Our trip to Seattle, overall, was great compared to our travel to Japan two years ago!
We decided that it would be easier to take the Patriot (military flight) directly from our base to Seattle rather than flying commercially, which would mean a flight to Tokyo, a change in airports, and then a 14 hour flight to the states. This way, we only had a 10 hour flight, plus 4 hours in the muggy (non-air-conditioned) flight terminal. Way better than 28 hours non-stop, like last time!
The plane ride only moderately comfortable, but better than was expected. We entertained ourselves with iPad games and the in-flight movies (which consisted of The Matrix and National Lampoon's Vacation...random much?)
Landing in Seattle was more arduous than expected, though. We didn't feel much of the expected culture shock when we arrived in Japan, but we definitely felt it coming back.
The chaos and disorganization going through customs were overwhelming. After grabbing our luggage from 4 different carousels, we made it down to the rental car terminal and made our way to the nearest grocery store with a Starbucks to use wi-fi.
Driving on the right side again (and actually having traffic lanes to drive through) was crazy! And then we arrived. Just a random Safeway, but we both stopped for a full thirty seconds in the entrance. Bombarded with a florist, banking services, a Starbucks kiosk, a movie store, and a bakery before even entering the grocery section reminded us we were not in
We got ourselves set up with a T-Mobile hotspot so we could use our Japanese phones, and headed back to the airport. We had found out a week earlier that my bestie, May, was flying back from South Africa only hours after we arrived! It was a loud and celebratory reunion and it was great to know we were both back on American soil together.
We then headed to a 100% gluten free bakery I had researched (Haley's Corner Bakery - see the review here if you're interested!) and had our first American meal: deep dish pizza. It was delicious! We then made our way up to Everett to find Bethel's house.
Long day, but we're so excited to be here in Seattle!