Location – Seattle, USA

Location – Seattle, USA

Seattle Needle

Climbing out of the very comfortable bed at the Ramada was rather difficult this morning.  However, we had slept well and our body clocks were up for the challenge of starting the day.

We dined in the room (used up the last of our supplies), showered, packed and departed the hotel around 11.15am.  We would highly recommend the Ramada in Abbotsford if you are ever need accommodation in Abbotsford.

Before attempting to cross the border back in to the US we value added to our share portfolio by purchasing a morning “heart starter” at Starbucks.  In this time of global downturn we figure that we need to support our own shares and the economy so why not buy where we invest!

We crossed the border at the Abbotsford/Sumas crossing (http://www.borderlineups.com/cam.php?CamID=2) – a short drive from the Ramada.

Now, because my departure card had not been taken when I last departed the US we thought the crossing was going to be a bit of a chore.  However, after the standard “grilling” we were processed efficiently and given some advice on future departure card “management” ie. I didn’t need to go through all the hassle of returning my departure card in Calgary – I could have held onto it until I finally left North America or even held onto it until I returned to Hong Kong!!  Ah – the joys of not being told this earlier.

With the crossing behind us we pointed the nose of the truck south and headed off toward Seattle.  After a couple of miles we were wondering why we had to travel so slowly and why other cars were overtaking us.  The reason?  Well, we were still traveling in km/h and they were traveling at mph!!  It didn’t take us too many miles to work it out and soon we were traveling at the correct speed!

After crossing into the US we passed through some beautiful farming country around the town of Sumas (http://cityofsumas.homestead.com/).

The Cascade mountain range (http://www.gonorthwest.com/Washington/cascades/Cascades_wa.htm) borders the area to the south east and the snow capped mountains provided a beautiful backdrop to the lush green market garden fields.  Ah – cruising America.

We joined Interstate 5 (http://www.i5washington.com/) heading south toward Seattle and opened up the valves on the V8 engine as the speed limit increased to 70 mph.  The i5 passed through some beautiful areas of spruce trees and lakes near Bellingham (http://www.bellingham.org/) and Lake Samish (http://www.bellingham.net/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=101) then opened up into sparsely vegetated land around Burlington and Everett.

Although the roads were busy (weekend traffic) we enjoyed driving on the 5 lane freeway.

We stopped off in Everett (the home of Boeing commercial aircraft company – http://www.boeing.com) for some lunch before continuing our trip to Seattle (a short 20 minute drive from Everett).

We arrived at the Embassy Suites (http://embassysuites1.hilton.com/en_US/es/hotel/SEABLES-Embassy-Suites-Seattle-Bellevue-Washington/index.do) in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue around 3.00pm and checked into our delightful room for a two night stay.  The Embassy Suites are a part of the Hilton group of hotels and this one was impressive.  Again, we would highly recommend staying here if you are visiting Seattle.

Bellevue is a lovely suburb located about 15 minutes from downtown Seattle (http://www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/) and the hotel is located close to the major arterial roads running through Seattle – a nice find.

After a short break in the room we enquired about “things to do” around Bellevue and we were told that the annual Bellevuefest (http://www.bellevuefest.org/) was being held in the nearby Bellevue mall area.  So, with information in hand we drove through the beautiful streets of Bellevue and arrived at the Bellevue Square (http://www.bellevuesquare.com/)around 10 minutes later.  We both agreed that Seattle was having a impact on us – it is a beautiful city that is so well presented and esthetically pleasing.  Definitely a place we would return to and recommend.

The artists fair was very impressive – a great collection of arts various.  The quality of the work and the diversity was something to see.  It is a good thing we don’t live in a bigger apartment because we would have come back with some really wonderful pieces.

We complimented our visit to the fair with a look around the rather large mall before we stopped off for an afternoon brew at Starbucks.  Apparently Starbucks supports the local artists. Indeed, if any employees are artists, they are allowed to present their wares in store.  Today, there was a gentleman named Larry that was displaying his photographs in the store.  Larry and his wife (Jill) spend part of the year in and around Tuscany, Italy and they combine their love of all things Italian with their passions – photography, Italian food and wine.  What a great way to live!  We spent quite a lot of time talking to Larry about his photography, Italy and his involvement in the film Madison (http://www.trulymovingpictures.org/movie-view.aspx?id=94).  You can check out Larry’s site at: http://www.fotoitaliana.com

After leaving the Bellevue mall we returned to the hotel and dined in the hotel restaurant (Cascades Grill).  We shared a lovely meal of soup and salad and enjoyed the excellent service from Lorraine.  A nice way to end the day.

We “retired” to our bed around 11.00pm and fell asleep rather quickly.

Goodnight from NW USA.

Roey and The Princess

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