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Travel

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Safely arrived in Bellevue. You can now skip the rest of this unless you're interested in travel stories.

Mostly everything went fine. Got to the airport in plenty of time for once; parked on the street outside longterm parking, which you can do for free over a weekend; everything went smoothly. Flight was delayed, but only something like 15-30 minutes. The flight was uneventful and smooth; the pilot apologized for roughness at one point, but I hadn't actually felt any roughness. The only unfortunate side to the flight itself was that after I swapped computer batteries, my PowerBook totally died--wouldn't restart. (As you can tell by the fact that you're reading this, it mysteriously started working again by the time I got to the hotel.)

The adventure part of the evening began when I picked up my rental car. I had rented an Economy car, but what Alamo gave me (I discovered after walking halfway across the garage to find it) was a Chevy HHR LT. It looked much too big for my tastes, and the rental woman hadn't said anything about upgrading me, so I trekked back across the lot to ask for a smaller car, only to find that they didn't have any. That's what I get for arriving at 10:30 on a Friday night. So I figured the only thing to do was enjoy it, even though I'm a little bit tense about having all that car around me, and even though I always think this new breed of quasi-car looks kinda like a cross between a PT Cruiser and Reid Fleming's milk van. (It does appear to get decent gas mileage, though.)

So that was all right. And despite the rain and the darkness and the unfamiliarity of both car and roads, I followed about 95% of the Google Maps instructions to get to the hotel, and I was smugly thinking to myself how nice it was that the roads were clearly marked and that I had directions and that the car designers had thought to incorporate a small bright white spotlight in which one can hold a map to glance at it while driving. But a moment of uncertainty at a crucial juncture took me to the wrong half of an exit, which led to 20 minutes of driving around in circles, parking in a fire station's parking lot, trying desperately to escape from the Verizon corporate parking lot (which, much like Hell, has no exit whatsoever), and asking directions from a gas station attendant. Which he gave me, and which got me 95% of the rest of the way (I had almost made it that far on my own, but silly me, I thought the sign that said "90 East" over the roadway ahead meant that it was a freeway onramp). And then there was no hotel at the place where it was supposed to be.

After some more driving around in circles, I called Directory Assistance, which informed me that the hotel I was looking for was in Renton, one city west of where I was. So I called them, and they told me that they also had a branch in Bellevue, and eventually (after leaving me on hold for a few minutes) gave me the number.

So I called the Bellevue branch, and the guy was very nice and gave me very specific directions--take the right-hand branch, do not go through the tunnel, continue straight, and then where it says "Dead End" just keep going (!)--and I found the place, and it's got a nice tastefully appointed lobby and the guy at the desk was nice and friendly and they have a covered parking garage and I came up to my room and I have a full-size refrigerator and a stove (!) and a kitchen sink (!) and what looks like it'll be a nice view of the woods when there's light.

And! It has a nicely labeled Ethernet jack in the wall next to a big desk, and I plugged my Ethernet cable in and I have high-speed Internet access, as advertised, without the uncertainty I associate with wireless. Yay!

So it's a little hard to find, and it's a little early to say this for sure, but so far I'm quite taken with the Larkspur Landing hotel here in Bellevue. Conveniently located for me, too, partway between family in Issaquah and friends in Seattle.

2 Comments

Glad you're there safely!


Hey Jed. You're staying just down the hill from where I live.


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