Sunday, 6 November 2022

a few days in Seattle










Back in Glasgow...

My conference was great, I spoke to more people I have spoken to in the past six months. I was there to record a podcast and to represent the charity that it is affiliated with. They were a sponsor and had a booth. Of course I also attended to learn from the combined expertise of 4000 attendees and apply my learning to develop and improve my teaching. I spent all breaks at the booth promoting the educational charity, which provides educational resources for students and teachers in limited resource settings. You can imagine how busy I was... Days were long but never boring. I liked spending time at the booth because people came to see us, making networking that much easier. Networking is not my strength. We didn't try to sell stuff at our booth, which helps. Instead we gave away 200 textbooks, mostly to students from limited resource settings. I enjoyed recording a podcast with a life audience. We recorded in the lobby of the conference centre, which was a bit weird with people milling about, stopping to listen for a bit then move on. It was also good to meet the two hosts I had not met in person before. Sadly, one was diagnosed with the Covid and was confined to his hotel room from the day of recording. We'd had a good few chats before, which of course meant I was exposed to the Covid. I am lucky to test negative consistently since so all good. 

Turns out I needn't have worried about having enough smart casual clothes for the 5 day conference. My checked bag did not arrive until Wednesday evening, the day before departure. I could have kicked myself for checking in the stuff I took... Anyway, my bag did not actually arrive, I had to get it at the airport myself, a 90 minute roundtrip, and I only knew it was at the airport because a bell boy at the hotel took pity and found me a phone number that was answered by a real living being. This person insisted that the bag would not be delivered to the hotel but that I could just pick it up when I was checking in again to go home. The cheek! Go to the check-in desk he said, they'll have your bag there waiting for you and you can check it back in for your return journey. They did indeed have my bag, there were dozens in the underbelly of the check-in area. I could have taken any piece of luggage I wanted, no ID check, no tracking number check, nothing. As of today (Sunday), my bag is still being reported as missing by the system.

It was wonderful to put on bra and undies that were not damp from the evening sink wash. 

Rest assured I didn't walk around in my scummy air travel outfit for four days. I spent the first couple of hours in Seattle shopping. I had the impression that Downtown Seattle is not where people shop much. But Anthropologie came to the rescue. I felt like royalty in this shop, it was a most pleasing experience to be helped by not one but two assistants who scurried around the shop gathering clothes I might like. I told them about my luggage and explained that I had no clue what to look for because I had not been clothes shopping in years. In the end, I got a pair of black trousers that look fabulous on me, a simple white blouse and a bright yellow bell sleeve top and one pair of knickers. Expensive business, shopping is. I got three random compliments by strangers for my bright yellow bell sleeve top. I couldn't face shoe shopping so wore my trainers the whole time. These were fresh out of the box so didn't look as bad as you might think. Funny thing, I went back on Tuesday during a short break because I still didn't have my luggage and I wanted to look fresh and smart for the recording on Wednesday (the podcast is videoed as well). One assistant exclaimed upon seeing me "Christina, you are back. Did you get your luggage?" My "friendship" with the assistants was of course skin deep but I did enjoy being remembered and helped so competently. 

I didn't have much time for sightseeing but I did wander around the Downtown area when I had a moment or two. I wish I had had more time to explore other neighbourhoods and get to know the city a little. I was shocked and saddened by the number of homeless persons I passed, some very unwell indeed. People just stepped around them as if they didn't exist. On a more positive note, traffic was mostly electric. It was a bit weird standing by the roadside, watching cars go by and not hear much engine noise. I liked that. I ate delicious Vietnamese food on two occasions and of course I had the obligatory Starbucks coffee. I couldn't find any coffee shops that were not Starbucks. 

On the final day, the conference ended at 1 pm. I treated myself to a late checkout at the hotel, which by the way was overpriced, served no breakfast, didn't service my room and charged $19.85 per day for WiFi (I didn't buy that of course). There was no free TV either. But I was glad not to have to walk the streets for several hours before a late evening flight to Dublin. 

On the note of internet when travelling - When we were in Turkey, I discovered Holafly, which sells e-sim cards with unlimited data. This was fabulous and far cheaper than the hotel WiFi rate. I watched Great British Bake-Off on demand on my phone when the jet-lag kept me awake at night. 

So back in Glasgow... I am pleased to report that I don't seem to suffer from a return jet-lag. The journey back was uneventful, luggage arrived and all flights were on time. Richard had prepared a delicious lasagne and washed the bedding and did most of the laundry. He is a keeper! Jack was over the moon to see me and even the boys seemed pleased to have their chief nagger back.

Back to normal work tomorrow. I have a pile of marking to look forward to, and a busy busy six weeks.

Thanks for visiting 😊

15 comments:

  1. You made it. What a shame about your luggage. I was just in Seattle, and was saddened by the homeless, too. I lived there as a little girl, and it used to be so special and beautiful. Glad you got some new clothes. I was shocked at how expensive my hotel and the meals I bought downtown were. Airlines have gotten very frustrating and dishonest. I just canceled a trip by air and am going to cruise from Los Angeles Port instead. Delta canceled my flight. Thank goodness I had purchased the expensive version of travel insurance. Sounds like you made the most of it. Nordstrom Rack has great deals on clothes. I stopped in there recently. I still wear a wool skirt I bought there 25 years ago!

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  2. Oh no, lost luggage! When we went to Switzerland in the summer, I was obsessed with not having luggage so made sure everyone had one set of clothes, undies and swimmers each in our hand rucksacks so that we could at least start our holiday if our stuff did not turn up. It was all fine but I did feel quite smug! Glad you enjoyed your trip even though it was work and that people were looking out for you. Good old Richard, The girls and I went to the NEC for a craft show today today and returned to a toad-in-the-hole and the washing finished! We have good taste Christina. xxxx

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  3. I love Seattle, but you are so right about the homeless situation. God forbid we Americans spend money on PEOPLE instead of corporations. So glad the women in Anthropologie were so helpful. I have never heard of an airline not delivering luggage when it's been misplaced. That's ridiculous. Your Vietnamese meal looks delicious. I am glad that, overall, it sounds as if the trip was worth it.

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  4. Well, that seemed mostly positive despite the luggage issue. I was surprised that much of the traffic was electric.

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  5. Glad the trip to Seattle generally went well Christina but what a pain with your luggage. Great service from the ladies in Anthropologie though.
    The lights in the trees are very pretty, like a troupe of dancers with their arms (branches )held high.

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  6. Gosh what adventures! Shame about the luggage but I’m sure you enjoyed a little retail therapy for you for once. Seattle is somewhere I would love to visit. I’m glad your meeting etc went well and I’m sure you are buzzing with it all now that you are home. B x

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  7. Wow, long long flight that must have been! Too bad your luggage didn't synch up with you upon arrival. I hope you write to the airline about the terrible customer service - refusing to deliver your suitcase to your hotel is unforgivable.

    Sounds like a good trip otherwise, and one that you will be thinking of for some time to come.

    ceci

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  8. Oh no! Sorry to hear you luggage was lost. We only check in bags if absolutely necessary. The last time we checked in bags they lost 4 of them. Otherwise I'm happy to hear you had a good trip.

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  9. I'm glad to hear your trip went rather smoothly, but sorry to hear about the lost luggage. The homeless population here in America is horrible and, unfortunately, seems to be getting worse.

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  10. It sounds brilliant, glad you had a good time. But a hotel with no breakfast??? That would not suit me at all. Sorry about the luggage, but the shop people sound excellent. It is nice to be made to feel good. CJ xx

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  11. I always enjoy your posts, and I liked hearing about your Seattle trip. Your shopping support at the clothing store sounded wonderful- how nice that you got such good care at the store. What an abysmal hotel, no breakfast, expensive wi-fi. I did tho note down the name Holafly, thank you for that tip. What terrible service from the airline. I would complain, I feel there is a culture of not caring that we need to hold them accountable for. How nice that you were greeted so warmly by your children and Jack and your husband had done laundry and cooked. What a great homecoming! Jean/Winnipeg

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  12. Sounds like a good trip despite the lack of luggage. I hope they refund your new purchases! X Doris

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  13. Thanks Christina for letting us know that all went well, except for that luggage snafu. We expect to be going abroad next Sept and plan to get air tags for the check-in pieces, hopefully only 1 each. Nice to read that the conference went so well and it would be interesting to learn more about the podcast and the charity. How wonderful that your group wasn't selling anything, but gave away all those books We didn't try to sell stuff at our booth, which helps. Instead we gave away 200 textbooks to students. Nice to come home to dinner being done and family missing you.

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  14. That was quite an adventure and I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the lost luggage situation - perhaps that was the Universe telling you it was OK to go clothes shopping! ;) I loved your photos, there were one or two that reminded me of the film "Sleepless in Seattle" and I've just started watching re-runs of "Frasier" set in Seattle so it felt very timely! :) xx

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  15. How frustrating that your luggage did not follow you to Seattle, how bizarre that they would suggest that you pick it up when you return home, why on earth did they think you had bought it with you? That's bonkers. I am glad that you were able to get some clothes to wear, shopping is not my favourite activity either. It is 17 years since I was in Seattle, I have relatives in that part of the world, we last visited when eldest was a baby, I would love to go back again. I am sorry to hear there were so many homeless people.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx