When Booking our flights to Hawaii from the UK it is impossible to book Direct. We have learned however that it is not a great plan to book a very short layover as this leaves you incredibly tired. On the way, we had a 4 might Layover in L.A and this worked fantastically but going home we wanted a faster journey time.
One of the Route options Virgin offered left us with a whole day to explore Seattle, a city we had not visited yet. This was a perfect Itinerary with a redeye out of Maui and then a Red eye out of Seattle later on that evening. Giving us the Chance to sleep on the Plane. Virgin and Delta Conspired to royally mess that up.
That dreaded E-Mail announcing the flight itinerary you had booked was changing. We spent hours pouring over the possible route and timings to plan the perfect trip then a simply E-mail turns it on its head. Often these E-Mails are nothing more than a few mins either way. But this was a double Whammy that messed up the plan completely.
First Delta pulled their flight forward two hours. This not only gave us two fewer hours to enjoy Maui but meant we would land in Seattle at 4:50 am. Pretty early but remember out body clocks would see that as 1:50 am! After only a couple of hours sleep at best…
Then Virgin Piped up and brought the departure time forward by 4 hours, vastly reducing the time we could spend in the City and further reducing our sleep time on the Virgin flight.
These Changes fell into the Airlines “minor” category so nothing we could do but grin and bear it.
Sea-Tac – Seattle
We woke on our descent into Sea-Tac with a glass of cordial from the crew. It was still dark out and I had barely slept Kate had grabbed a few hours but it didn’t really help. The ride in over the City was pretty fantastic as the clouds parted and the City lights Sparkled. Just for us. No one else was Awake!
As we navigated the Simple airport we followed the signs for the Sound transit train that would whisk us into town in no time at all. The return fare was only $6.00ish and the ride time into the City about 45 Mins
Early Morning Seattle
Emerging from the Station it was COLD. Now we had just spent 12 days in the Glorious warm sunshine of Maui so anywhere was going to be cold but the early morning air of Seattle was frigid. A cold wind blew and cut straight through our clothing.
It was clear at 6:00 am Nothing was open and nothing looked like it would be for a while. We headed for the nearest McDonalds to try and perk us up. The Security Guard on the Toilets was a worrying sign and it seemed the only people awake at this time were the Cities homeless. As we wandered around we didn’t really feel particularly safe, but at the same time, we were not threatened in any way. The few thousands of dollars of Camera Equipment in my backpack was a little worrying though.
After a quick trip to the closed market, we realised there was very little going on and we could do nothing but kill time and shelter from the cold. So we naturally hit up a Starbucks. Seattle, being the home of the Coffee Giant, this felt quite fitting.
Pikes Place Market
Eventually, the market opened up and we took a look around at the many fish, fruit and flower stores. It still felt like it was a part operation and many stalls were closed. Really we wondered if this was usual and if the Market has seen better days or we were just there on the wrong day and the wrong time.
What was there looked fantastic but as we had to board a plane in a few hours we didn’t really fancy carrying on a King Salmon or a bunch of flowers.
After seeing most of what was available we headed off to the Space Needle. We opted to just walk the one mile from the Market to the Needle. And while it took no more than 20 mins the bracing wind made it an icy experience.
At the Space Needle, we were struck by the further bad news. The Elevator had broken and they were unsure when it would be repaired. We would not be able to hang around waiting for it to be fixed so took a refund (we had pre-booked) and looked around the area.
Again most things were closed and we were really becoming tired of the wind. The lack of sleep was really getting to us and after encountering a large number of homeless people washing in the public toilets we headed back to the City Centre.
We hunted out the Original Starbuck and got the obligatory photo before hitting the Shops. As we looked around Macy’s and a few other shops we were at least out of the freezing weather but the tiredness was still building.
Really the day was not going well and we just wished we had stayed at the airport at this point. So we took the Decision to do just that and hopped back on the Light Rail back to Sea-Tac, Nodding off as we went. Rather despondent about our Seattle visit that we had been really looking forward too.
Back at the Airport we just found a coffee shop and tried to relax and re-warm. Looking forward to Our comfy Premium Economy Seat and copious amounts of booze to help us fall deep asleep for our Trans Atlantic Crossing.
Not Everday when travelling works out as you expect. We will return to Seattle, preferably during the warmer months to give it a second chance.
Day 14 – Return Flight to London Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy >>>