We met Donna and Jack in the dining room for breakfast. Afterward we went back up to the room for the last time, picked up our carry on (carry off?) luggage, and found some seats in the Explorer's Lounge to wait our turn to leave the ship. Since we weren't flying out until the next day there were a lot of groups called before ours. When we finally were called we proceeded, with very little waiting in line, off of the ship, and into the terminal.
We found our bags, got a porter, walked through customs, all very easy and proceeded outside. The trickiest part of the whole process was getting a cab - it was survival of the fittest, but since we hadn't tipped the porter yet he was very "helpful" in getting us and our stuff into a cab!
Next stop was the Hotel Monaco, in downtown Seattle. Our room wasn't ready so we checked our luggage and went walking. We stopped for coffee, then I bought a shirt at Nordstrom's that I could wear to dinner that night, then went to take the monorail to City Center. Only, contrary to what we had been told, the monorail still wasn't running after the electrical fire they had a few weeks ago. But they were running complimentary shuttle buses from the monorail station to City Center, so we hopped on one of those.
The uncharacteristically good weather (it was in the mid to upper 80s, bright and sunny) on a weekend made City Center a hopping place. There were a lot of people running around in a water fountain, an exhibit of awesome photography named M.I.L.K. (it stood for mankind, intimacy, love, kinship if I remember correctly). We went in a big hall where the food court is and stumbled upon a juggling festival. I got some good pictures of the Space Needle from various angles and points of view. There was so much going on that we never made it into the Experience Music Project, which was our plan. We had lunch there at a great little place called Michelangelo's Bistro, where they had an awesome roasted garlic appetizer plate, and super sandwiches. After checking out the Space Needle gift shop we took the bus back downtown and checked in to the hotel.
Back when she was planning this trip Leslie stumbled onto an incredible rate for a Mediterranean Suite at the Hotel Monaco. This room was incredible. The Jacuzzi tub was so deep that I had trouble straddling it and touching bottom! The bathroom was as large as our stateroom had been, and the shower (well, after showering in a phone booth all week you can imagine how this seemed) was immense! There were very nice bathrobes, free high speed internet, a well stocked honor bar, and in case you were homesick for your pets, they lent you a goldfish in a bowl for your stay (ours was named Ted)!
Donna and Jack met us in OUR lobby at 5:00 (they were staying at the Edgewater) where they were having a summer solstice celebration, complete with a Tarot card reader (only the flower cards), actors doing a scene from "A Midsummer's Night Dream" and complimentary ale and wine. Afterwards, we took Donna and jack upstairs for a look at our room (they showed us their mini-suite on the Diamond the night before) then Leslie and I took a cab to the Space Needle where we had reservations for dinner in the rotating restaurant at the top.
Dinner was great, the view was awesome (what a sunset - it was even early enough that we were awake for it). I managed to take a bunch more pictures. I tried to take pictures from above of everything we'd seen from the ground earlier in the day. The sight of Mount Rainier in the background, behind the city skyline was very cool. After dinner we walked up to the observation deck, walked around, took a few more pictures, then rode the elevator down and took a cab back to the hotel and Ted. It wasn't long before we were out cold.
(End of Part 10)
Link to Part 11: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=48315