Made it to Seattle after a long day of travel - essentially 12h worth of travel. I am currently in Kirkland but amd heading out in a few minutes to explore Seattle Center, once I figure out how to get there. Perhaps the overzealous car rental agent was right, I could have used a GPS in the car. Somehow I don't think my boss would agree.
I hate renting cars. They always play on your guilt regarding insurance and you wind up spending the rest of the trip worried you're going to smash the car up and have someone tell you "I told you so." I checked with my boss before I left and I am covered under the company's insurance, so I didn't take any. This of course made the agent say at least three times that I'd be held liable... thanks, I think I understand what declining insurance means. They did get me on the refueling option though. I took it so I wouldn't have to worry about gassing up near the airport. The day I leave will be tight time-wise. I get the feeling I shouldn't have chosen that option, but coming from Canada, where gas is priced per Litre, gallons don't mean anything to me. The price per gallon that they're charging on this option is not unreasonable, I knew enough to understand that, at least. I just don't know what the posted price at gas stations are right now in this area. I hate renting cars.
I managed to stay up until 10pm last night, and yet still woke up at 4:30am. I forced myself back asleep and got up around 6:45am to make it to 7:30am mass. I was a couple of minutes late and sat in a reserved pew, oops. At least mass was more normal than SoCal - a cantor & pianist. The cantor was very into her music, tapping her toes and smiling the whole time. They got me again with the Nicene Creed, which I muttered my way through... I'm going to have to bite the bullet and memorize that so I know it when I attend mass away from home.
Anyway, it is 9am and I want to begin exploring while I am still somewhat awake & conscious. Going to get some advice from the front desk, get myself a map, and head downtown. Picking through the tourist brochures, I noticed that the Science Fiction Museum is the home of Captain Kirk's command chair... I have a mission! But not a 5-year mission :) I also must hit the Pike Place Market. Anything else is gravy.
It's weird, but I am having the same reaction to here as John had the first time he arrived in SJ - it's so green! Way more green that I'd see at home, it's beautiful. The freeway drive from the airport to the hotel last night was beautiful.
I guess I'd better be off. Hope to have some pics to post here later.