16 Nov.

Jon’s alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. local time (12:45 p.m. at home) for reasons even he couldn’t explain once he woke up, two hours later. We enjoyed a free (well, included) continental breakfast at the hostel before visiting the world’s first Starbucks for some Wi-Fi.

Once we’d all contacted home, we decided to visit the Space Needle, riding the monorail to get there. Exciting. We each bought a Seattle CityPASS for $59 (looking at the website, they’re now $74! No wonder they voted Trump) that got us into all the city’s attractions. The first one we decided to take in was the EMP Museum, which was class. There was lots of Hendrix memorabilia, a Nirvana exhibition (what!? In Seattle?), interactive Avatar and horror movie exhibitions and a place to play music.

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Giants draughts with little cones, possibly from a cycling test centre.

After eating at Zeeks Pizza, we visited the Pacific Science Center, which was very much geared toward children. Had we gone out of our way to see it, rather than just go in there to keep out of the rain and cold until it was dark enough to go up the Space Needle, I’d have been miffed. It wasn’t all bad, though. We got to see a 3D film called Born to Be Wild about baby elephants and orangutans (in captivity), narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman. We also played giant draughts with cones.

When the grey became a much darker grey, we finally went up the SN, nearly freezing to death on the viewing platform and getting completely drenched. Jon bottled it, and he hit the bottle in a bar across the street while waiting for us to come down.

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Seattle, as seen from the Space Needle.

While at the bar, Jon got chatting to an affable, Bill Bryson lookalike lawyer called Travis. He gave us his details in case we ran into any trouble on our travels and bought us a table tap—”you’ve not done America until you’ve had a table tap,” apparently—which is a table-top tube containing 10 glasses’ worth (they don’t do pints) of ale.

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It’s probably also worth noting we went to Pike Place Market. It wasn’t particularly inspiring, and no one was tossing freshly caught fish around, so we were left a little underwhelmed with what our guide book told us was one of the 37 (couldn’t that have been rounded up?) things you MUST do in the U.S.

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Pike Place Market: A thoroughly underwhelming box-ticking exercise.
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