Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987 that I wrote home to my parents in the UK. My father kept them all in a folder and on his death they came back to me with a note to publish them.
This week our first trip to Seattle, long before the long-running series Grey’s Anatomy and certainly after the still clammy warmth of Texas, it was a shock to the system to feel the autumnal chill and all the rain. We are also preparing for my parent’s three week stay with us in November. As I type this up it is hard to believe that my mother at the time had just turned 68 years old, just a year older than I am now.
Trip to Seattle – Mountains and State Park
9th of October 1985 – Marriott Seattle
Dear M and D,
I hope my birthday card arrived safely Mollie and that you had a wonderful birthday. I am sure that you enjoyed your dinner dance and weekend away. A great way to celebrate and we have organised a welcome combined with birthday party with all our friends when you arrive. We have scheduled for a couple of days later so that you are over your jet lag.
As you will see this is written from the Marriott hotel in Seattle. As usual we managed to have a few hiccups getting here, with delays at the airport and then waiting to get our hire car. We arrived eventually at midday rather than 10.00 a.m, but we drove to the hotel and dumped our bags before heading for the mountains. David’s first meeting is not until tomorrow morning and we want to take full advantage of our short time here.
Whilst San Francisco is my favourite city so far, this has to be the most beautiful state we have seen next to Hawaii. Of course it is the right time of year being autumn, the trees are magnificent and the scenery breathtaking. Back in Houston the weather is still quite warm and muggy and I am still swimming every day. Here is it cold with snow on the upper slopes and I had thankfully dug out my winter clothes that have not seen the light of day since we arrived in Texas in January.
We drove about 150 miles and ended up in a state park. It was amazing to watch salmon and trout cleverly evading the solitary fly fisherman up to his waist in the freezing water. They did say that we might see bears but thankfully we were the only spectators. We also found a shop selling the most beautiful semi-precious stones that you can scoop out of a barrel and buy by weight. A natural reminder of this amazing place rather than some of the souvenirs also on display. I bought a handful to remind us of this stunning place.
David’s meeting is over by lunchtime hopefully leaving us another four hours to explore Seattle before heading to the airport. Certainly a place that I would like to return to at some point and spend more time in the wilds.
Your visit is getting closer and perhaps in your next letter you could confirm your flight number and arrival time. It can be a little confusing on arrival as there are a number of stages to go through – Immigration, collect baggage, go through customs, deposit luggage again and then go downstairs to pick it up again.
I will be waiting for you when you have been through customs. We can then go down together to reclaim your luggage.
In my next letter I will enclose David’s business card and our home address as you have to fill in a form on the plane. The immigration people will ask you the length of your stay, whether it is business or pleasure and where you will be staying. They will also ask to see your return ticket. I will enclose some dollar bills for the luggage cart from immigration to customs. I will send several as they are notorious for not accepting some bills that might be torn or damaged.
It is all very straightforward really but less stressful if you are prepared. Get that over with and we can get on with enjoying ourselves. All our excursions are planned and booked and one of the treats that I am looking forward to is going to the Renaissance Festival which I have heard is spectacular. Also Daddy… hopefully we will fulfil one of your boyhood dreams…
A week on Friday I am flying to New York to meet up with David and his boss in the middle of their grand tour touching base with their potential customers. Another iconic city to add to the wish list and I am excited by the prospect of seeing the Empire State Building etc.
Well that’s about it for now, under four weeks to go and we are looking forward to seeing you both very much.
Take care and all our love Sally and David. X
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me next week for our trip to New York.. thanks Sally.