Monday, June 16, 2008

More Tips from the Locals

It’s June-uary in Seattle. It snowed in April and we hit 90 degrees in May. Today’s paper claimed that Siberia had higher temps than Seattle yesterday. I realize we have a reputation for living in the rain 364.5 days of the year, but by the time the conference rolls around, you will see Seattle in its glory. The Local Arrangements Committee cannot wait to greet you!

As you prepare for the 64th NACAC National Conference, I suggest you keep a few things in mind:

  • The conference will be located in the heart of downtown Seattle. You will be thrilled to have great restaurants and fantastic shopping within an easy stroll. Take the time to explore our local wonders – sure Nordstrom and REI started here, but we have many wonderful locally owned restaurants and stores that you’ll love!

  • Coffee? No need to wait in lines at the Convention Center – as Todd mentioned, there is a Starbucks on every corner, sometimes two on every corner and lest you think Starbucks is the only gig in town, you’ll find plenty of other fine roasting establishments in between.

  • Seattle will happily introduce you to phenomenal microbrews and wines. You’ll soon understand why we not only consider our region to be the finest area for coffee, but for adult beverages as well. PNACAC as a region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) lays claim to some awfully good beers and wine.

  • Wear comfortable shoes. Seattle is built on a hill – your walks to Pike Place Market (you have to see the fish tossing) or to a ferry ride will be on a slight incline. I found the need to buy new shoes in both Salt Lake and Austin so hills or not, the conference itself demands happy feet.

  • Umbrellas will mark you as a tourist. Fleece and Gortex are welcome and encouraged. Though we hope you’ll be more concerned about where you stashed your sunglasses.

  • If you read Michael’s entry regarding the airport, you’ll notice that our beloved Sea–Tac airport has improved immensely in its offerings of food, drink and shopping. But, getting to your ground transportation is tricky. I’ll emphasize what Michael said, go to baggage claim to gather your luggage (hopefully paying for it helps it to arrive with you!) then head up the escalator – not all the way up to ticketing, but half way up to the skybridge. If you go to ticketing, you’ve gone too far. We hope to have guides to help you navigate this…Good luck!

We hope your time in Seattle leaves you with a great understanding of why we don’t mind the weather. Summer in Seattle (usually considered August and September for us) is truly one of the best places to be – if you hear someone say, “The Mountain is out today,” look south and you’ll be in awe of the view we regularly get of Mt. Rainier. You’ll understand that why we can’t imagine living outside the northwest. Take time to explore – take a ferry to Bainbridge Island, a tour of the houseboats on Lake Union, even stay a little later to take a float plane trip to the San Juans – or simply save these for your next vacation.

We can’t wait to host you in the great Pacific Northwest.

Ann Nault
Meadowdale High School
Lynnwood, WA