Seattle: Museum of Flight

We had a day in Seattle today. We thought of checking out some of the obvious downtown sites such as Pike’s Market and the Space Needle, but when our desk clerk told us about it, it sounded, well, touristy.

So we went to the Museum of Flight instead.


There’s lots to see and do there. This picture just shows the Great Gallery, and not all of it. There’s a whole ‘nother wing for warbirds, half a dozen aircraft are outside including the first Air Force One, and across the road is a sort of giant carport with more large planes like the Concorde. Plus optional movies and special tours, kids activities and simulators.


A couple of hours was enough for a cursory look around the main gallery and a quick peek at two of the outside planes. If you wanted to do stuff, or actually read all the placards, you’d be there a lot longer. My main interest is in oddball aircraft, and they didn’t have a lot of that; they’re more interested in mainstream progress than aviation’s evolutionary orphans.

We decided to take a break from the city and go visit a winery. It took nearly half an hour to slog over to Cougar Crest, and by the time we got there, we weren’t in the mood for tasting. We told Dingbat to take us home without using the Interstate. He said 60 minutes instead of 40, and I figured it was worth it. The first part of the drive was scenic. But we hit the construction delays and then rush-hour caught up to us. The trip to the hotel took two hours.

That meant no shopping or pool time, just a short rest before dinner.

Summer Travels 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote about our travels. This summer, we’re taking to the road. Dingbat, our beloved(?) GPS will be joining us for a road trip to Portland, OR. But we’re starting with a flight.

First stop: Calgary, Alberta for When Words Collide. My publishers, Five Rivers, will be launching two books at this convention.

5R Poster 2016

And lookit! Way down at the bottom of the poster, it not only says I’m doing a reading from Avians, it nails down the release date in print.

Immediately before the Five Rivers Salon, I’ll be doing my presentation on Alternative Aviation in SF, and I’ve been stressing a little over how to juggle my notes (one handed on an e-reader?) and the slide show (touch screen tablet?). Good news! Lindsay Kitson, critique partner and fellow pilot, has said not only will she be in attendance, she’s willing to help with setting up and running the projector for me. That’ll be a huge help.

There’s far more to the con than just those two things. There are a slew of panels and presentations I’m eager to attend; my schedule often has two or three highlighted at the same time. I’ll blog those as I go.

After that hectic weekend, we’re hopping over to Kelowna for some family time with the western part of Caroline’s clan.

From there, we’re sticking Dingbat in rental car and heading down into Washington and Oregon. We’d like to see the Museum of Flight in Seattle, then I have novel research to do at Mount Saint Helens, because it is a rare example of a stratovolcano with lava tubes, and you can hike through them. Then Portland, OR for some seafood dinners and as a base of exploration for some local wineries before heading back to Kelowna, Winnipeg and home.

Then just a week or two later, we’ll take an extended September weekend to go to Can*Con in Ottawa. That’s one of my favourite cons, and this’ll be my third visit. It looks as if I might get to moderate a panel there, which will be a great chance to meet authors and readers of SF. More later, as details get firmed up.

It’s going to be a great summer!