Last week I went to Seattle for work. I took a Polymeric Coatings class sponsored by the ACS (American Chemical Society for those not in the know). I was super psyched for this trip because I've never been to Seattle, I really needed the week away from work, and I had a couple of old friends in Seattle that I hadn't seen in years. I flew into Seattle on a Monday afternoon...the flight was about 6 hours nonstop, but not too bad. Just a couple of kids, which was good, & I managed to get some sleep as well. I got into Seattle, picked up my bag & the rental and headed to the hotel to check-in. The first thing I noticed when I got outside and on the road was how green & foresty it was. Everywhere you looked there were big evergreens, and lots of peaks & valleys courtesy of the mountains.
My hotel was similar to a Residence Inn - cute but not spectacular. I chilled for a second, then I hit the city. I really wanted to sped some time exploring the city. I hopped on I-90 and took that into downtown Seattle. I drove around for a bit and just explored, looking at the various areas downtown. I didn't know before I flew in that Seattle had such a large immigrant population; there's a Chinatown area and I saw lots of East African businesses as well. Downtown was also very hilly. It seems to have a lot of character. I parked in the Pioneer Square area and started walking; I saw a lot of stuff and visited some shops. I grabbed some Starbucks (fitting right?) and by that time my friend AH called to hang out. He and I became friends in undergrad thanks to NSBE, and hadn't seen each other since we both graduated. We wound up having dinner at a local Chinese place and watching some football.
Tuesday was the first day of my Polymeric Coatings course. The class was held about 5 minutes from my hotel, which was convenient I was the only woman (of course) and the only person of color (of course). There were 5 other men in the course. I really enjoyed taking this class, I learned a lot in only 2 days. I also really surprised myself with how much I did know about polymer chemistry and polymer behavior. In my lab I tend to see coatings after there's been a failure, so I'll have more tools to figure out what the cause of the failure is and how the behavior of the polymer resin is either promoting or demoting adhesion to the substrate.
Tuesday night I met up with a high school friend, MW. She and I were tight back in our high school days, and then we went off to study engineering at separate Big Ten schools and fell out of touch. Anyway, we met up for sushi and just talked and talked and talked. I was really happy to see that she is doing so well. The sushi was also super cool, the place we went to was conveyor belt-style, so you just grab plates and then they total them up at the end. I also had a Japanese soda that had a marble inside it, which was very interesting. To end the night I got some Jamba Juice, yum! I really wish Orlando had a Jamba Juice...if I had some extra $$$ I'd open up a franchise here.
Wednesday I was so tired that I just chilled out, grab some food & another Jamba Juice and relaxed. I flew back to Orlando on Thursday and spent that night and my day off on Friday recuperating.
Overall I had a great time visiting Seattle & I'm looking forward to going back as a tourist.