Thursday, 17 June 2010

Sleepless in Seattle

16th June 2010

MP3 track of the day - Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen

Weather: the morning was wet and dull, but the afternoon and evening was clear and hot

The day started off with a little info finding; firstly I received an email from the 'Aquasox' rounders team saying that tickets were available for tonight's game and that all I needed to do is purchase one at the ground ... result. So I started to plan my day around that.

Looking at the Boening tour, it stated that the factory was on the way to Everette (the Aquasox home town) therefore I thought I could go to the Boening factory, then the game and then back to my hostel ... good plan of attack. The only problem was that the tour was $58.00 (£39.00) which was out of my price range. I therefore got out my trusty netbook and went onto the Boening factories website to find that, the actual Boening ticket price was only $15.00 ... so the tour company was charging almost £30.00 for travel (the same cost for me to get from Vancouver to Seattle).

With this info I then went downstairs and asked reception if I could get from:

  • Seattle - Boening Factory

  • Boening Factory - Everett Aquasox

  • Everett Aquasox - Seattle

Which they said yes; it was a little of 'roundabout way' but I could:

  • Catch the #511 to Lynwood and switch to the #313 to the factory

  • Take the #313 back to Lynwood and change to the #202 to Everette

  • Take the 'night bus' #510 back to Seattle

And all of the above cost $10.25 (£7.00) and that was all the transport for the day, not just to the factory (already saving £22.00). However all this research had taken it's tole on my day and I left my hostel at 11:00am to arrive at the factory at 1:30pm.

I reckon I had around 2 hours 30 minutes at the factory and so I purchased a tour ticket of the factory (90 minutes) and a gallery ticket for $15.00. You couldn't take any electronic device, bag, phone or food with you into the plant so I had to pay a dollar (or what the Americans sometimes call a 'buck') into a 'futuristic locker system' where I stored my phone, MP3 player, bottle of water and most important of all ... a 100g bar of Dairy Milk ... yum (today I had decided not to take my bag and my big camera as you couldn't take photos within the Boeing museum and I didn't fancy carrying my bag around all day).

The museum was cool, there as a Rolls-Royce stand which made me very proud however the tour was the best bit. However before the tour started or tour guide (who was pretty annoying ... too American for me) took us all outside to see the very first flight of one of Boenings Dreamliner planes. Loads of employees were clapping and cheering and our guide was happy as she was an engineer who worked on that particular plane (apparently it should have been on the news as well ... oh and here it is).

The Boeing factory is the biggest building in the world and boy was it big! We first saw the 747's being built and all the assembly lines and gear; then we moved onto the dreamliners with their 'moving assembly lines' (the planes are put on 'crawlers' which move 1 1/2 inches an hour). It's a shame I couldn't take any photos but I could see why (don't want their secrets getting out).

The only thing that worried me was that our tour guide stated that before she joined Boening she had no mechanical experience whatsoever ... however after six weeks within the Boening school she was on the manufacturing line.

6 WEEKS! I might have to fly in that plane ... I want someone with 6 YEARS worth of education. Every time I get on a Boening plane in the future, and something breaks, I will always think of her.

Anyway time was pressing on and so I headed out of the museum and towards the main town of Everette. I arrived there at 5:45pm feeling pretty hungry; so I purchased my ticket (not the cheapest seat I have you know ... I decided to upgrade and pay $11.00, £7.00, for the second best seats in the house ... bit of a price difference between this and formula one tickets!) and then bought a hot dog and sat, in my seat, watching the teams warm up.

American Rounders is okay, but to be honest it's pretty boring. Most of the time is spent with the pitcher throwing to the guy with the mask behind the batter. Occasionally the batsman would hit the ball and do a bit of running (only once did the ball leave the field).

However the interesting thing is what goes on around the game. Firstly the coaches are hilarious; they have all these signs to communicate to their players. At one point one of the coaches was touching his baseball cap 3 times, then stroking his left arm twice before pinching his nose and then clapping once ... I mean how hard can it be to say "... JUST HIT THE THING!..."

Then at the start of the game the American national anthem is sung and I had to stand up. May I remind you that this game was a lower league game (like our 2nd division football) so why they have their national anthem at each game is beyond me ... tried not to laugh.

Then watching the crowd was entertaining; very few people were watching the game as most were chatting, talking on their mobile phones or eating. Some people only stayed an hour or so. The children were running around trying to grab hold of the balls that flew into the stands to keep. Early on in the game one ball looked like it was heading right for my head ... a thought of "...crikey, this could hurt..." came into my head before I leap out of the way. I would have liked to have picked up a ball as a souvenir of my game ... however it was not to be (maybe I'll purchase a ball on eBay ... means I don't have to carry it).

After every teams innings they had a break and something would go on; people would come out of the crowd and there would be hoola-hoop competitions, fishing competitions, socks being thrown into the crowd and ... my favourite ... the mascots trying to get the whole crowd (which consisted of 72 people, a dog and a sheep called Barney) to sing along to 'YMCA' ... what the hell has this got to do with rounders?

However I save the best until last; this was he sponsoring of the game. Everything was sponsored, even all the announcements like:

"... We want you to enjoy your game here so make sure you tie your shoe laces so you don't fall over ... this announcement was brought to you by 'Woods R Us' the only place to by wood for coffins..."


"... Odd socks can be a real pain; make sure you check your socks before heading out. This announcement was brought to you by Mr C Lewy of '' ... need a new windscreen, visit"

The whole experience was a right laugh and I enjoyed it thoroughly; I have to thank my x-boss, Bob, for suggesting this as it was certainly worth it. I had another hot dog and then left at 10pm to catch my bus. It was a shame I didn't stay to the end and actually I could have done (I got there at 5:45pm ... left at 10pm and saw 9 1/2 innings. I thought there were ten innings when actually there are only nine ... so I missed 1/2 an inning ... but I herd what happened from the bus stop).

Getting back to my dorm at 11pm I quietly walked in and got ready for bed ... only for the two old Chinese women to come in, turn the light on and start chatting ... there are really annoying and they woke me up at 8:00am this morning by, again putting the light on and talking (hence the title). They treat the room like it's their hotel room and it's bugging me ... flaming old people!

So I managed to do the whole day for around $55.00 ... less that the price of the Boening tour.

Toodle Pip!


  1. Pity the Brit was there for the first Dreamliner to fly with American Engines ;)

    Sport really isn't your thing is it.

  2. I know ... still the British engines are too good for American planes.

    Real sport is my thing ... Formula One ... come on Lewis Hamilton