A Travellerspoint blog


Touring Bellevue, Kirkland, and a bit of Seattle

Good Morning!

Yep! I did it. Following through on a promise made a year ago during my Seattle visit, I attended church with my Aunt Sandra. She chose the 0900 service time at the Bellevue Presbyterian Church so it was up and out of the campground early. Being a Sunday morning, the traffic was light on I-405 driving the 12-15 miles north to the church from Kent where I am staying.
Auntie proudly (I think!) introduced me to several of her church friends and following the service we met cousin Susan and her children, Catie and Michael for a Sunday brunch at a nice local restaurant. Afterwards, Auntie wanted to drive me around Bellevue and Kirkland so show me where she grew up, and other points of interest. For a silver-haired 88 yr. old driver she whipped around traffic like the race car driver Mario Andretti! Our time together included lots of conversation, of course. Our last stop was the cemetery where her husband, my Uncle Dick, was entombed in the mausoleum. My Mother's sister and her husband, Aunt Ethelmae & Uncle Ed, are entombed there also. Maternal grandparents, George & Ethel Ekins are buried in the same cemetery so we paid our respects to them all.

(Monday) When in Seattle one has to visit Boeing. The Museum of Flight is located at old Boeing Field, where it all started. Back when aviation was in its infancy a young entrepreneur named Bill Boeing was facinated with flying machines. In a warehouse next to the water in Seattle he began to experiment with bi-planes, then mounting them on floats. WWI came along and he successfully landed a small gov't contract for float planes to be used for reconnaisance in the war effort. After the war (WWI) America was crazy about this new mode of transportation. As Bill Boeing expanded his company to meet consumer demands he hired engineers from academia to develope his visions. Long story short - the build-up for WWII came along in the late 1930's. Unfortunately, Bill Boeing was on the wrong side of the political isle from the New Dealers of FDR and he became embittered with politics. To his credit, his company executives took over when Boeing decided to retire rather than fight Washington. The group of men at Boeing won a contract for a heavy bomber (B-17) which eventually led to the wartime production of 12,000 aircraft. After the war ended the post-war generation wanted commercial airliners. Boeing introduced the 707, then the 727, and still produces the 737 jetliner in their Seattle plant. Subsequent aircraft, of course, are the 747, 757, 767, 777, and their latest, the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing is a global aerospace giant today.

At the Musuem of Flight were displayed WWI, WWII, Korean, Viet Nam aircraft of various varieties. I took a docent-led tour by a retired Boeing engineer who explained the various development phases he was involved in during his 30+ yr. career. Very interesting experience. I went aboard several aircraft of interest; a supersonic Concorde, a 787 Dreamliner, a 747 FedEx freightliner, and a Space Shuttle delivery vehicle (it was huge, far larger than I imagined). Having visited several other aircraft museums around the country I focused on those above, which I had not seen. My 4 hr. visit went quickly.

Last evening I was invited to Cousin Susan Ekins' home for dinner and fellowship. Her home is located on a hilltop in Bellevue (Seattle suburb) overlooking Lake Washington. The view is beautiful when the forest fire smoke is not dense, like last night! My Aunt Sandra, kids Catie & Mike, and Susan's parents were there. It was a fun evening.

Posted by dixter 09:48 Archived in USA Tagged with day auntie

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