Posted by: technofutures | October 5, 2008

Microsoft Star Award Trip to Seattle – Days 3 & 4

After a fabulous first two days with Microsoft, Kris and I spent a fabulous week-end exploring Seattle, Bellevue and the surrounding area… A few snapshots…

Saturday 27th September

Kris and I hit the streets of Seattle early in the morning, for a rigorously planned day in the city (;-))

Our adventures in Central Seattle
Our adventures in Central Seattle


After figuring out the maze of a network that is Seattle’s bus system, the first stop was: Pike’s Place Market where we witnessed a ‘very-American’, I thought, market, with vegetables, flowers and fish aligned geometrically…

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Next to Pike’s Place Market is of course a star attraction, the first Starbucks Coffee shop in the world. The barrista of course found it highly amusing that I asked for an orange juice, so I settled for a hot chocolate (which I, of course, spilt everywhere thanks to a leaking lid)…

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P9270139 We then ventured off to where I was hoping to find a Microsoft Surface in action, and was fully rewarded when I found loads of them in the lobby of the Sheraton Seattle… Of course, a lot of fun was had and a lot of strange looks from hotel guests…

P9270142 Of course a visit to Seattle would not have been complete without a visit to the Seattle Center via monorail, to see the Space Needle, the Experience Music Museum (with lots of Jimi Hendrix artefacts) and of course the absolutely amazing Science Fiction museum with lots of original sci-fi and especially Star Trek props e.g. Captain Kirk’s chair, lots of communicators, bat’leths, phasers, costumes, sets…

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Space Needle:



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Sci-fi museum…

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And then monorail back to the centre!

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A nice stroll along the (noisy) Seattle waterfront, past the aquarium (that neither Kris or myself were particularly keen to visit…) led us to Pioneer Square, one of the city’s oldest districts.

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We then decided to visit the ‘famous’ Seattle ‘Underground Tour’ through old alleyways of Seattle as it had come highly recommended to both of us… Suffice it to say that my first instinct (which I immediately told Kris about) when I walked into the visitor centre should have been trusted… Tourist Trap. With an exorbitant entrance fee, over 150 visitors every hour, it was one of the longest, worst tours I have ever been on full of silly anecdotes. 2 hours it took us to get out of the tour, although a we caught a glimpse of several people making a run for it very fast half way through … we should have followed their example…Ugh. Maybe I should start offering tours of my cellar…

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Afterwards, we were glad to return to our hotel (Westin) in Bellevue after the streets started emptying around 18:00 and funny groups started appearing around Pioneer Square…

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I decided it was then time for some power-shopping in the amazing mega-huge Bellevue Collection malls… found some lovely souvenirs for family!


Sunday 28th September

I decided to venture out again into Seattle except this time a little further out of the city (Kris decided not to… I think he was secretly fed-up of my organization and planning 🙂 )

Map picture

My goal was to reach the Seattle Museum of Flight next to the Boeing field… where one of my big dreams came true… to climb into a Concorde… This museum was not close, but it was 100% worth the trip as the pictures can testify: I got to see and climb into a Concorde, an old presidential Air Force One plane, the first Boeing 747 & 727 prototypes, the Red Barn where Boeing built his first airplane, went onto a 4D combat flight simulator… simply amazing!


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Air Force One

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The first Boeing 747

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Boeing’s Barn


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Inside the Museum of Flight

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After these amazing discoveries, I decided to walk back a little to the Boeing Company Store which I had seen from the bus… unfortunately that turned out to be somewhat further than I expected (no thanks to my silly map again) and took me over 45 minutes to reach by foot…. having missed a couple of buses of course…) It was still impressive though to see one of Boeing’s HQ (Photo) and the strike placards outside (Engineers on Strike I believe). On the way back on the bus, the classical American sight: a baseball field (Photo)!

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Once back in town center I had a typical American Lunch (I’ll let you guess…) and after some more power-shopping (including a couple of amazing Zunes- fabulous MP3 players!) I walked around Pike’s place in the gorgeous sun. The market was more bustling than the day before…

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Having two hours left, and having exhausted all the shopping I could do (or physically carry!) I headed to Pacific Place cinemas to see a movie that I had been dying to see for three months… Wall-E. A very enjoyable movie and all the cuteness and genius one has come to expect from a Pixar production.

And it was then sadly time to head back to the hotel and after some serious suitcase packing, we headed for the airport, and back home, concluding an amazing long weekend with Microsoft in Seattle.

And I can’t resist this last picture taken in Seattle Tacoma International Airport departure lounge 🙂




  1. […] Star Award Trip to Seattle – Day 1, Day 2, 3 and 4 – Warren […]

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