Hello from Kent, WA

Hello from Kent, WA

Saturday evening August 24,  2013   (Third travelogue of this trip).

Wow, a lot has gone on since I last posted.  As I noted, I taught two different sessions of what we call Shaft Alignment at the Waste Water treatment plant in Las Vegas.  By Friday night, my butt was dragging and I could not figure out why.  Then it dawned on me that I taught three 10 hour days (plus 4 hours on Monday and Friday).  When I teach, I am basically on my feet the whole time and moving around a lot.  Those long days got to me.  That said, I somehow survived {grin}. 

Saturday we flew to Seattle.  We are staying at the Holiday Inn in Kent (map).  I taught a class called Ball Screw (a very critical part of large machining equipment) on the swing shift Monday-Wednesday.  As was the case with Las Vegas, the “off-shift” hours (2:30 – 11:00) messed with my sleep pattern.

For the past three days we have been doing some really neat “tourist” things.  We bought a book of tickets (“City Pass”) that covers the cost of the major tourist attractions and saves a significant amount of money over the individual costs. 

Thursday we drove out to Mt. Rainier National Park.  Once we got into the park, the road was lined with huge pine trees.  At least one tree in the park is said to be 25 feet in circumference.  We were a bit disappointed that the majestic mountain was shrouded a bit by clouds.  The mountain is an active volcano that raises 14,410 feet above sea level.  Unlike our mountains, Mt Rainier’s base is close to sea level.  This was a fun 200 mile drive.

Friday we toured the The Museum of Flight (link).  On the tour, we got to go inside the first Presidential Jet (a Boeing 707 labeled “Air Force One” when the president was on board) and a Concord supersonic passenger jet.  The Space Shuttle training craft was also on display and we got to walk inside the bay.  We also saw a 3D movie about fighter jet training at Nellis AFB.  The aircraft and spacecraft collections were amazing.  One of the best displays were the toilets that were used in the Space Shuttle and a Russian space craft.  The display had videos of the astronauts telling how the systems worked. 

We then drove downtown and rode to the top of the Space Needle and then took an Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour. 

After the harbor tour, we had a very unique seafood dinner at the Crab Pot on the wharf.  As you can see in the photo, they bring a big stainless steel bowl of various mussels, shrimp, crab, corn on the cob and boiled potatoes.  They “dump” them on butcher paper and you dig in, putting the shells in the same bowl that they set on the floor.  They also give you a block of wood and a wooden hammer to crack the crab legs.  Delicious!

Dinner at the Crab Pot

Today we toured the Pacific Science Center and the Seattle Aquarium.  The Pacific Science Center was a great visit.  It is aimed at kids with tons of interactive displays of all kinds.  The highlight of this stop was the Imax movie:  Hubble 3D.  This Imax theater is the latest technology and the movie had a very large amount of footage from the Space Shuttle during several repair missions.  Then we went to a really neat laser show that had fantastic laser “art” set to various kinds of music.  It was almost like a fireworks display at times.  The Seattle Aquarium is on the wharf and has a large number of aquariums with a vast number of different and colorful fish, sea otters and seals. 

All of our stops the past three days was fantastic. 

Tomorrow we fly back to Las Vegas and start our slow, sightseeing, journey home.

That is all for now.

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