Mike Chandler

Joined April 2015
  • Day1

    Day 2

    April 15, 2015 in the United States

    Day 2 - Had a weird nights sleep where it felt like I'd overslept at 6am....I was up and down to the Amtrak office to pick up my rail pass by 9am. I then took a wander next door to The Seahawks Stadium! (American football) An impressive sight....but I couldn't look around as it was "off season". I therefore ventured next door to The Mariners' Stadium (Baseball) and what a stadium it is with a retractable roof and made with more steel than you could find in Sheffield! Whilst pottering around it I bumped into a cleaner and asked her if they did any tours. She told me they did and pointed me in the direction of Bob! .....Bob, what to say....an avid Mariners' fan with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game and their history. It was lovely to be shown around by him even though I think I annoyed him with my slight lack of enthusiasm for how hallowed this place was. Luckily for me, the Marriners suck so I was the only person on the tour! I then went in search of the very hallowed place called Pike Place Chowder! I must have pushed for a good couple of miles, enjoying the buzz of the city and the magnificent smells of seafood and BBQ's.....I couldn't help but notice a lot of homeless people lying at the street side but did what everyone else did, ignored their glances and passed on by.....That was until I passed a youngish chap with a sign saying "I feel invisible and all I need is a hand" (Or something similar - I paraphrase) I passed him like everyone else and then after about 10 metres had an argument with myself - I thought that it would be nice to offer a hand but if I started a conversation, I could end up talking to a bellend and be trapped! After about 30 seconds "Nice Mike" won and I went back and asked if he was hungry, he was, so I offered to buy him lunch if he could help me find this elusive chowder heaven....We walked and chatted...His name was Will and he was from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was a musician and was living rough because he'd fallen on hard times and had his car and guitar stolen. He wasn't a drug addict, I can spot them a mile off....just painfully shy and lacking any confidence whatsoever. I bought us lunch and continued chatting. He had attended Louisiana State University, studying creative writing and jokingly referred to his current state as being research. After lunch I didn't want to part by giving him some clunky advice so wished him well and to his credit, he didn't ask me for any money, just thanked me for lunch ....As I left a women that wasn't party to our conversation grabbed my arm and said I'd done something very nice there....Surprised she'd noticed, I said "It's nice to be nice".....NICE TO BE NICE!! Wtf! Unhappy with my attempt at being magnanimous, I then went on a taxi hunt....There are no taxi ranks in Seattle and when I asked a lady where I could find one, she said everyone books them on "Uber" nowadays (a phone app) So without said app, I just carried on pushing myself downhill in the hope of flagging one down. Seattle is one big hill...at the bottom is water...I was running out of land and no taxis were in sight! I couldn't even see a bar to pop in for a beer and ask a bartender to call one for me! So defeated, I decided to go into a furniture store and use the "hopeless tourist" excuse in the hope they'd feel sorry for me and book one. I went in and gave the guy my sob story. He smiled and said "Not a problem" in a perfect English accent! Tom from Ipswich was a delight!....I jumped in the taxi and went up to Kerry Park (where you get the best view of downtown Seattle) Before heading back to the hotel for an afternoon nap and to download Uber!Read more

  • Day0

    Day 1

    April 14, 2015 in the United States

    Hotel 5. Arrived at a beautiful modern, central hotel. Very friendly staff who pointed me to a lovely restaurant called Palace Kitchen for a quick bite to eat before bed. The clams in green goddess (?) sauce were stunning but the star was a riesling from Washington State that blew me away.

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