Thursday morning we called the Boeing Visitor Center in Edmonds to book a tour of the airplane factory. Under the rather overblown name "Future of Flight", Boeing has a slick, and fascinating tour of the enormous facility, and an exhibit of their old and new products. Given the size and complexity of what they make, this is no ordinary factory tour. Sadly, you are not allowed to take any photos of the factory tour (and you need to check all electronics and bags), only of the exhibit. You can get a glimpse on this video-- http://www.futureofflight.org/video.html
After seeing a short video about airplanes and Boeing, you are ushered onto a bus for the ride to the overwhelmingly huge factory building. This is the largest building in the world. Imagine a skyscraper laid on its side, and you can get a sense of the scale. You walk through a tunnel, take a freight elevator, and ride up to a viewing platform above the assembly floor. There are airplanes below in bits and pieces, a staggering array of machinery, and people who use bicycles to get from one part of the building to another. It's mind-blowing to be in a building with 8-10 huge airplanes below. You are taken to different areas to see a variety of planes being worked on, including the new 787, the Dreamliner. The 787 is mostly assembled overseas, and then the parts are flown by Boeing to the plant for final assembly and testing. Boeing makes a lot of fuss over this new product, supposidly being cheaper, much more comfortable for passengers, and more fuel efficient and eco-friendly. What they do not mention is that the first orders are over a year behind schedule.
Anyway, it was really fascinating. Afterward you wander through an exhibit area, which has more PR about the Dreamliner, and a cool flight simulator (for $8, of course)
Oh, and it stopped raining! Grey skies, but some peeks of hazy sun.
We drove down to the water at Mulkulteo, and had an overpriced, mediocre lunch at some seaside restaurant where Larry and I were the youngest adults by a good 20 years. Preparation for the cruise. We then drove across to Snohomish, peeked at antiques, then over to the wineries and then home. I was very amused by the sign below, which we saw several times at creeks in the area.
Dinner at a cute Mexican place on the water on the other side of the University. Good food, but somewhat marred by the amateur service and overly loud drunken party at the next table.