In April 2008 I flew to Seattle, Washington for a long weekend. I planned on attending a full day seminar with Rick Steves (the European travel guy from Public Television) and see a little bit of the area.

In the short time I had in Seattle I did the traditional things. Despite the clouds, the only traditional thing missing was rain. I went to downtown Seattle and was able to walk around during the weekend. I got to see Puget Sound, walk along the waterfront, go up in the Space Needle, walk through Pike Place Market, and had a lot of salmon and chowder.

The main reason for the weekend was the 12 hours of seminars at the headquarters of Rick Steves, located in Edmonds, Washington just north of Seattle. He's located here since this is where he grew up and now lives. His show, "Rick Steves' Europe", on PBS can be seen all around the country. He spends at least 4 months a year traveling in Europe and keeps all his books up to date on a yearly basis. He has about 80 people working for him and also has tour guides all over Europe that give tours.

There were a number of seminars in the 12 hours (9am to 9pm), with several over lapping. I signed up with the seminars presented by Rick and included European Travel Skills, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe (not given by Rick), Italy, and Travel As a Political Act. In all cases, he went over time talking about the topic. His sessions were recorded and he said they would be available on his web site in the fall. After the Scandinavia seminar, I was able to talk with him and get my picture taken.

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Seattle, Washington - The famous Pike Place Market along the Puget Sound waterfront.


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Seattle, Washington - Can you spot the flying fish?


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Seattle, Washington - The Space Needle at Seattle Center, the elevator ride to the top takes 41 seconds.


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Seattle, Washington - Seattle view from atop the Space Needle at 520 feet.


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Seattle, Washington - The waterfront view with mountains (and Seattle world famous clouds) in the distance.


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Edmonds, Washington - Main Street in Edmonds, complete with 'European style' roundabout.


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Edmonds, Washington - Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door offices.


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Edmonds, Washington - That says it all.


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Edmonds, Washington - 12 hours of seminars, not enough time for everything he knows about European travel.


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Edmonds, Washington - Ya, we chatted, compared notes, I gave Rick Steves some travel tips.