May 31st, 2012
Roberta and I caught the American Airlines plane from St. Louis to Chicago to Seattle, arriving Seattle at 1 PM. I had called and was told we would have to pay for our checked baggage which would have been $45 each since we had boots, sleeping bags, mats, raincoats, and more. I had paid 50,000 miles for each of us round-trip, and we could have gone first class (though the times were inconvenient). So it was a great pleasure to see when we checked in that our baggage was free.
Paulette had arrived around 11 AM and was waiting with her sister Elaine who lives in Seattle and was our host that night. Paulette had come in on Delta, 50,000 round trip on my MasterCard miles. She had to pay for her baggage which was too bad. Paulette had come it early and was chatting with a stranger at baggage. Elaine hugged her, and then hugged the stranger, thinking it was me.
Elaine’s apartment is at the back of a house on top of a hill. From the front street you go down and from the back alley you go up through beautiful gardens. I’d never been to Seattle and the arts and crafts homes just knocked my socks off. All of them were fronted by steep rock gardens. Bungalows, gabled roofs, mullioned windows. They all had porches and decks, the better to enjoy the outdoors.
We went to the market and bought a bunch of flowers for Elaine, poppies, iris, peonies. The abundance of all the flowers, the steep hills, the pretty houses were a delight. At the City Fish Company at the market we bought fresh smoked Alaskan Copper River salmon, caught the day before, to eat the next night on the ferry. Big signs in the market said the salmon run on the Copper had begun May 27. And we were on our way there!
We picked up Julie and Peggy at their hotel. They had arrived in Seattle at 4:30. Peggy knew only Julie, and Roberta and Julie had never met. So we did introductions and went out to dinner. We ate salmon, of course, at Chinook’s at Salmon Bay.