Yesterday was one of the longest days we've ever had! It only rivaled the travel for college study-abroad trips I took years ago with my sweet friend Lora. We literally traveled from COAST TO COAST (Charleston, SC to Seattle, WA)! I only slept for a little over 2 hours the night before from 1-3:30AM when the alarm alerted us to get going. A cab picked us up at the condo at 4:30AM and we were dropped off at the airport shortly thereafter. Our first flight was to Atlanta where we had a very short lay-over before we boarded the next plane to Seattle for a six hour flight. That was just enough time to grab a few Krystal burgers at 7:30AM, no joke! Crazy that we ate Krystal burgers that early AND crazy that there was a franchise in the airport since Josh has been having some Krystal cravings because there are none in Charleston.
Somehow we lucked out because I believe the only empty seat on the plane was on our row, which made the trip much more enjoyable! We were also blessed by Delta because each seat had its own TV screen where we could watch different channels and listen to music. Josh was able to catch up on some ESPN Sports Center while I bounced around between Food Network, the Animal Channel, NBC, and Dr. Charles Stanley. We plugged in our headphones which served us pretty well in tuning out the crying baby and rambunctious kiddos around us. The adorable little girl (probably about 8-10 months old) across from us was super cute and very good for the most part.....however, a great reminder of what it would be like to travel with small people. We are very thankful for the opportunity to travel together and see some of the world with lots of freedom and ease while we are still relatively young newlyweds (we've only been married three years and we have no kids, so I'm sticking with the newlywed label!).
After the long and turbulent flight, we arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma airport mid-morning (thanks to traveling three time zones westbound). We were greeted with the stereotypical Seattle rainy day, were thankful that all our luggage arrived, and were given a free upgrade on car rental thanks to Josh's points status with the company. Therefore we are seeing the Northwest by way of a silver Dodge Charger, which is funny because we both drive large vehicles (a truck and an SUV) but it's nice to have a good sized car (i.e. not a Matchbox, not a monster truck) to wheel around our new town! :)
We stopped at a local pizza place for lunch and were able to catch the final quarter of the NFL game where the Chicago Bears defeated local Seattle Seahawks. Then we checked into our hotel where the view out our room window is this:
This is Boeing's runway and fleet and we get to see (and hear!) the planes take off! Very cool! This is a Boeing-only airport, it's not a commercial one where people fly in and out.
This picture only shows a small fraction of the Boeing factory! It is crazy big! In fact, the Boeing Everett factory is the largest building in the world by volume! Definitely too big for Josh to walk, so I dropped him off at work earlier this morning, which was a few driving miles from our hotel. Of course it is rainy and I could not seem to locate our compact umbrella before we came on this trip (who knows.....it could be in a KY storage unit for all I know!), so that is something I'm going out to purchase today. It might be rainy here, but it's not very cold. Temps are in the 40's & low 50's, which is easily made comfortable with the appropriate clothing and jackets.
We did a little exploring around our area last night, nothing significant or touristy, just more of figuring out where the grocery store and some other places were in case we needed anything. We grabbed a small meal at a Mexican restaurant where Josh was given the disappointing news that they did not have any queso (cheese) dip. Hmmm......we are wondering if that is just an East coast Mexican restaurant thing or if we just picked the wrong restaurant. I am sure we will try again somewhere else! :)
We definitely are not sleepless in Seattle! In fact, we were so exhausted last night that we went to bed at 7:30PM local time (in our defense, that is 10:30PM Eastern time zone). We were in bed over 10 hours when we got up this morning. However, we knew that getting caught back up on rest will be key for a good trip. Last night I was so tired I couldn't even focus on my reading because my eyes were swimming.....I no longer function well under extreme exhaustion. Finally I just gave up the fight and went to bed.
I plan to do lots of updates documenting our Northwest adventures! Here's some random facts about our stay:
* This trip is a total of 27 days (26 nights).
* I don't remember the exact mileage, but we traveled over 2,000 miles yesterday.
* We are staying at a hotel where our room is less than half the size of our room during the month-long hotel stay a few months ago. The loss of square footage is mainly due to no living room at this location. Just another reason to get out and see it all!
* This time we flew instead of driving two vehicles, so we brought a lot less stuff than before. Please don't be surprised if photos of us are in the same few clothing items over and over.
* This hotel also has coin laundry machines that I will be using as needed.
* As soon as we got in our room yesterday, I "nested" and put the place together. It probably only took about 30 minutes, but it's so nice that everything is in a place and suitcases are emptied and in the corner until time to pack up.
* Despite the fact that we didn't bring that much stuff, I did have to ask the hotel for more clothing hangers. The five in the closet just didn't meet our needs, particularly because we brought dress pants and dress shirts for Josh, as well as coats and jeans. The hotel was kind enough to bring me a bunch of hangers to use while we are here.
* Josh's first day at the new place is today - please lift prayers for him that it is smooth and enjoyable and that he learns the things he needs to know.
* Today Josh begins working with people who he has never met before. Everyone we have encountered since we arrived (at airport, restaurants, hotel) has been very nice. I am thankful that they seem to have a courteous culture.
* Our sweet condo neighbors were kind enough to pass along some restaurant recommendations for us! We definitely want to experience it all while we are here! If you have any suggestions, please leave them in comments because I am working on our must-do list!
* Those same sweet neighbors are also kind enough to collect all of our mail while we are gone! We have been blessed to meet such nice people in Charleston!
* Josh will be working quite a bit during the weekdays, but we plan to do sight-seeing on the weekends and some evenings when it works out.
* Throughout our time here there will be others from the Charleston facility also coming here to train. Josh does know a few people coming whose travel plans overlap with ours.
* As far as we know, I am the only wife who is accompanying her husband on the trip. While I had hoped to be employed by now, we are so very grateful to God for the opportunity to experience this adventure together!
* At some point, we plan to travel to Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) to see that city, which we hear is beautiful!
* Josh has a cousin who now lives in Seattle. They have not seen each other since both guys were kids. Josh's mom reconnected the two guys and at some point we will be meeting up! (Cue Disney's "It's a small world after all.....")
* I am so darn excited that Josh's birthday is in two days! (January 19) It is funny that we are on this trip over his birthday because my birthday was during our last long-term hotel stay. Of course Josh will be working on his birthday, but I definitely intend to celebrate with him over a nice dinner somewhere. We are not sure yet what we will do, but I will be researching that soon!
Since I have been typing this post, the rain has stopped and it's just a wet day. The foliage here is beautiful! Dark green trees, mountains, the clouds brewing in the sky are gorgeous, waterways......just a different type of natural surroundings than we normally see.
Josh also sent a text that the umbrella is not needed because it's such a light rain and his co-workers told him that it is always just a light drizzle. That's good.....minimizes the items we accumulate while here.
That's all for now! More updates are sure to come! Keep in touch!