window. Later on during the night, I lay down and curled my legs with two pillows for my head. Then I leaned back with the seat back laid back a bit, like I was in a recliner. I think there were about five different positions I tried, enabling me to sleep about an hour at a time. Well, we did sleep, both of us, a little bit and the night finally ended. Don’t you just hate these long nights when you think the night is almost over and it’s just an hour from the LAST time you checked the clock?

Not that I’m saying the seats are uncomfortable … far from it. They recline, have a leg rest that lifts up so it’s very much like a recliner. But for a little ol’ lady, it ain’t the most comfortable place to spend 33 hours (we were an hour late getting into Seattle).

Once the sun rose enough to be able to see out the window, I was up for the day. But I napped on and off for several hours. We went to have breakfast in the dining car and met a young man who lived in the Seattle area; we discussed the difference between Minnesota and Washington. He has family in Minnesota and was just returning from there. The one thing he mentioned was the quiet and the fresh air.

We went through the mountains that separate East Washington from West Washington. As we started to see the scenery, we could see snow as we climbed up to the top of the mountain – we didn’t see much distant scenery as trees surrounded us, but we did see a river (or several?) – the attendant said the rivers were very, VERY high right now! It was raining so most of my pictures have water spots on them. I couldn’t open the window for pictures, unfortunately.

Then down the mountain – losing the snow but keeping the rain and watching the high rivers. We then got close to the ocean and saw several fishing boats, several islands and lots and lots of water. The train was very, VERY close to the water. I had to stand up and look down to see the rocks holding the tracks. We went very slowly a lot of the time; the conductor said we were following a freight train. But when we got into Seattle, Eric said they had announced there was some flooding on the tracks that slowed us down. We were about an hour late when we FINALLY reached our destination.

The first thing I did, after giving Eric a big hug, was to go and upgrade our return trip to a sleeper car!!!! What a relief!

We got our bags collected and headed out to pick Jill up for lunch at a local pizza place (yummy!), took her back to work, then went home for some rest before collecting her after work.

For supper we went to McGrath’s Fish Place for great food! I had my first (and probably last) oyster; they ordered oyster “sliders:” These are raw oysters in a shot glass with cocktail sauce in the bottom. You squeeze lemon juice on it, hold up the shot glass to your lips, take a BIG gulp (holding your Dr. Pepper in your right hand in case you need it) and throw it down your throat. I made it!!!! It was slimy with a little bit of graininess on an edge, but it got down.

I also tasted seared ahi tuna – semi raw tuna with very hot Washabi mustard. I had one piece (without the mustard, thank you very much!) and it’s something that I don’t need to have again!

However (however!), my scallop and prawn skewers were awesome!! Grilled on kabob sticks with fresh vegetables and with a small bowl of melted butter. Everyone had a great meal, according to his or her taste. Eric had fried Creole oysters; Jill had trout and Dungeness crab; Norm had red snapper We were so full that even thinking of desert was painful!

Got home to discuss the differences between High Definition TV and regular TV. Since I am “legally blind” in my left eye, I have a difficult time seeing anything in perspective so it took a while to figure out the difference, but now I can see it. Eric has a big flat screen TV and I can see the colors are brighter and the lettering is sharper and easier to read.

Then to bed. And I will write about Saturday later on. It was a beautiful day in Seattle yesterday. We had a little bit of rain but not much. The sun has been shining most of the day today, and it’s been a beautiful day today. You have a beautiful day.

Oh!!! I was mistaken. The tracks were not along the ocean but the Sound. Puget sound is so huge that it goes all over the place!!

And again, click on the slideshow to see the pictures in a larger frame.


jayedee said...

i LOVE reading about all your adventures and as we don't travel, living vicariously thru you is wonderful! lol

Kati said...

*grin* It looks like a great time, Connie! Tay thinks the oyster shooters sound interesting. (She's an adventurous child, that one!)

The pictures are lovely, even covered in rain drops. Glad y'all are there safely, and upgraded to a sleeper for the return trip. Hope the return is a little more restful. *grin*

City Mouse said...

The trip there sounds just wonderful - what a neat way to go. Of course, nothing beats your own bed, LOL. Glad you had a safe and super cool trip! Have fun!

Karla E said...

I'm so jealous!