I'm back with another adventure with my travel loving mom!
What would a long holiday weekend be for me and mom without a travel adventure planned? Well, it certainly wouldn’t be a normal holiday weekend for us at all. Consequently, when a 3 day weekend is approaching we maximize our vacation time and extend that weekend by a couple days and Labor Day weekend 2011 was no exception.
It began several months ago with both of us saying we’d like to return for a visit to Seattle, not in January. Our last two expeditions to the Emerald City were in January and we really wanted to experience this terrific place when the sun rose before 8am and set after 4pm. We accomplished that and then some with an early September visit.
When I was able to score roundtrip tickets from Savannah, Georgia to Seattle, Washington on Delta Airlines for just over $300 each (including taxes), I knew where we would be heading for our September sojourn!
Several weeks preceding the trip we had been watching our local newspaper weather listings and seeing temperatures in Seattle to be in the mid-60’s, hey, that was ok with us, we were scorching in the SC low country, with the whole month of July seeing temperatures well above 100 degrees every day. We were ready for a little “chill time”. BUT, as the trip drew closer an amazing thing happened, summer came to Seattle! During the four days we were there, the mid-day temperatures were in the mid-80’s and sun was splitting the sidewalk everyday. We were two very happy ladies, and it wasn’t only because of the wonderful wine we were drinking!
Prior to this trip I jumped on both the Groupon and Living Social websites and signed up to get emails for deals in the Seattle area. Boy did that add a bunch of emails to my inbox, but it was worth it. I was able to take advantage of a Groupon deal with Immersus tours. http://immersustours.com/seattle.php For half the regular tour price we got a terrific tour of areas outside the regular tourist track. We loved seeing some Seattle neighborhoods we probably wouldn’t have normally ventured into, but more about that later.
Saturday, September 3, 2001
I am sure some of the reason I got a good deal on our plane tickets was, in part, because we had a 7:30am departure, which means the alarm clock was chiming in my ear at 4:30am, hey; at least it was better than the 6:30am departure for our San Francisco trip back in July!
By 5:30am we were in the car and heading to Savannah, by 6:30am we were through security and waiting at the gate to board our flight. Lucky for us, a few days prior to this trip I got the “heavenly” email from Delta telling us we had been upgraded for both segments of this outbound trip, which meant we would not be participating in the food for sale option in the economy section, YAY!
An interesting observation I noted while connecting to the Seattle flight in Atlanta, the airport seemed less crowded to me than on previous trips this year, not sure if it was because of the time of year, the economy or just because it was the “crack of dawn” on a Saturday, but the crowds were minimal, which made moving between terminals a breeze.
We had 2 hours between flights, which left plenty of time to find the gate for the Seattle flight and get our caffeine fix! Of course we had ample time to observe our fellow travelers, which is always interesting. One gentleman did not stop talking to the woman next to him from the moment he sat down, and they were not traveling together. I often wonder what my fellow travelers might be thinking about me, as I sit and survey the goings-on around me.
We boarded the flight without any delay and got settled into our business class seats. Mom and I were not seated together, but that wasn’t a big deal for us and instead of inconveniencing the passengers around us, we didn’t ask anyone to change seats, heck, we were just happy to get the upgrade! However, this was not the case with another upgraded passenger.
As the flight attendants were serving drinks, a honeymoon couple boarded the flight, how do I know they were on their honeymoon? You may be asking. Well, the bride got upgraded but the groom did not. The bride is now asking the passenger who was her seatmate to give up his business class seat! I was more than a little surprised. It did become clear the seatmate who was asked to give up his seat was also an upgrade and his wife happened to be back in economy because she wasn’t upgraded, so he agreed to make the change (nice, guy, I’m not so sure I would have given up business class!), but not before the bride stood in the aisle whining and offering the man $100 to make the change. Maybe it’s me, but gee whiz, show a little class lady, don’t go announcing to the whole cabin your dilemma, it was worked out in the end, but boy did she make a scene!
The rest of the flight was uneventful and the pilot was kind enough to point out when we were flying over Yellowstone Park, it was a beautiful clear day and the view from my window seat was spectacular!
In the last 2 trips to Seattle, I’ve always liked flying into SeaTac airport, there is great scenery and this time we approached over the city’s suburbs and got a fabulous view of Mt. Ranier.
The flight arrived about 20 minutes early and we found our way to the Link Light Rail station, bought our two tickets. At $2.75 each we could ride from the airport to the very last stop, Westlake, right in downtown Seattle, which was just three blocks from the hotel we stayed in. That price is one of the best deals I’ve ever encountered for public transport to and from an airport. The ride took about 30 minutes and we were exiting into downtown Seattle at 2:30pm.
We stayed at The Paramount Hotel on Pine Street between 7th and 8th Streets. http://www.paramounthotelseattle.com/ When I started to look into where to stay I was coming up with rates for downtown hotels in the $200-$250 range, we were looking to spend a little less than that and even hotel connections from my previous life in the hotel business where coming up with zilch. We would have paid that rate ut then I turned to Twitter.
In July I started aggressively looking for accommodations, figuring since it was a holiday weekend hotels would start booking up and then I found out that is the weekend of the Bumbershoot Festival and I really wanted to nail something down. I tweeted I was looking for a hotel in Seattle and The Paramount Hotel replied, they had rooms available and I could get their social media rate of $159…bingo! I booked and I’m glad we did. We really liked this hotel. We liked the location because we didn’t have to climb any “major” hills, well, mom appreciated that more than I did and it was an easy walk to all the things we wanted to do in downtown and an easy walk to several of the bus stops we would need to take while exploring the city. The Paramount Hotel staff was courteous, and helpful. The room was comfortable and clean and there was free wi-fi. I thought it was a good price for the accommodations we got.
Our first day in Seattle ends with, shopping, a great happy hour deal and a terrific seafood meal with a great local wine!
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Sipping Our Way Through Seattle: A Trip Report
I'm back with another adventure with my travel loving mom!