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17 December, 2007 / theexpositor

Day One in Seattle

(This post is 24 hours late, only because for some strange reason, accessing the internet here in Seattle has been difficult. I will be adding our commentary on day two later this afternoon.)

Our journey began with the airport experience in Jackson, Mississippi. I was unaccustomed to such scrutiny as it glad been years since I flew on a commercial flight. I made the pressure of the situation more than it actually was, but bless her heart Susie was there to give me encouragement and doses of reality as we went along. 

We awoke at 3:30 am that morning, and arrive at the airport at 5am, with our flight departing at about 6:40. Our trip to the Pacific Northwest would take us to Seattle, Washington via Memphis, Tennessee. We met two hunters from the St. Louis, MO area who had been at Terra Wildlife Reserve near Vicksburg to do some bow hunting for deer. They said they had little luck and the temperatures were mainly to blame.  

The actual flight from Jackson to Memphis was only about 40 minutes but not without it stories. There was a young woman on the flight with a small child. It was her first time to fly and she was a little nervous. I tried to assure her that everything was going o be okay and she handle it quite well, except on the landing and take off when she was very surprised. Susie gave her a mint to chew for the popping in her ears and she was okay. 

We arrived in Memphis in time to find our next gate and grab some breakfast. As anticipated, two servings of grits, scrambled eggs, sausage, one serving of hash browns and two soft drinks cost us almost $20. I can hear Dan Edney know, “Hey rube, things always cost more at the airport!” I was prepared for the leg to Seattle.

I chose the seating and picked the seats all the way in the back, which meant Susie and I rode with our legs scrunched and the inability to recline our seats, but again, it was a good flight. This flight took us almost 4 hours and we flew over Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, and Idaho and of course Washington state.

Once we were over Missouri the sky cleared and we were able to see the ground, and what a magnificent sight! Of course it would have been a tremendous view regardless, but on this occasion was the snow. The mid-section of America was going through a big snow storm and we flew over most it and got the benefit of seeing all the terrain, covered in a white cloud of snow and ice. 

The most impressive sights came as we approached the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains of Montana. The majestic peaks of the mountains were so breath taking and inspiring, and especially as we were seeing them from 36, 000 feet in the air. I shot as many pictures as possible and still, I am reeling from the sight. What it is to actually lay eyes on God work this way. I have been through that part of the country several times, and each time I stand amazed. 

We arrived in Seattle at little behind schedule but were glad to get there. It was rainy and cold, go figure. Once again, the airport layout, although actually very proficient, was a wee bit overwhelming for both of us.  We did experience the paradox of courtesy and rudeness of flight attendants and airport personnel.  We were shuttled to the nearest rental car locations, where we picked up our car, a Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible. Ashley would have flipped out over this thing. Yes, a convertible; It’s is raining and cold, or maybe we would put the top down.

So after we finally figured out where everything was on the car, we struck out to find our accommodations, the Canal Cottages. Our host, Beverly Anderson, was waiting on us, and of course, we got lost. So we called Beverly twice to get directions, which, of course, we messed up. But, driving around in circles, trying to get our bearings, gave us an opportunity to see the real Seattle area, with everything from a Santa Claus parade to the hundreds of shops. Our accommodations are wonderful. It is located directly on one of the canals which lead into Puget Sound and it is gorgeous here. 

On our first evening here we met with Derek and Leslie Schroeder. They live across the sound from Seattle and took the one hour ferry ride to visit with us. Derek and I had met at the True Church Conference last February. He and I have spoke over the phone and exchanged emails on numerous occasions. We shared dinner together at Kell’s Irish Restaurant in downtown Seattle. Afterwards the Schroeder’s treated Susie and I to a tremendous tour of Seattle, including some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. 

Our day ended fairly early, as we had been up and going for well over 16 hours and had in essence lost two hours of our day. But nevertheless, so far this has been a wonderful trip and the grandest part has been the opportunity to spend some much needed quality time with my wife. She has been a dream; holding my hand through the confusing flight monitors and calming me down when people cut me off in traffic. Susie and I have reservations for dinner on our last evening in Seattle at the SkyCity Restaurant in the Space Needle and she is due for a big surprise. 

More to come.