I once had this idea that business trips were like little vacations. You'd fly off to some place exotic, attend a meeting or two (about exciting things), do some sight seeing, have a nice meal, sleep in a nice hotel, maybe have another meeting or two (about exciting things, of course) and then fly back home. The reality of business trips is slightly different. You fly off to some city - it doesn't really matter which one - you're not going to see any of it, attend meetings (that are not about exciting things) for eight straight hours, have dinner at a chain restaurant, do some more work back in the hotel room - which isn't at all a fabulous room - attend more meetings in the morning, and then rush to get the rental car returned in time to make your flight.

Fortunately, this wasn't one of those trips. Dan and I finished up our meetings with WashDOT in Olympia early in the day and had a few hours to go out and do something. So we ran back to the hotel, changed, and jumped in the car to go up to Seattle. Somehow things worked out well for us, and instead of the usual cloudy, rainy, wintertime weather Seattle is famous for, the sun was out and the city was sparkling. We started out at the water front, walked through Pike Place Market, watched the sun set from an alley near the water, did a tea tasting at Vital Leaf Tea, picked up some food at Trader Joe's, stopped in a park overlooking the harbor to check out the skyline, and had some pizza and beer at Stellar Pizza. It was pretty much what I had always though business travel would be like.

[svgallery name="Seattle"]