I gave my wife a bit of a challenge planning our November excursion--no rental car, everything had to be accessible by public transit or not cost an arm & leg if we took a taxi. This caused her tons of frustration, but in the end, she nailed it. Our destination? Seattle and Vancouver. We flew into Seattle via Southwest (quick shoutout--their Companion Pass incentive can't be beat) arriving on Friday afternoon. We checked in early at TownePlace Suites in Renton, chosen because they offered an airport shuttle and were convenient to the Tukwila International Link Light Rail station. We found the hotel staff very polite and the room clean. It was a bit dated, but considering we spent less than 4 waking hours there--it was perfect.
We had Uber take us to the station and headed downtown. We spent the afternoon and evening exploring downtown Seattle. We have both been before so while the experience wasn't new to us, we certainly do believe exploring on foot versus a car, as we've done in the past, gave us a very different perspective and unfortunately, not all good.
The next morning we left the hotel at 5:30 and had a taxi take us to the magnificent King Street Station where we caught the Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver. That experience was the all around best travel transportation experience we've ever had. Friends told us we'd be just fine booking coach seats and they were right--big leather seats, clean cars, over the top customer service and the views? My wife, a professional photojournalist, was like a kid on Christmas morning.
We arrived in Vancouver that afternoon, took a taxi to the Residence Inn downtown, checked in early and took in our surroundings. I have absolutely nothing but positive things to say about this hotel and the location. Efficient staff, modern amenities and stylish decor (my wife's description). We selected the Residence Inn over the Vancouver Marriott, because I like to cook and after a three week stretch out of town staying mostly in Courtyards, I really wanted a place where I could whip up some scrambled eggs or grilled cheese sandwich. (I would stay in Residence Inn more when I traveled if I got the same reward points--hint, hint)
That afternoon and all of the next day were spent exploring Vancouver on foot and water taxi. We found the city to be clean, friendly and worthy of the title, "The most expensive city in North America".
On Monday morning we took a taxi back to the train station for our return trip to Seattle arriving around noon. We grabbed a bite downtown, took the Link Light Rail back to the airport and got home to Austin late that night. It was an exhausting weekend, but well worth it. In all, we utilized the following modes of transportation in addition to getting around on foot: plane, train, Uber, taxi, water taxi and light rail. I have to give it to my wife--she took the challenge and ran with it.
See more pics from the trip on my wife's Flickr page found here.