Early this morning, I escaped Atlanta and the residual heat and humidity from Tropical Storm Isaac for a little vacation and some time off, and arrived in the cool (72 degrees), crisp air of the Pacific Northwest by noon (local time). This holiday is a repeat of the same trip that I took this time last year, and is serving as a personal affirmation that even though I am now self-employed, I can still enjoy one or two little luxuries and indulgences every now and then.
The flight itself was uneventful but bumpy until we finally got out of Isaac's reach somewhere near the Missouri/Nebraska border. After landing in Seattle, I walked to the light rail station, which was a real treat after sitting in a crowded plane for four-and-a-half hours, and took the train from the airport to downtown, and then rode the monorail from downtown to Seattle Center and the iconic Space Needle.
Of course I rode the elevators to the top of the Space Needle (when at the amusement park, one must enjoy all of the rides). The observation deck at 520 feet affords great views of the region, including fresh-water Lake Union and downtown Seattle.
A couple of quick self-portraits snapped off with my camera (a popular past-time on the observation deck, as evidenced by dozens of people aiming their cameras and iPhones at their own faces), before attempting one with my own cell phone, which decided on its own to take a sepia-toned Instagram-type picture for some reason.
After descending the Space Needle, some nice views from the roof of my hotel of Puget Sound and of Mount Ranier somewhere out beyond downtown.
I really have to state for the record that I love this neighborhood (Lower Queen Anne) in Seattle. There's a really nice row of restaurants right here on Queen Anne Avenue of virtually every nationality (Thai, Mexican, Greek, Italian, Indian, etc.) with ample streetside dining, as well as a number of coffee shops, theaters, music stores, etc. The police patrol the neighborhood on bicycles, there's ample public transportation, and automobile drivers are courteous to pedestrians. The evening sky as I type right now is occasionally pierced by the cries of seagulls from nearby Puget Sound as alpenglow forms on Ranier. I'm tired from my early start this morning (5 am) and the time difference, and I'll sleep well tonight in the cool evening air, looking forward to my day tomorrow.