Around Seattle

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Introduction
Fairmont Olympic Seattle
Around Seattle
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Around Seattle

We enjoyed our time in Seattle. One afternoon we visited Kerry Park.  Kerry Park has some amazing views of Seattle!  I wanted to get a few landscape shots of it and just soak it all in.

We only stayed here 15-30 minutes before we summoned an Uber to give us a ride back to our hotel.

I would say for the first time visitor to Seattle that this is a must do on a nice day!

We also had the opportunity to to check out Seattles famous Public Market and Pikes Peak. I went one morning early with my son as all the vendors were setting up and it was very peaceful and neat.

However we went again with my wife later in the day and it was quite busy and hectic.  The line for the original Starbucks store was down the block and the Public Market in general was quite chaotic.


Long line for the first ever Starbucks store (you have to REALLY want a coffee)

They do have tons of seafood options at the market.

I was also impressed how many vendors were selling some very nice floral displays and at very good prices in my opinion.

Near the end of the market there is an area with nice views out to the water.  There were a lot of homeless people in this area!

On an early morning walk with my kid we walked toward the Space Needle but we didn’t end up going inside of it.


Seattle’s Space Needle

One of the oddest “attractions” I have ever seen is Seattle’s “gum wall” in which there is small back alley of sorts that is completely covered in peoples chewing gum. Its quite colorful and unique.  I suppose its a form of art huh?  Anyways be careful and don’t get to close and get gum on your shoe like I did!

We also got to meet up with an old college buddy of mine and his wife while in Seattle which was nice.  We did have a chance to dine at a few decent restaurants while in town which we enjoyed.

Lastly we took a boat ride over to Alki Beach.  We just kinda walked around for a while down near the beach.  Stopped for a drink and enjoyed views of Seattle from across the water.  There were lots of runners, people playing volleyball and some people swimming.

I left Seattle with positive feelings about the city. A very nice, livable city.  It helps that we only had rain the morning we were leaving so we had 2-3 days of really nice weather.  If the chance to visit ever comes up again I will be happy to jump on it!

 

-PointsPinnacle


 

Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle Review

___________________________________
Introduction
Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle
Around Seattle
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Fairmont Olympic Seattle

We arrived to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel to a busy scene.  Quite a few people arriving for checkins or waiting for rides to leave the property.  We were properly greeted by the bellman after pulling up in our Chevy Tahoe. Our driver and bellman grabbed our bags.


Fairmont Olympic Hotel entrance sign


Fairmont Olympic Hotel entrance

Once inside there is a ground level seating area but the actually lobby and checkin desk are upstairs one level. We took the escalator up (there are elevators too of course) and the lobby was teaming with activity of people meeting up or checking or talking with the concierge’s.  After a about a five minute wait we were welcomed to the checkin desk.


Fairmont Olympic Hotel entrance placard


Ground level lobby seating


Second floor checkin desk and floral arrangement in lobby


Farimont Olympic Seattle Grand lobby

The young woman checking us in was courteous and professional. After only a few moments we were on our way to our room, only the front desk agent forgot to put our room number on the key and we forgot what room she told us we were in verbally.  I stoped back to the desk where she apologized and wrote down the room number, 356 which is a Signature Executive Suite. Continue reading

Seattle 2016: Our Trip to the Emerald City

__________________________________
Introduction
Fairmont Olympic Seattle
Around Seattle
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Introduction

My wife had one of her annual trips in which she can bring a guest.  Thus our baby and I were lucky to accompany my wife to Seattle.  Baby and I have never been to Seattle so we were all excited. This would be our little guy’s 6th state visited already!

We flew MKE to SEATAC on a Alaska Air Embraer 175 on the outbound.  We earned 1694 miles for that flight.


Weather forecast for our few days in Seattle via Alaska Airlines gogoinflight.com

We also got to witness some pretty scenery on the way out to the Pacific Northwest. Our baby was full of energy on the flight out but well behaved.


Lovely mountain views from our Alaska Air Embraer175 aircraft

We arrived in Seattle and were chauffeur driven to our hotel for the next few nights-The Fairmont Olympic Seattle. We had an overall nice stay at the property.  Very nicely located to explore the city.


Fairmont Olympic Seattle

We had time to explore the city as a family in between and after my wife’s work obligations. There were also scheduled excursions which we could have signed up for (like visiting Boeing headquarters and some wine tastings, etc) but we had our baby so decided to pass on those events.


Gum wall


The Public Market

After a few days in Seattle we headed back to Milwaukee on Southwest Airlines where we earned 3751 Rapid Rewards points.

Please stay tuned for my review of the Fairmont Olympic Seattle and what we did while in Seattle!

-PointsPinnacle

 


 

Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW)

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777

We boarded through door 1L to be greeted by a flight attendant who was happy to show us to our seats in the front row. My first impressions of the cabin and suite were positive. I have of course seen numerous photos/ videos of Emirates First Class cabin.  It is quite elegant with the maple wood accents complimented by the gold/brass. It makes quite the statement although not to everyones tastes perhaps.

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My Emirates First Class boarding pass

(please note the cabin photos in which it appears to be daytime were taken upon departure of the flight when we arrived in Dallas)

The First Class cabin occupancy was 5/8 for our flight. My wife and I in the middle seats in row one. Another couple in there 50’s whom appeared to be from Texas (cowboy hat) were in row two behind us. Finally there was a woman in her 30’s in 1A that appeared to be the wife or girlfriend of one of the pilots thus both seats on the right side of the plane were unoccupied. Continue reading

Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai (DXB)

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai

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Well its always tough to end a vacation but at least we could look forward to flying Emirates First Class on the way home!

We arrived bit after 1AM for our 2:40AM (yikes) flight.  There was nothing at all really special about the checkin services for Emirates First Class, no escorts or anything fancy. We immediately went to check out the Emirates First Class Lounge to hang out a bit before our flight.  We were all pretty tired having to get up at midnight to leave for the airport.

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There was a small line to checkin but it only took a moment.  Once inside, we looked for a comfy area to relax! There is no shortage of seating in this lounge it is huge!  Its pretty much the entire upstairs of a terminal.

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Lots of wide open seating in the Emirates First Class Lounge

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Lounge seating

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Our lounge spot

Once we found our spot we lounged out on the couches. An attendant came over shortly after and asked if we wanted Continue reading

Around Dubai

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Around Dubai

We had limited time in Dubai and thus time for just a few things.  It was HOT in Dubai, over 100 degrees each day which limited us to indoor or air conditioned activities.

One evening we decided to go to the Mall of Dubai.  Let me just tell you, do NOT go to this mall on a Friday night! It was packed!!! It didnt take my wife and long to decide that this isn’t a good idea. Especially trying to navigate our little guy in his stroller with a million people walking around.  We lasted a bout 30 minutes before we made it outside to the Dubai Fountain and a nice view of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world during our visit).

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Burj Khalifa

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My son and I in front of the Burj Khalifa

We had to wait about 20 minutes as the prior fountain show had just ended.  Wow, it was so Continue reading

Conrad Dubai Review

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Conrad Dubai

We had reserved two nights at the Conrad Dubai. Main reason being we had another free night certificate that we needed to burn and we wanted to spend more than a day in Dubai instead of just a several hour stopover.

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Conrad Dubai entrance/checkin

Upon entrance the lobby was very large with enormous ceilings.  The front desk was straight ahead after some large seating areas on the side and a floral arrangement in the middle.

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Conrad Dubai lobby

There was quite the wait to checkin.  All four agents were busy and there were a few especially difficult guests at the counter that took a very long time!!  Besides that there were the people/guests that instead of lining up behind me thought it was the process to get right behind one of the checkin guests.  After a while I would let them know that line started behind me and eventually there about four guests behind me before it was our turn.

The front desk agent apologized for the wait and I let him know its not his fault and it wasn’t a problem.  He was courteous and professional and upgraded us to a King Deluxe Suite I believe.

King Deluxe Suite

We arrived to our room and I could tell it would be nice as it was a back corner room with no doors immediately next to it.  We walked in and found Continue reading

Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai B777

While sad to have left the Maldives we were excited to see Dubai.  We only had about 36 hours or so in Dubai to explore.  We boarded through the forward most door on the left and walked past first class to get to our business class seats.

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My Emirates boarding pass

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Boarding our Emirates aircraft

This was our first time ever flying Emirates!

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Emirates business class seating on B777

I found it quite interesting that they still have 3 across seating in business class in the middle seats!  I guess thats fine for a family of three but I would hate to be a stranger stuck in the middle seat.

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Emirates business class seating on B777

I also found it interesting how empty the business class cabin was.  It was definitely less than 50% full for our flight.  Continue reading

Leeli Lounge Male Airport

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Leeli Lounge Male Airport

After checking for our Emirates business class flight to Dubai in we were invited to visit the Leeli Lounge at Male airport.

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Waiting to checkin on Emirates

I bought a few small souvenirs from one of the shops just outside the Leeli Lounge then we decided to enter.  We were greeted warmly as our boarding passes were checked.

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Leeli Lounge entrance

We were one of just 4-5 other passengers in the lounge at the time so we had our choice of seats.  We decided to sit all the way in the back corner next to some windows to be more secluded and try not to disturb anyone with our baby. Continue reading

TransMaldivian Sea Plane

_________________________________________________________________________
Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Conrad Maldives
Around Rangali Island
Trans Maldivian Seaplane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Conrad Dubai
Around Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
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Trans Maldivian Seaplane

We woke up early on the morning of our departure and settled our bill at the resort.  We grabbed a quick bit to eat (the buffet opens 6am) and the pilots were the only other people  eating with us.  The plane was at the resort overnight and thus I guess the pilots stayed the night at the staffs quarters.

We were escorted to the pier where the plan awaited. There were also a few Conrad employees catching a ride back to Male with us.  It was a really nice sunrise on this, our last morning in the Maldives.

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Our ride to Male

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Pilots up front

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Maldives sunrise

After a quick safety demonstration we strapped in for takeoff. Continue reading