Over and done!

The last day of the holiday was spent in Seattle. We had set the alarm clock to 6.30. The idea was that we would get up early so we could be at the Space Needle when they opened at 9 - so that the line would not be too long. And actually nobody waited in line, when we arrived, but it turned out that they had been open from 6.30 , so there was, however, a short line at the elevator. From the top there was a beautiful view over Seattle while the mountains farther away were hidden in clouds. It was actually the first time I visited the Space Needle on a day when the sun was not shining.

We admired whatever view there was - and then we took the elevator back down. The lift ends, I had almost said of course, in a gift shop, but here we confined ourselves to looking around without buying anything. Instead we went  to the terminus of the city's monorail, right next to the tower. At that time there was no one in the box office, but a sign that said that you had to buy the tickets on the train, so we did when it arrived about 10 minutes later. In fact we bought a round trip, which cost exactly twice as much as a single, but then we wouldn't have to buy a ticket when we were returning. The tour, which has no stops, lasts 90 seconds and then we arrived at the other terminus at Westlake Center.

Walk- thru Fountain in Westlake ParkFra Westlake Center we walked down to Pike Place, where we showed Tina the totem poles in Victor Steinbrueck Park, before we entered the Pike Place Market, and went through it to the market's main entrance, where we admired the fish-throwing fishmongers from Pike Place Fish Company ( World Famous ) without buying anything - yet. From here we walked along 1st Avenue to Pioneer Square. We passed a UPS store where Tim went in to chat with a Seattle colleague while Tina and I visited a nearby Starbuck's where Tina got latte and sandwiche, while I was content with a cup of plain coffee and no sandwich. When Tim was done chatting in the UPS store he joined us at the Starbuck's. As he doesn't drink coffee, he just waited until Tina and I were done. The the three of us continued to Pioneer Square and Pioneer Building. The site, now occupied by Pioneeer Building, was once the site of the home of the somewhat bizarre millionaire mayor, Henry Yesler, but when the house burned in the great fire of 1889, he built the Pioneer Building as an the office building. In 1897, 48 different mining companies had their offices in the building. During the prohibition in the 1920s Seattle's first speakeasy opened in the Pioneer Building.

Actually it was not the Pioneer Building, we had come to see. In the next door building is the ticket office for the Seattle Underground Tours. We were going on a stroll beneath Seattle's surface and as it was around 10.30 when we got there, we bought tickets for the 11 o'clock tour. Before starting the tour, Tina and I had another cup of coffee, while Tim got hot tea. The tour begins with a short lecture in which a - in this case female - guide, told us the story of how the tunnels were created, see the article "Above ground..." on the 2012 travel page. The guide talked much about what she called "The Seattle Spirit". This simply mean that when you've got an idea, you have to stick to it, no matter how foolish and wrong, it turns out to be. Even if a project goes completely  haywire, you should by no means refrain from trying to do it all over again in exactly the same way that made it go wrong the first time. It is in fact this spirit that makes it possible to see how Seattle's streets - or at least their pavements - looked in the 1890s.

After finishing the tour where we visited three separate areas of the underground, we went back to the ticket office to see if they had found Tina's hotel key, which she thought that she had lost when we drank coffee. They hadn't though, and it later turned out that she had forgotten it at the hotel. From the ticket office we went back to Pike Place, where this time we bought fish - or rather Tim and I did, some for gifts to bring home, and some for ourselves. Fish was in this context smoked salmon in cans and vacuum packed, so it could stay fresh until we got home. Then we went up to the monorail station. Tina would like to visit Macy's, which is right next door to Westlake Center, to buy some make-up, and Tim and I would like to visit a bookstore, so while Tina went into Macy's  the two of us went to the bookstore, located a block or two further up the street. When Tina had done her shopping, she found us in the bookshop, and she and I got a soda while Tim finished looking at books. Then we all went back to the station and took the monorail back to Seattle Center. We would have taken a tour with the ducks ("Ride The Ducks"), some refurbished amphibious vehicles in which you can get a trip around Seattle both on land and at sea. As both kids found it too hot, we gave up on that idea and returned to our hotel.

Return to Copenhagen

Customer behind the counter at Pike Place Fish CompanyIt had become the last day of holiday and we had to go home, but our plane didn't leave until late in the afternoon, so we took it easy. We repacked our suitcases and carried them down to the car. The air mattress we had already gotten rid of, and now we abandoned the blanket and the cool box as well. We packed the car for the last time and left the hotel at around 9.45.

On the way to  the airport we agreed to have breakfast/lunch for the last time at a Denny's, so we did. Then we continued to the airport and returned the car without any problems and got to the terminal by a small train. Here we had to wait about 15 minutes before the check-in counter opened. Both check-in and passing through the security check went smoothly and so we went up to the British Airways Lounge, which we were allowed to use with our Icelandair Economy Flex tickets, and here we enjoyed ourselves until departure time.

The return journey was not worth writing about. It was as boring as flights usually are, except that Tim had the aisle seat next to an elderly American lady who was ill and had to get up and out all the time. Eventually the flight attendant moved Tim to the "right" side of the Business Class veil, where he sat for the the rest of the flight to Reykjavik. When we reached Copenhagen, Tim and Tina got their luggage fairly quickly while mine was not immediately apparent. In fact my suitcase did never arrive so I had to contact the service desk , which would then search for it, and the very next day it was brought to my home. Apparently it had spent the night in Reykjavik, where we changed planes. From the airport we took a taxi back to Tina's place. Here Tim and Tina left so Tim could get his car, which had been parked there. I continued in the cab and also picked up my car which had been parked in a borrowed garage.

The holiday was over, and the next day when the suitcase arrived, it was so completely over. Before leaving home, we had calculated that we would drive around 4.000 miles on our 21 day journey, but as usual we had driven a bit more than that, as out home estimate only includes the actual transport from place to place, and not the detours we take to see stuff and eventual changes in plans. So all in all the trip was around 5.000 miles. And once again it was expensive, but also this year it was worth the money. Aside from Tina getting ill in San Francisco, I think it was a fantastic holiday - and great to be with both children at the same time.

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