Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Alaska Cruise: Day 1 - Seattle

Travel day started at 3:30AM as it almost always does. It was my turn to drive us to the airport, so we piled our ridiculous amount of luggage into my Rabbit and left around 4:30. We’d planned on using the economy lot ($100 savings!) but about halfway there we realized we’d left too late to comfortably park there and take the shuttle to the terminal. Central parking was the only other convenient option so we ended up there.

We rode the escalator down to the check-in area of Terminal C, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t been in that terminal since I left for Australia in 2006. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that was just a little over eight years ago. Time just seems to pick up speed every year. I digress.

We used one of the many, many Jet Blue self check-in kiosks and got into the baggage drop line. A coworker had warned me that the line for the baggage drop had a tendency to be ridiculously long. He was right, but we got there early enough that it didn’t take too long to get to the front. Security was mostly uneventful, the only surprise being that I didn’t have to take my shoes off. A pleasant surprise, to say the least.

I was glad that I had downloaded a movie to my Kindle Fire the previous night because the in-seat TVs didn’t work at all for our row. I only wish I’d downloaded two because one did not cover the entire length of the flight. We landed in Seattle just before 10AM PST, claimed our baggage and hopped on the Link Light rail to Westlake Station. I’ve got to admit, toting our three pieces of luggage around the city was less than enjoyable. They’re pretty obnoxious to maneuver up the escalators. Fortunately our hotel, the Mayflower Park, was only two-tenths of a mile from the station.

Our room was ready upon our arrival and we were extremely grateful for that. It gave us a chance to freshen up a bit before we set out into the city to explore Pike Place Market. While we’ve been to Seattle before, we didn’t explore the market as much as we’d have liked. Stop one was The Crumpet Shop:

I’d read about the The Crumpet Shop in one of my Cooking Light issues and immediately became obsessed with going there. Seriously, totally obsessed. I was even a little bit scared that it might not live up to my possibly overblown expectations. It did live up to them though, and more! While I only had a single crumpet with lemon curd and a cup of coffee on the side, I knew we’d have to go back the next day because they had groats on the menu.

After finishing our crumpets, we set out into the market proper. We saw the flying fish guys, found an excellent little doughnut stall, and wandered by the original Starbucks. However, I often find that I’m easily overwhelmed by lots of sound and people, so I found it hard to truly appreciate the uniqueness of it all. And being that we were both relatively exhausted, we headed back to our room to turn in for an early night. Eric fell asleep a couple hours earlier than I did, but the only reason I made it until 10PM PST was because of Fireblood by Jeff Wheeler.