Goodbye Seattle

After a good week visiting friends and sightseeing, my week in Seattle comes to an end. I have dedicated blog posts for the more notable things I did while in Washington, but for everything else, here’s a photo dump.

After my travel incident with a missed lay­o­ver and delayed flights, I decided that the best course of action for this trip would be to put Delta Air Lines on a temporary break take Alaska Airlines non-stop from IND to SEA instead.

An Alaska Airlines plane painted black

The flight went smoothly, I got my usual scenic photos that I always do from the air, and arrived safely and early without needing to worry about lay­o­vers.

Mt. Rainier from a plane

Seattle Metropolitan Area from a plane

During one of the earlier days, I spent a night in a hotel near the airport because it had the cheapest rate and also offered free parking for my rental car, which is very rare for hotels in the Seattle area. I snapped a photo from my window of the view and a nice bridge that connected both halves of the street.

Tukwila, WA

While meeting up with Doug and Allie, we also did some sightseeing at Lake Union and Dyes Inlet. I’ve seen Lake Union before because I went to Gas Works Park last year with our production crew to get some b-roll footage for our documentary, but this was my first time seeing Dyes Inlet.

Lake Union

Dyes Inlet

One of the perks of having my own rental car throughout my trip is that we were able to get from place to place without having to rideshare everywhere or walk excessive distances. However, one of the downsides of having a rental car… is intersections like this.

To be clear, this is taken from the left turn lane of a two-lane road, i.e., there was only one more lane to my right. This traffic light had three lights, a sign that said I can only take sharp left turns, a sign that said I cannot turn left, and a sign that said I can also take a slight left, but make sure you don’t turn on red.

A very confusing intersection

This sounds like a great opportunity to do a rental car review.

If you’re unfamiliar, I usually rent pickup trucks because I like the ride of a body-on-frame vehicle, and I find pickup trucks to be much more man­age­a­ble and navigable because my personal vehicle is a pickup truck and I’m much more used to it. However, sometimes, renting a pickup truck is just too un­realistically expensive, or they don’t have any left available in stock, so I end up with a different vehicle. When I do, I like to review them.

This time around, I ended up with a Mazda CX-5, a compact crossover with a 2.5-liter inline-four engine with 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.

I’m usually not a fan of Asian car manufacturers. I acknowledge that they usually make very reliable ve­hi­cles, but I like a balance of reliability and fun factor, and Asian cars tend to be very boring. However, I’d say that the Mazda CX-5 was the least bad of all the low-trim Japanese cars I’ve driven.

The interior was decently nice, the screen was unexpectedly large, and the materials didn’t feel cheap. The engine was obviously struggling and acceleration was much slower than what I’m used to, but it still got me around town.

One specific thing I noticed with this crossover was that the brakes were unusually sensitive. This tends to be a recurring theme with Asian cars, where the accelerator is slow to respond but even the slightest tap on the brakes will lurch the car. It felt like this Mazda was a particularly severe offender of this, so it made for a bit of an uncomfortable ride if I wasn’t putting extra focus and effort into smooth braking.

Apart from that, it was a fairly average compact crossover—it had the perks of fitting into small street parking spaces and squeezing into narrow parking lot spaces, but it also had the downside of being lower to the ground, having lots of road noise due to the unibody composition, and feeling like all the other bigger vehicles on the road were about to run you over because of how short you felt.

And on that note, here is the continuation of another trend I’ve started on my website—my co-worker Erin, who I visited the second half of my week in Seattle, has a lifted Ford F-150, so I hugged it.

Hugging a Ford F-150

This trip was also the first time I had ever been on a ferry. I took a round-trip to and from either side of Puget Sound, and the motion sickness I felt from the ferry was much more manageable than the motion sickness from whale (fin) watching.

Funny enough, my second time on the ferry, my brain seemed to have adjusted very well to the boat, because I had little-to-no seasickness. But then, strange­ly, the moment we stopped and docked at the destination, I felt an overwhelming wave of motion sickness, almost as if my brain had gotten so used to the boat that it was now very confused and angry that we weren’t moving anymore.

Here is a photo I took of Seattle while departing on the ferry.

Departing Seattle on a ferry

As I mentioned earlier, I thought this was a good trip. My trip to Seattle last time was good as well, and I’m thinking this has more to do with the people I spend time with while I’m in Seattle that has made it pleasant.

A majority of my thoughts and takeaways from my previous “Goodbye Seattle” blog post still stand, but there’s one more thing I noticed from this trip. Seattle isn’t quite as busy as New York City or Los Angeles, but it’s still pretty busy. However, it’s almost as if it’s a different type of busy.

When I’m driving around in Los Angeles or New York City, the traffic and congestion is borderline debilitating. If I’m trying to get from one place to another, I feel like I literally can’t, and if I try, I’m at the mercy of everything around me to sort of nudge me in a random direction, and I just have to hope that it’s the direction I want to go—sort of like being in the middle of a massive mob of people and being pushed the general direction of the mob’s movement.

Seattle, on the other hand, is also congested and has pretty bad traffic, but it’s still manageable. I can still make my own decisions on where I want to turn, and if I need to find someone who just got off the ferry and is wandering around downtown, we are actually able to coordinate and meet up at an intersection in a reasonable amount of time—something that is literally absolutely impossible in Los Angeles without having angry people honking at you and threatening your life.

I’m not quite sure why this is the case with Seattle, but I definitely appreciate it.

And with that, I am back in the eastern side of the country, ready to resume my homeless journey. I have a tentative plan to return to Seattle in mid-November, but until then, my road trip adventure is taking me to Louisville, Kentucky as my next destination. More tourism blog posts coming soon…