Seattle, You Can’t Trick Me
August 6 to September 1, 2012
9 hours (BCN -> PHL)
6 hours (PHL -> SEA)
for a total of
Customs With a Connecting Flight
You’ll notice the flight between Barcelona and Seattle isn’t direct. You stop off in Philadelphia to change planes. This is where international travel gets dumb.
They don’t forward your checked luggage from plane to plane. They make you physically collect your checked luggage, drag it through customs so you can say “I don’t claim anything about my luggage,” then you drag it back to a baggage area where it goes on a conver belt to your next plane (hopefully).
But—because they made you have contact with your checked luggage, you are now a security risk again (you may have taken out a pocket knife from your luggage thereby putting the entire world at risk of destruction). You must now pass through TSA security again with your carry on luggage and your backpack.
On the BCN->PHL flight I took a window seat which was convenient because I could shove a leg between the side of the plane and the seat in front of me.
They reset the IFE system about four times (causing every seat back screen in the plane to go blank), so watching anything was tiresome.
Seattle’s light rail does connect to the airport, but it didn’t go where I needed to go. Someone picked me up at the airport and they called an Über driver to take us back.
I stayed with a friend in the South Lake Union (SLU) area. It’s basically “The Town That Amazon Built.” Amazon built out dozens of buildings in the area causing an influx of overpaid tech workers, which caused housing to get built out, which brought an influx of overpriced restaurants (mostly only open during work hours though).
SLU is a nice area though. Walk around the lake a few days a week to stay active.
If you don’t have someone in Seattle to stay with, there are a few hostels downtown with great reviews. Can’t go wrong in Seattle.
There’s a Whole Foods in SLU and a few dozen restaurants and coffee shops and bakeries. Take your pick.
Walking works. You can walk from SLU to downtown Seattle to Fisherman’s Wharf to Capitol Hill to lots of other places.
I visited Seattle for all of August, which is the only month it isn’t abominable to live there. It’s mostly sunny, warm after 11am most days, and the least rainy of all the other months. Visiting in October or April would potentially be miserable.
The timezone difference between Seattle and Barcelona is nine hours. I didn’t bother to really reset my sleep. I just woke up every morning at 6am in Seattle and started my day. It worked out nicely (though, with early wakeup times I’m half asleep again by 9pm).
Things to Do
For things to do: It’s Seattle. If you like coffee, do coffee. Go be a tourist around Fisherman’s Wharf. See how fast you can run up Capitol Hill. Visit the tall building in downtown Seattle giving you a 360º view of the city. Walk around Lake Union (a 6 mile loop) two or three times a week.
Visit REI Prime.
Visit Theo Chocolate factory (free tours with free samples!).
Leaving was arriving in reverse. The light rail was’t close to where I was staying, so I summoned an Über driver to do an airport run.