"VT Global Meeting in Seattle in August 2012" VTGlobalMeeting2012's Profile

AUGUST 11-15, 2012

START PLANNING NOW!
Few more weeks before the VT Seattle Meeting! We are excited to see you...If you have not registered yet, please check on the Meet Members Site of VT and Click on Meetings...

This Virtual Tourist Global Meeting in Seattle has been cooking for almost two years ..There are many activities and you can pick and choose which one you wanted to join but definitely, make sure to show up on the registration day as coordinated by Glabah (Glenn). We will be distributing VT T-shirts and other VT stuffs c/o VT Staff (Thanks to Kimberly and Giampero!)

This city carries the Zip Code 98118 where there are at least 59 languages spoken!

This separate account will navigate you for a pleasant visit to Seattle. And, join us on the Global VT Meeting. We also included some interactive maps here, links and city tour videos.

Please make sure to click every Blue Letters. This will guide you to a more detailed information.


HERE ARE THE IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER:

I. Getting visas
If this is your first time visiting the United States and Canada, please make sure that you have the necessary visas:

a. USA Visa: How to get a USA Visa.
b. Canadian Visa: How to get a Canadian Visa As of July this year, the Canadian government required visas already even to permanent residents to the United States! Click here for a Canadian Border and Inspection.

Why do we needed these visas? We are planning to take a ferry boat to Victoria, Canada for a day tour and to those who are interested on the last day of the meeting, we will be taking you for train ride to Vancouver, Canada (optional side tours).

II. Confirmation of Attendance. It is important to email VT Coordinators: Please email joiwatani and cc glabah, waaliewiener and gracestrips). This is important on group tours because we have to know how many buses we needed to go to Leavenworth, Washington. Your RSVP is needed for restaurant reservation in Pioneer Square.

III. Booking hotels and accommodations
Check this link for City of Seattle's Official Guide for Hotels and Accommodations.
and Seattle's Visitor's Bureau Guide to Hotels and Accommodations.

Maps are included.

Please check this link for a detailed travel guide: S-E-A-T-T-L-E. This is the official travel website ot the city. With this link, information regarding hotel accommodations, restaurants and transportations are available.

VT members who are coordinating this: joiwatani, Glabah (Glenn), Waalewiener (Hansi), Gracestrips (Grace) and LuckyVirgo13.

Seattle is very beautiful and you don't like to miss this opportunity!

We will make this VT meeting affordable to those who are on budget travels and luxurious to those who are into luxury travels... We can't make promises but we will try our best...

If you have not signed yet, please register by clicking this link: Global VT Meeting in Seattle on August 11-15, 2012.

Itirenaries

ITIRENARY: Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and changes in ferry cruise schedules.

August 11 - 8:00 am to 10:00 am - Registration

11:00- 4:00 Ferry Ride along Puget Sound to Bremerton. This cost $7.50 Round Trip. You can either bring your Brown Bag Lunch to the Ferry or buy inside the Ferry's Coffee shop (limited choices). Please sign up. Tour coordinator is Glenn (Glabah)

There is also a sign up for those who wanted to visit/hike at Mt. Rainier c/o Guthrie Collin.

The same day, there is also a tour at the winery - tour coordinator is Grace (Gracetrips).

5:00-10:00 pm - Dinner and a Social Night/Belly Dancing at the Marrakesh Restaurant- Please sign at the Meet Members and search for VT Seattle Meeting Dinner/Belly Dancing...Please remember RSVP is required!!!%c*

Day Two: August 12 : Walking Tour: Pike Place Market (see the local farmer vendors, Laotian florists, artists, etc.;Westlake Center and Lunch at Uwajimaya. Please click this Virtual Guided Tour in the City of Seattle This will be a walking tour. Make sure to bring your comfortable walking shoes and bottled water.

Seattle Aquarium
The Waterfront
Pike Place Market
Westlake Center - We will catch our train here to go to the Uwajimaya. Please bring $5.00 for fare
Uwajimaya - We will eat lunch there. Lunch is from $5.00-$20.00
International District/Chinatown

Day Three: August 13: Tour at the Future of Flight/Boeing Tour in Everett, Washington (morning to 3:00 pm) then proceed to Jo's house! Please register and RSVP!!!

4:00-10:00 pm Barbecue at Jo's house in Everett : Socialization

Day Four: August 14: A daytrip to Leavenworth, Washington - The Bavaria and the Christmas Capital of the United States. We will take a guided tour and pass by miles and miles of farms of Washington State. We will take a road with a view of majestic Evergreen and Maple Trees parallelling a healthy and roaring river, beautiful mountains some of which have waterfalls, zig zag roads to the plateau where there sits an old lumber town which blossomed into a famous tourist destination in the nortwest United States!.

Day Five: August 15: Freetime

Suggestions for your freetime: These are all in one location:

1.Space Needle, Pacific Science Center and Experience Music Project

2. Museum of Flight

3. Boeing Factory Tour

4. Mt. Rainier Tour

5. Winery Tour

6. San Juan Islands

7. Vancouver, Canada

8. Tillicum Village Experience

WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU COME

WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU COME

I. Request for a free tourist guide. This will be mailed to you. Make sure to sign up right now. It takes at least a month to mail them to you! Please sign up here: FREE TOURIST GUIDE.

II. Money Exchange Have your money exchanged if you are from a different country. Here's a Money Converter Site. If you didn't, there are money exchanges at the airport.
You needed money to pay for the train, cab, bus or cab. (It is best to exchange your money in your home country so you don't have to worry about money exchange once at your arrival in Seattle!)

Welcome to Seattle

WELCOME TO SEATTLE! If this is your first port of entry outside the United States, you will go through immigration. As soon as you get out from the plane, you will board an airport train that will bring you to the Immigration (Homeland Security). Make sure that you have your necessary papers, passports and visa stamped in your passport. There are random checks at the Homeland Security and be aware of this. They are very strict. Don't get frustrated.

Be prepared to show your passports, visa as stamped on your passport, and your Embarkation documents (given by the airline). As soon as you are done here, follow signs to pick up your luggages.

Go to your designated baggage claims depending on which airline you boarded and get your luggage! There are no luggage checkers here so you are free to go once you picked up your baggages.

Take the escalator up to the Skybridge and follow signs to GROUND TRANSPORTATION. (Please click the Ground Transportation to bring you to the link. Make sure to print the map for your travel file).

Transportation from Seatac Airport to Seattle

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU TAKE THE LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT SO YOU CAN SEE MOST OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS IN SEATTLE! (I take the train to go to work and then take the bus. It is cheap and very convenient!)

LINK LIGHT RAIL- SOUND TRANSIT- After grabbing your bags at baggage claim, head for the fourth floor of the airport parking garage, where signs direct out to a walkway that leads to the Link Light Train station. The ride to Seattle on the Central Line takes just 36 minutes. There are about 13 stops along the way, including four downtown stops. The stops include the International District, Pioneer Square, University Street, and Westlake Center.

Departures every 15 minutes or less. One-way fares $2.50 adults $2.00 youths 6-18. $1.25 senior/disabled. For more information, visit Soundtransit.org.

The cost of riding Central Link is based on how far you travel. One-way adult tickets start with a base fare of $2.00 and add five cents to the base fare for every mile of your trip. Day Passes cost two times the one-way fare and are good for travel on the service, date and stations printed on the ticket.

You can use an ORCA card or buy a ticket from the ticket vending machine (TVM) on the Link train platform. TVMs accept cash, VISA or MasterCard.

You cannot purchase tickets once on board, so please have valid fare before getting on the train.

SHUTTLE EXPRESS: Seattle's Premier airport and charter transportation service since 1987. It provides 24-hour door-to-door scheduled and exclusive van service for up to 32 passengers, sedan and limo service.

Visit www.ShuttleExpress.com or call 425-981-7000.

Shuttle Express partners with other hotels:
Call (206) 793-8430 for a reservation or for more information.

Free Mall Shuttle service operates seven days a week - excluding certain holidays. For reservations or current service schedule, please call (206) 571-9588.

Reservations required and recommended as soon as possible to ensure availability. Cost $12 per person each way - collected by driver (cash, check, AMEX, VISA, MC or Discover cards accepted)

For complimentary Mall Shuttle Reservations, please call (206) 571-9588 at least 15 minutes prior to a scheduled pick-up time to make a reservation.

Note: These above accommodations are located close to the airport. We didn't put a link on them because these are about 30-40 minutes away from Downtown Seattle. In traffic, sometimes, coming from these hotels will take you at least an hour by car/cab. Please click the Places to Stay and Visitor's Bureau link instead.


YELLOW TAXI - The Yellow Taxi is the Northwest's largest taxi fleet with 379 taxis. Telephone number is 206-622-6500 or www.yellowtaxi.net. The following are their rates as of October 2011:

There is a $32.00 Flat Rate in effect for trips from the Downtown Seattle Hotel District to SeaTac Airport which applies to all taxicabs that operate in Seattle. Please refer to the map below for the boundaries pertaining to this rate. Flat rates are in effect for direct trips only, and trips with any stops involved will be charged the meter rate. Also note that there is no flat rate in effect for trips from SeaTac Airport to the Downtown Hotel District.

Additionally, depending on the current price of gas, there may be a surcharge of $1 or more per trip. The driver may not collect on this unless it is clearly marked on the dashboard as you enter...

Sound Transit -The Sound Transit in Seattle is the way to go! This is the cheapest and fastest way to go to your hotel.

More transportation from Airport to Downtown

METRO BUS

King County Metro Transit offers bus service from the Airport.
•Metro Route 124 provides daily early morning airport service to and from downtown Seattle.

Find Route 124 at the Tukwila International Blvd Link light rail station. Ride Link one stop to Tukwila, walk down the stairs or take the elevator to the ground level, and look for the bus stop.
•Metro Route 156 serves Tukwila, Southcenter and SeaTac
•Metro Route 180 serves Burien, Kent and Auburn
•Metro Rapid Ride A Line serves Federal Way Transit Center on weekdays, Saturday and Sunday

Board Metro Routes 156, 180 and Rapid Ride A Line at the SeaTac/Airport Link station. Follow the "To Buses" signs at the station and cross the pedestrian bridge over International Boulevard. Bus stops will be on both sides of International Boulevard.


One-Way Adult Fares (19-64 yr)

DOWNTOWN AIRPORTER. Here's a link to Downtown Airporter.

(855) 566-3300

$15 one way
$25 roundtrip

Downtown Airporter picks up and drops off passengers at the inner drive curb on the third floor of the Airport Garage. It departs twice an hour from 6:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Hotels that are serviced by Downtown Airporter:
Madison Renaissance
Crowne Plaza
Fairmont Olympic
Seattle Sheraton
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Warwick Hotel.

RENTING CARS Here is a link to
RENTING CARS

On-site counter and cars
Alamo: 1-800-462-5266
Avis: 1-800-331-1212
Budget: 1-800-527-7000 (local reservations), 1-800-527-0700 (out-of-town reservations)
Hertz: 1-800-654-3131
National: 1-800-328-4567

On-site counter, off-site cars
Advantage: 1-800-777-5500, (206) 824-0161
Dollar Car Rental: (206) 433-5825
Enterprise: (206) 246-1953
Thrifty: (206) 246-3005

Off-site counter and cars
EZ Rent-A-Car (206) 770-0199
Fox Rent A Car: 1-800-225-4369


Note on renting cars in Seattle: Make sure to read all the fine lines in the contract. Check all damages, scratches and make sure the rental representaive notes in the contract. Add insurance. You can use your car insurance if you are from the United States. Always return car in full tank of gas.

Driving Directions to the airport

Places to stay and Other hotel accommodations

Here's a link to PLACES TO STAY AND EAT IN SEATTLE and here's a link from VISITOR'S BUREAU.

Make sure to check on the reviews of customers before you book them. And check the maps of the distance of the hotel where we will be meeting which is close to the waterfront, near the Seattle Aquarium.

POST NOTES:

1. From where your hotel, you can plan your bus trip. Click this METRO BUS to plan your route to the meeting place. In downtown, the bus fare is free. The FREE RIDE ZONES ends at the International District. Most bus drivers will let you know when the Free Fare Zone ends.

2. Make sure to print out your bus schedules just to make sure that you have it with you just in case the hotel don't have computers.

3. Here's a link on HOW TO RIDE A METRO BUS AND HOW MUCH ARE THE FARES.

4. You can have options: pay cash (Exact change only- the bus driver don't carry money changes) in the bus or buy the ORCA card. Here's a link on buying the ORCA card- it's a card that you can use in paying your buses, Sound Transit, and light train.
Here's a link to the Orca Vending Machines and their locations.

5. Here's the METRO BUS MAP in Seattle. Please click and navigate.

6. Here's a link to the Light Rail connections.

7. Most of the taxi cab drivers here are either Tigrinian, Amharic, Somalians or Indians. They are mostly first generation immigrants. They probably immigrated in Seattle in the early 80s. They are very friendly and good people. Most of the parking spaces in Seattle are also staffed by Tigrinians and Amharic people.

MOST OF ALL, PLEASE STAY SAFE!!! Click here for Guidelines in Staying Safe in Visiting Seattle...

  • Intro Updated Jul 10, 2012
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Comments (19)

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Time flies. PJ

  • YVRDave's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Thank to Jo, Glenn and Grace for organizing a great meet

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Hi thanks for your invite. Unfortunately I won't able to make it Seattle this summer. I wish, however, the meet goes well! All the best, Dawn:D PS Glad you like the cards:D

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    Thanks for enjoying my writing. I LOVE Seattle and not only would love to attend the meeting but live there, as well! Unfortunately, I cannot make it but I'm sure it will be a great gathering of VTers. Enjoy.

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Jo, I wish you fun and succes with the meeting. I limit myself to the Antwerp meeting, where we come together again after 10 years! Greetings to all. PJ

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Thanks for your invite but I won't be able to attend.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I will not be attending the Seattle meeting, change of plans, my VT-friend bailed out on me...

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Thanks for your message, but I'm afraid I won't be able to make it to the Seattle meeting. Instead (closer to home for me) I will be going to the VT meetings in Antwerp, Belgium, on August 17-19.

  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Well, it's 4 months away now and have contacted the VTers who have signed up for the meet. If you plan to go, please sign up for the event so we can get a better idea how many plan to attend. Thanks!

  • Dymphna1's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    For the dinner will we need to bring cash to pay for it or can we use cc's? I will be on the bike and do not wish to carry any cash I don't have to take.

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“Let's Meet in Seattle in 2012!”

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Real Name
joiwatani
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Seattle, Washington State
Member Since
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