Ordinary Times and Travels: Christmas in Seattle, post 3

My first day in Seattle was not rainy, not snowy, not even terribly cold.  The sun shone and Charlie and I took an afternoon walk on Alki Ave. and on a couple stairways up the bluff.  It was a whole different view from our highest point because there were no leaves on the trees. Puget Sound was beautiful and the Olympic mountains across the way were snow capped and rugged. It was not one of our longest walks but good for the first day.

Probably the most interesting thing of the day was a gift from youngest daughter. She gave me an electric jacket. Sounds dangerous? Apparently not. It is a carefully constructed down jacket with strategically placed heated areas. There is a lithium battery which gets connected to a wire in an inside pocket in the back.

My heated jacket, with battery (oh, and Charlie).

You can turn it on three different heat settings with a switch located inside the front opening. If it’s 35 degrees outside and you have the jacket on low setting, it will keep you toasty warm for six hours.

On/Off switch, cute.

Youngest daughter says it’s like wearing a soft heating pad on your shoulders, but of course it’s much more convenient and a bit more fashionable. It even has heated gloves that you can connect at the sleeves. The gloves have screen sensing fingertips so you don’t have to take them off to work your phone. Speaking of phones, you can also charge your phone with your jacket battery in a pocket especially for that. It has a hood. And the whole thing only weighs 1.59 pounds.

Glove attaches to the connector on the sleeve = nice warm fingers.

Youngest daughter has had a jacket like this for a while now, having seen it as a kickstarter project online.  If you are curious about the jacket or other products made by the company, you can find them at www.ravean.com.  They make a heated hoodie and a sleeping bag.  It feels great out here where it is 35 degrees. Now I’ll have to move somewhere colder than Florida so I can make good use of it.

A portion of my day was spent getting settled in my room. I love it when there is enough closet space for unpacking and hanging everything in the suitcase – no need for pawing around trying to find my wrinkled clothing. It has been an AirBnB room now for about a year and has had a good number of interesting guests staying in it. My daughter’s house, which she has named “Ocean’s Arms” is only a few blocks from Alki public beach and is in a neighborhood of small private homes and apartments, with coffee shops, eateries, finer restaurants and a couple nice parks. It is a good vacation spot with a very relaxing vibe, and if you have read any of my previous Seattle posts you know that there is no end to the captivating places to walk. Urban hiking at it’s finest.

The other venue for the day was Cafè Fiorè, Oganic Coffee House,  where youngest daughter does a lot of her thinking and writing. I can certainly enjoy being in the coffee shop and writing, and I did it, but I am also partial to sitting at home where I usually write and the coffee is cheaper.  It’s a pretty place with a fun loft looking out on an artistic chandelier and the lower entry level. Fortified with a latte, I was able to whip out a post for my brother’s business blog while watching hipsters come and go. Ah, the Seattle life.

I took my vitamins, second day in a row. Yay me.  We were in bed by 9 pm because youngest daughter was needing to go to her workplace the next day. She does contract work for Starbucks corporate and I planned to do a little “learning” about it.  Come by and read about it tomorrow.

Ordinary Times and Travels: Christmas, post 2 (the trip)

I can’t say that I really love airports. They often have associations with travel difficulties and anxieties that I don’t care to rehearse, but yesterday I had a “moment” of niceness. It will probably moderate the moments that have not been so nice.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is so huge that going from one concourse to another, even on the tram, can cause a time crunch. Last night was different and I had time to spare and not a long way to go, so I walked instead of taking the tram. I came to a section of the walkway that was, well… a delight. I was strolling along looking at my phone for messages when I became aware of faint noises, like you might hear walking under a forest canopy alive with birds. The hall was dimly lit from the ceiling with gold and green leaf-like layers. Simple, calming and somewhat magical and exactly what one would like to experience in a busy, oppressive environment. For a moment, I was taken away from it all and totally immersed in the sounds and sights.

the approach to the walkway
I should have thought to make a recording – it was so relaxing…

So far on this trip, my major airline has cancelled my desired flight, and rebooked me on a late afternoon flight across the country which ended  up being delayed two hours.  All in all it was 12 plus  hours from my departure from Sarasota until the time my head hit the pillow in Seattle. It was a long day/night trip.

I did see more security personnel on duty in my first airport. Other than that there was very little to remind me of the dangers we hear about in our world today. The flights were full. People were in a good mood with full expectations of reaching their destinations. I read a book, the whole thing and did a lot of thinking. Travel these days is really an impressive thing. In spite of some inconvenience, here I am thousands of miles from where I was, in just one day. Our ancestors who crossed the nation in wagons pulled by horses would certainly think this was a different planet.

Seattle daughter pulled herself out of bed to come get me at 1 am, for which I am soooo grateful. We traveled up to West Seattle, Alki Beach area where she set me up for the night in her lovely Airbnb bedroom.  Feeling tired, feeling blessed. Day 1, completed.