Precious Travel Time – Seattle, Washington, USA

Upon completion of my first big round the world trip, I found myself at home with family. It took all of two weeks to realize that living with my parents, after the freedom and independence of an enlistment in the military, wasn't going to work. So I moved out on my own, found a job, a girlfriend, and started school. My girlfriend had never been out of California. Oh, she made a quick trip of a few hours to Nevada – not really "Travel" with a capitol T. When my brother's high school graduation was coming up, it sounded like a great chance to get away from the routine, visit some sights. We flew into Washington on a Tuesday night. We rented a car and rode up I-5, getting used to the car, with me being annoyed at her lack of navigator skills, and her being upset that I expected her to have those skills.

We made it into Seattle, found the Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel which is in a prime location, a friendly place, with various globetrotters milling about, I was jazzed to be in the atmosphere of a quality hostelry again. The Seattle Green Tortoise had made various adjustments to their layout; I approve.

Since nothing special happens on a Tuesday night, the residents of the Tortiose organized a round of drinking games. My lady and I had a great time with about 25 other characters from all over. She went to bed a bit before me. When things quieted down, I too went to sleep.

Seattle has strange parking rules: move by 6:00 a.m., except on Wednesday, etc. I had to wake up with a hangover, find somewhere else to park. I don't get hangovers, so that was a new experience. Finally I found a space, went back, ate a continental breakfast, courtesy of the Green Tortoise, and slept some more.

We went zipping down to visit one set of grandparents, then other family members. We drove all over the Seattle/Bremerton/Tacoma region and we were bored. This was VACATION! We should have been sipping coffee, playing Arcade games, taking pictures. We had about one day of sightseeing in one week. The rest was full of headaches and uninteresting.

Not renting a car would have been a good excuse not to see family. It also would have given us more time to do things, instead of driving to them. Overall, a backpacker trip is much better as a backpacker. When you visit, don't tell family!


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