Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Seattle Day 2 (Tuesday): Exploring

I'm posting this the day after. Again. Give me a break, I was tired yesterday. 

Thanks to timezones, I woke up at 4 am local time (12 pm at home) yesterday, and actually got up and did stuff at 6 am. Around 6.30, I left the hotel to go explore the area. And in search of a hairbrush and milkshake. I walked for an hour and found three hotels, two industrial estates, seven car dealerships, several apartment blocks, botanic gardens and a Home Depot, but nowhere I could get a hairbrush or a milkshake. This was very annoying, as I'd been led to believe that America had a Walmart or Target around every corner. It's not even that they weren't open at 7 am, they just weren't there. Anyway, the scenery was lovely. Bellevue is very leafy.

I neither confirm nor deny that I crossed these train tracks. 

I was really dehydrated on the way back, so I went to the café downstairs in the hotel and got a smoothie. Around nine, Mam and I went down and had breakfast at Polaris, the hotel's fancy restaurant.

Mam was very impressed by the luxury. She also said the temperature in Bellevue was perfect, and was a fan of the waterfall beside us. 

At half ten, we got a town car to drive us to the mall in Bellevue. The driver was lovely, though we didn't catch his name. The cars are so fancy. We first went to Bartell Drugs, which is a big chemist, and I got a hairbrush. The whole thing would've been easier if my sister hadn't stolen my hairbrush before I left for the airport. Moya, I'm looking at you. 

Then we went into the mall. It wasn't quite as wondrous as I thought it might be. We had been under the illusion that things were cheap in America, but they were actually super expensive. This wasn't helped by the tiny exchange rate. It was also weird being in a new shopping centre for the first time. Also, the shop people were incredibly pushy. I guess it's just a culture thing but we really felt under pressure to buy stuff. In Ireland, shopkeepers don't talk to you until you come up to the till. 

These glasses are on grass. As far as I could tell, actual grass. 

I saw '4' on this and was delighted, thinking that was the price. Turns out it was a size four, and the prize was like $130. Oops. It's not a nice dress anyway, but I'm a sucker for a bargain. 

We went into the Michael Kors shop and lots of others named after famous designers whose names slip my mind. Here's a chemists with this awesome skeleton.  

I did like the Apple store and the Tesla showcase pretending to be a store. And there was this brain training store similar to one Jerry brought me to in Ireland. I bought hair ponies, a flower crown and a peace necklace for CTYI. 

Those things weren't cheap normally, but I got them in a good deal so all three combined ended up around $6. Another thing I found strange was that American shops never have the dollar sign on price tags, they just have the number. Totally different in Ireland. 

We left the mall around half eleven or twelve and sat outside in the sun waiting for a town car to pick us up. It was a nice BMW, a lough the door handles were weird. That driver was nice too, and it turned out the other driver had been talking to him about me and they knew I was there because I'd wonthe Intellectual   Ventures prize. They remembered the two boys who won it last year. 

Back at the hotel, we went for lunch at Splash. Mam got salad and salmon, and I got spicy pasta and chicken with a side of chips. I had a strawberry milkshake and she had cider. I couldn't handle how spicy the pasta was but Mam wouldn't let me eat the chips instead as I had planned because she said it wasn't nutritious enough. Sure, but at least they're not physically painful to eat!

We then ran up to our room to get swimsuits and went to the pool. Mam lay in the sun for a while while I swam, then we swapped. Later, we both lay on recliners in the sun. It was blissful. I did of course put sunscreen on, although the SPF of 10 really wasn't adequate and I was made sit in the shade while we ate because my skin is so white. 

Not the greatest legs, but that was my view. It was a lot sunnier than the sky makes it look, I swear. The ground was almost painfully hot to walk on. I loved it. It was a bummer when my iPad died, though, and the adaptor Dad got me was the wrong size so I had to borrow one from the concierge's desk. They had a whole box.

We went inside around half four and chilled. Having woken at 4 am, I was pretty tired at this point, so I didn't really do much. Around 8 I did go down to Polaris to get dinner. I didn't actually want anything on their menu and I was given a pretty condescending look when I asked if they sold chips. So I just bought apple crumble from the desserts menu. I badly burned my finger on the metal dish, it hurt a lot, and to top it off I wasn't feeling well so I just sat there staring at the expensive food. The waitress kept coming back and I was feeling pressured so I just got it in a container to go. They were probably laughing at my lack of sophistication. Let them. The staff are nice, especially the ones I see when I get breakfast there, but I don't fancy dinner in Polaris. 

I went back to my room and texted for a while, really not feeling well. I think it was the jet lag. I fell asleep a bit past nine. 

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