Sunday, 18 January 2015

DAY 38 - Sleepy In Seattle

Hi Y'all, today we sadly left beautiful Vancouver and headed down south, back to Seattle, Washington, a distance of around 170 miles.

The packing of the car was a breeze, especially considering that Sal is currently looking after half of our luggage. The first obstacle to the drive down south is passing the USA-Canada border, which as Steve Reed predicted, was not as pleasant experience as our crossing into Canada. Making things slightly worse was my peculiar habit of choosing the slowest lane whenever there is a lane choice to be made. In this instance, there were six lanes to choose from and yet again we were moving much slower than all others. The Border Officer was professional, yet cold and somewhat terse and disinterested. He did the classic security check which involved asking me the same (or similar) questions a number of times as if he were trying to trip me up. Thankfully, we had our stories straight so all of the contraband which we stuffed our bags with, made it through...Whew! ...Am I allowed to joke about this stuff in a Blog?

Farewell from Canada

Some interesting artwork to keep you entertained whilst being checked by Border protection

The view back to the border crossing taken from across Semiahmoo Bay from Blaine Marina Park

It seemed that as soon as we crossed the border, it began to rain, and rain...and rain. In fact it's still raining - because it's Seattle. As we headed further down south we made a few stops at The Outlet Mall and Seattle Premier Outlet Mall, before stopping in at Everett. Kyle managed to pick up some more Basketball Shoes from the Nike Factory Outlets bringing his total number of shoes to 'heaps'. I swear I'm going to start calling him Imelda.

We stopped at Everett to check out the Flying Heritage Collection Museum at Paine Field. Paine Field is also known as Snohomish County Airport and is the home of Boeing's Everett Plant which produces the larger Boeing aircraft. The Flying Heritage Collection Museum is a great little treasure with a number of interesting (and flying) aircraft, predominantly from the WWII-era and includes US, British, German, Russian and Japanese aircraft that are housed in two hangars. They also have some interesting surprises such as the Scaled Composites Model 318 White Knight which is the type of aircraft that will launch Richard Branson's commercial space passenger flights. There is also the nose section of a Lancaster B Mk.1 Bomber with the cockpit section completely restored and a Messerschmitt 163 B Komet. There were also a number of other artefacts such as tanks, half-tracks, missiles and engines.

After visiting the Museum we drove around the periphery of Paine Field hoping to get closer to some of the brand new aircraft off the Boeing production line. We were rewarded for our efforts and I must say, I was amazed how close we could get to some of these aircraft. We got up-close with numerous brand new Boeing B787s, B748s and KC-45 Tankers, but there were also some older aircraft including two Boeing B727s and a B-52 Stratofortress. It was also amazing to see how many B787s were parked, as if in limbo. Oh, and we saw a Lufthansa Boeing B748 Intercontinental landing and taxiing past us. We were expecting to attract some unwanted attention as we drove from car park to car park checking out the Boeing products, but it seems as though the airport is quite spotter-friendly. Here's some shots taken around Paine Field.

Boeing's new KC-45 Tanker aircraft

By the time we completed our fun time at Snohomish County Airport, it was getting towards late afternoon, so we got back in the car and drove straight to our Hotel, which is nearby to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. After settling in, Schuyler and I headed out again, braving the elements to check out some of the local Seattle Record Stores, some of which were huge. Noting the rain and the traffic, we didn't get back until around 2200h. I don't know about Sleepless in Seattle, but I was certainly sleepy in Seattle.

Well that's it for another day. We are getting close to the end of our holiday and I am certainly looking forward to home-cooked meals and sleeping in my own bed. Tomorrow we will be spending the day in Seattle, though the weather doesn't look promising. But that's okay, we will be making the most of the day, nonetheless.

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