Out of the fire, into the fridge, we knew Seattle was going to be colder, but we wasn't quite prepared for the daily 3-9°C degrees we got. Next week is going to be even colder.....shit!!! The day of the flight to Seattle, clocks went back an hour (yes it happens a week later than the UK), this meant that with the timezone change, we went back 5 hours. My body clock is still pretty fooked now. We didn't get to sit next to each other on the plane, but we both made friends with the people who we sat with. The women next to me even offered to let us stay at her house to save on motel costs,however we already had couchsurfing arranged. The first night we stayed in a motel, then the following 4 nights we stayed with a guy called Amol who was also a web developer, but specialised in the infamous .net language.... bless him. I was reluctant to geek talk at first, but then my inner geek took over. As much as I'm not looking forward to 9 to 5 again, I am looking forward to doing some programming again.
Anyway enough mumbo jumbo. We hired another car in Seattle for 9 days and we are going to drop the car off in Bozeman MT, which is just north of Yellowstone national park, which conveniently is our next stop :D We got a Hyundai Elantra, we are about 5 days into the hire and realised the dozy wankers didn't insure me to drive it, so Glenn is doing the rest of the driving. The car is bloody quick, the acceleration is awesome, I want to test out it's top speed but it may be a bit dangerous without any insurance :p
So... Seattle, apart from the weather, this is one of my favourite cities in the states, there is loads to see downtown, not always necessarily attractions, but just nice things to look at, lots of good shops and some nice places to eat. Not to mention Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all have bases there. We were told that every other person either works for Microsoft or Starbucks. Our first stop was the Space Needle, I'm sure most of you have heard of it, it's a restaurant and observation deck on a needle shaped, scifi looking building. It's probably my favourite building after seeing it up close, although the empire state NY and the shard London are definitely contenders. We went up to the top of the 1000ft observation deck at night. The city looked amazing just like NY did. The inside part of the observation deck contained facts on the building and a starbucks napkin, which showed the first design of the Space Needle, which was quite laughable.
The next day we went to the pike place market, known for its fish, although there are plenty of other things on sale, including lots of awesome hand painted artwork. We didn't know before going, but in the mornings they throw fish around to each other. Which we was there to see, we was just a little too late to get a video of it. We then went past the first ever starbucks and then on to Pier 57 where they have "The Great Wheel", again it's half the size of the London Eye but spins around treble as quick easy. We went in a few shops like the rocky mountain chocolate factory which had some super scrummy looking sweets and the army and navy surplus store. We also went into a shop which looked like a cash converters, but on top of selling electronic and instruments, they also had an impressive little armoury of handguns and rifles.
At the end of the 19th century, there was a fire in Seattle which burnt down near enough the entire city. When the city was rebuilt, it was built one level above where the old city was. We went on a tour of the underground which shows you parts of the old city. There wasn't loads to see for obvious reasons, but it was still a good tour, the tour guide was reasonably funny too. Well worth seeing and I'm sure my photos of it will do it much better justice.
Another day we went to the EMP museum which stands for Experience Music Project, it was for sure the best museum we have been to, it was filled musical artefacts from a bunch of great bands, with a huge area dedicated to Nirvana and another smaller area for Jimi Hendrix. There was a studio like room where you could freestyle play or learn guitar, drum and keyboard. That was all cool, but for me the movies room was which had artefacts from Saw, Stargate, Star Trek, Dr Who, Superman, The Matrix, Alien, Shaun of the Dead, Friday the 13th, Xena, Men in Black and my favourite Terminator 2. Just to name a few.
The boeing factory is based just outside of Seattle and is the biggest building in the world, we done a guided tour, which started by taking us under the factory, through their gigantic tunnel system. We then got to go into the factory to see their entire range of planes being produced. It was pretty awesome, however no pictures are allowed inside the factory, so you are gonna have to Google it to see for yourself. Our tour guide explained how Boeing uses lean manufacturing to eliminate waste, which I felt quite smug about, knowing exactly what she was talking about xD We got to see one of the 4 dream lifters in existence, these planes are modified 787 planes, which are primarily used to carry supplies to their Seattle base from around the world. We also got entry to the future of flight center for free, where we learnt a thing of two about what's next and also got to sit in the cockpit of a 727.... which was beyond confusing.
The last stop, other than the many Chinese buffets, was Mt Rainier, we got exactly what it says on the tin. It pissed it down the whole time while there. We got out the car for a minute to get some pictures and then drove back down the mountain. However, since we have got more than enough mountain views and pictures from the drive to Yellowstone.
Right now we are in Bozeman and are spending the next two days in Yellowstone. The weather is around -4°C and we are told to expect snow too. Good thing I brought absolutely no winter clothes with me :D