I didn’t even bother to go to bed last night. The couch just seemed like a better option when one has to wake up at 03:30 to drive to the airport. We threw our stuff in the car, arrived at Charlotte Douglas around 05:15, had a surprisingly painless experience with the TSA, grabbed some highly overpriced salted cashews from a newsstand, and awaited our flight in Terminal A.
This was Mom’s first flight, so I knew this was bound to be an interesting experience. Mom and I were seated next to each other, while Dad was across the aisle. She was nervous and had a death grip on my knee during takeoff, completely cutting off the circulation, but actually did very well once we were in the air. I even got her to look out the window a time or two. Dad spent the flight playing 32 games of solitaire on his phone.
Thankfully, it was a smooth takeoff/flight/landing, and we touched down in Houston (IAH) a few minutes ahead of schedule—around 9 CST. We took the elevated train to the next terminal over, and started seeking out lunch/breakfast. We ended up opting for roast beef, smoked ham, and ‘A Wreck’ sandwiches from Potbelly sandwich shop, all of which were excellent.
We boarded our flight from IAH to Seattle around 11:10 CST, and took off around noon CST. Mom did very well this go round. We enjoyed some beautiful views from the plane, including the Rocky Mountains and a snowstorm developing over Idaho.
We touched down at SEA-TAC around 14:24 PST, made our way to the baggage claim, and then took the bus to the rental car pickup.
Finally, we got our rental car, circled our way out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and headed east of the city to the Snoqualmie Reservation to see some sights. First, we stopped at Snoqualmie Point Park for a beautiful view of Mt. Si and the surrounding valley.
By this point, we were extremely hungry, so we headed to the first restaurant we found on Google that looked good, Big Fish Grill. It was a casual dining local seafood chain that specialized in PNW dishes. In true Church fashion, we got three dishes to split: 1) cedar plank salmon with Dungeness crab, parmesan risotto, and asparagus, 2) parmesan halibut cheek with capers, asparagus, and garlic mashed potatoes, and 3) stuffed prawns with crab, shrimp, rice, and a roasted vegetable medley. As hungry as we were, the food was objectively good, and we all enjoyed the meal. The stuffed prawns and roasted vegetables were the universal favorites. This meal was a welcome treat after a long day of traveling.
After dinner, we drove about 2 hours north of Seattle to our hotel in Bellingham, Washington. I slept 98% of the way up there, and was only awakened when Dad could no longer understand the GPS directions my phone was spitting out. After a quick stop at the local Walmart for supplies, we checked into the hotel and bedded down for the night.
Tomorrow, we’re waking up at dark thirty (which hopefully won’t be too bad because of the time difference) to take a boat to Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We’ll see if the Canadians let us across the border.
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