After a reasonably quick trip through customs, our bags had already been offloaded from the belt and waiting for us to pick them up, so we upped and left the international terminal fairly quickly heading towards the United checkin. I had checked in online before we left Sydney, but my friend hadn’t, and for once he was landed with a boarding pass that had the dreaded SSSS
A quick trip through the farce that is security for me, but for my friend it was a completely different matter. It seemed they had a trainee doing the SS
, and he was as slow as a wet week. It was over 20 minutes before they finished, at least we were in no hurry for the flight. SFO
seems to be a good airport for spotting inside the terminal, we found a good spot to keep us occupied for an hour or so until the next flight.
Boarding was quite civilised for my first trip on UA
, load was about 70% which meant I was able to have a spare seat next to me, such a come down from QF
First thing I did when seated was to get out my headphones and listen to Ch9, as a UA
virgin, I found it very interesting – shame other carriers don’t do this.
Our previous ride
The taxi to the active, 01R, was quick and we weren’t held up by any other traffic, so quickly into the air and cleared to FL360.
At this time, sleep was catching up with me so I had a brief sleep and then woke up to some magnificent scenery. The rest of the flight was spent looking out the window admiring the scenery below.
Mt St Helens
On schedule we descended into the fog that was Seattle and made our way to the north terminal.
My first time into this terminal and using the train, which was remarkably less painless than waiting for our baggage.
Once the bags finally arrived we made our way to the rental car offices to pick up our car for the drive to Everett and beyond.
Although I have spent a lot of time in Seattle, even lived there at one stage, I had not gone around the Olympic Peninsula which is something I had really wanted to do. Now here was an opportunity and my friend was also keen to do this trip, but first to do the Boeing factory visit that we couldn’t do last time.
Unfortunately we arrived into SEA
at rush hour, so the trip to Everett was really slow but we eventually got there and booked into our room at the Hilton Garden Inn overlooking the airfield. We asked for a runway view room, but that really was wishful thinking, we got the room, but no view.
Best view we had all visit
The next day we thought we would try and get the 9am tour, however only waking up at 9:30 put pay to that idea. We managed to get ourselves moving for the 11am tour. Its not the first time either of us have done the tour but its still fascinating every time, especially seeing the first wing components for the 747-8, and 4 of the 787s.
After the tour we went to have lunch in the café at the museum where the woman remembered us from our last visit. We must be memorable.
With not much else we could do with only 10 feet of visibility we went to the restoration museum and spent a very interesting afternoon there, being told stories about the SR71 by a person who had spent many years working on them.
This is V Australia!
The next 3 days were spent driving around the Olympic Peninsula, and here are some photos of a very beautiful part of the world.
The Space Needle
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Straits of Juan de Fuca
Rock and Vancouver Island
West Coast Beach
Thanks for reading.
Next trip SEA