#12 Seattle, Washington April 24 - April 28,1996

Wednesday, April 24: Seattle the Emerald City was the perfect choice for the class's 12th mini hosted by Robin and Carol Little, aided by Fran and Bunny Wood and Nick and Amelia Canaday. They offered a variety of "things to do." Headquarters was the Edgewater Inn, right on Elliott Bay, with its majestic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Tote bags contained hats with mini insignia and Crystal Mountain Resort "garbage sacks," just in case. Also "complimentary" orange-and-black drink tickets (Washington's liquor laws are very strict). A convention of 60,000 Christian men Promise Keepers was being held at the Kingdome during our stay.

Thursday, April 25: Breakfast on one's own then to the Omni-Dome for a spectacular film, Mount St. Helens, a graphic portrayal of the 1980 eruption. Following was a tour through the Seattle Aquarium featuring award-winning exhibits of marine mammals, fish, birds and invertebrates. After exploring the various shops in Pike Place Market we boarded chartered buses and visited Pioneer Square, one of America's first historic preservation districts with 40 blocks of vintage architecture. Many of Seattle's finest jewelers, restaurants, and fashion boutiques are located there. Some of the buildings were reconstructed immediately after the Great Fire of 1889. Also we toured the Museum of History, Science and Industry with thousands of artifacts on display from historical clothing, tools and toys to local inventions and photographs. A drive through the campus of the University of Washington and a stop at Ballard Locks ended the tour. For the evening's soiree the monorail whisked us to the Space Needle, built for the 1962 World's Fair, where we enjoyed drinks, appetizers and a panorama of Seattle from the Skyline Level.

Friday, April 26: We walked to nearby Pier 69 where we boarded the 250-seat catamaran Victoria Clipper III for an all-day excursion to San Juan Island. We munched on breakfast while we cruised the inland waterway north. Robin announced a change in the itinerary as the recent storm had damaged Dan and Marilyn Ward's pier at Dinner Island where we'd planned to visit. Lovely scenery en route to Friday Harbor. Lunch on one's own, then we boarded a bus for a tour of the island. We saw the site of the Pig War, an English-American boundary dispute. Some visited the Whale Museum before returning to the ship where we enjoyed a seafood buffet en route back to Seattle.

Saturday, April 27: Three choices for today: 1-Ferry to Bainbridge Island to visit the beautiful Bloedel Gardens and Bremerton Navy Yard with lunch at Kiona Lodge. 2-A scenic ride to snow-covered Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains. (Chair Robin gave a running commentary.) Lunch at Webb's and a stop at Lake Keechelus, a Yakima River reservoir. 3-Tour of the six-storied steel-and-glass Museum of Flight at Boeing Field where historic airplanes from the dawn of aviation to the space age are on display. All together for the evening's activities. Excitement welled in the Hospitality Room as weather cleared enough to see majestic Mount Rainier. The hotel's Olympic Ballroom was the site for a delightful dinner and 40's music for dancing.

Sunday, April 28: The ballroom was the setting for a farewell buffet.


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