Saturday, July 9, 2016

North by Northwest- I Hate Flying

* Disclaimer- Chris and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest and a cruise to Alaska in June 2016 as a 10 year anniversary trip. This will be a multiple entry blog that will highlight our activities, our reflections and of course pictures of these gorgeous locations! I have highlighted the tips and tricks of each post in red. I hope this helps in planning trips to Vancouver, Seattle or Alaska! Thanks again for following along! 

June 29, 2016
Seattle, WA  to Houston, TX 

It has been 14 days of pure bliss but now we are ready to be home. After a glorious day of baseball and a wonderful trip and cruise, all we want is to get home as soon as we can. Our flight was at 10:35AM and we left the hotel before 7:30AM which gave us plenty of time. 

Once we arrived at the airport we had to wait in an old style check-in line for the airline, Southwest. This turned out to be a 30 minute wait just to turn in luggage and bags. Then we rounded the corner to see one of the longest security lines we have ever seen and we have flown out of Atlanta and even Heathrow Airport in London. This was crazy. We ended up using an additional line down the airport but this too was crazy long. It wrapped around 3 separate zig-zag lines and we were in this for nearly 1 hour. Once we finally got through that line it was already 9:30AM. That whole process took nearly 2 hours. It was easily the worst US airport we have ever experienced and put somewhat of a damper on our "Let's go back to Alaska" feelings. 

I grabbed my official last Seattle Starbucks and sat in the waiting area. There were already a lot of passengers including countless older passengers with wheelchairs and walkers and a very large family bring large carry-ons and extra baggage. Not to mention the terrible smelling passenger sitting near us. I was already fighting some stomach issues all trip and was anxious about the flight but this smell was just too much. Between that and the massive amount of sneezing and coughing, I was just ready to WALK home. I am a HUGE germ-a-phobe and this was killing me. 

Our plane was late arriving which in turn made our departure late as well. On Southwest you get a boarding "group" and it is open seating. On the 1st flight we lucked out, by the grace of God, and got the very 1st row with 2 seats and ample leg room but this flight was proving to be not as good. We ended up 5 rows from the back near a family of 8 kids, some college girls and a crying baby! When I first sat down I noticed Chris's tray table covered in a nasty flem I can only assume was snot. I just sat down and said a prayer! 

Our 737 plane finally arrived... JUST GET ME HOME! 

We ended up taxi on the runway for nearly 30 minutes before finally leaving the ground. The flight was fine and we were able to see lots of the beautiful areas heading back to Houston but between being grossed out and my claustrophobia kicked into high gear I decided it would be OK if we didn't fly for a while. 

Now this is something I already miss... I have never seen such a gorgeous mountain!
Mt. Rainer will now always have a special place in my heart! 

A gorgeous lake near a mountain close to Mt. Rainer! 

A Houston suburb... Not sure which but I am guessing Cypress area! 

Ahhh... Houston traffic! Even from the air it looks TERRIBLE! 

Downtown Houston... It feels good to be home! 

We landed around 5:30PM, about 30 minutes late, and got our bags and were headed home by 6PM. We chose the only non-stop flight offered that day but unfortunately that meant getting home during Houston rush hour. It turned out to be not as bad as usual and we were home in The Woodlands before 7PM. 

4 hours and nearly 40* difference... Let me tell you, we were in SHOCK!

We got home and went and picked up our dogs from our dog sitter but unfortunately we were not picking up our kids until the next day from my parents in Tyler, TX. For the first time in a LONG time I did not unpack or do just about anything. I crashed on the couch as we watched some shows on the DVR. We were exhausted! 

It was literally the trip of a lifetime and we are so grateful we got to experience it together. We are so lucky to have wonderful parents who helped take care of our kids in our absence and supported us along the way. We do plan on going back to Alaska for another anniversary trip but it will be a few years!
Thank you Jesus for this and the many other blessings you have given us. We are so undeserving! 

Once again, I am speechless! All I can say is... 

God is good! ALL the time! 

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