|In my man-cave|
Dateline Seattle USA.. early 6th July 2012
Day 27 (yesterday)
Early start from Super 8 Detroit, I had set my alarm for 5 am but woke up just before it went off, quickly showered and threw the remaining items into a compartment in the pack:
When I bought this pack in Queenstown just before I did the Routeburn in January, I didn't realise just what a great pack it would turn out to be. German toughness, it's a Vaude. Not too small and not too bulky to carry around...just right. And it neatly fits on the overhead on the Greyhound.
Anyway, at 5.15 reception called to check that I still wanted the shuttle I ordered at 5.30, because one of our famous thunderstorms was happening. I had left the window open during the night, because there is an insect screen, so I hurriedly had to shut the window and do a little mopping up. Huge cracks of thunder and lightning and heavy rain...but, I needed to leave. I was the only passenger in this free shuttle, and it called at 2 other motels before dropping me off at Detroit Metro. I was really impressed with this airport. Got through check in (had to pay $25 to check my bag through, bit of a surprise), and through security. The only 'hitch' came when I forgot to take off my belt and the buzzer went off through the machine, so I had to de-belt and 'hitch' my shorts up until it appeared again on the conveyor belt. I was early at the gate, so I breakfasted at one of those highly priced cafes (same at airports all over the world), and quietly waited. The rain stopped. We took off on time. Nice flight through to Phoenix. My travelling companion next to me was a friendly lady going to a family reunion in California, and she worked in maternal mental health, so we chatted about that, psychiatry in general and of course our travel experiences (as you do). We swapped email addys on leaving. So the flight was over some vastly changing terrain, from the big city to farmland to desert canyons and finally to my familiar airport at Phoenix, near where I walked on Day 5.
I grabbed a sandwich en route to my next gate for the flight to Seattle, and that too took off on time and in fact was early into Sea-Tac airport. Another nice flight with pleasant chats to the lady on my left. I picked up my pack from the carousel, and went outside and found a platform for complimentary hotel transport, called Travelodge on the free phone provided and the Travelodge shuttle came and picked me up. This was getting better and better.
And now it's not so hot...around 70, I can breathe again, and after I had checked in and grabbed touristy brochures, I ventured out and found walking a lot easier than in heatwave conditions. The Travelodge is right in the heart of Tukwila, on International Boulevard. This is a poor area. It's like United Nations around here, lots of Africans, Indians, Arabs, not many white faces. There are a lot of halal cafes, bazaars, pawn shops, and the ubiquitous McDonalds, KFC, Wendy's, and the rest. I walked both ways, up towards the Light Rail station, which I will use tomorrow to get into the city, and then in the opposite direction along International Boulevard. And then I was drawn in towards my favourite salad at Wendy's, ate my cheeseburger and fries, but kept the salad til later, in fact I've just had a middle-of-the-night feast of it, and it was yummy.
Sooo, onward later on today to new adventures looking around Seattle.