The alarm woke us up at 5 am, for our first day of travel. A quick taxi ride to the Main Street Train station and we filled out our immigration forms right away. The Amtrak train boarded at 530 for our 640 departure. We opted for business class to get more room and less people in our train car. We were told our stop at Tukwila had no baggage service so we had to bring the luggage inside our car with us. I started to worry that we wouldn't have enough time to exit with all our bags if our train car doors were not opened at our stop and we had to go down a few cars with our luggage. Luckily the business class car doors were opened at each stop. When the customs agents boarded the train at the border, the agent asked me where we were headed and I replied "Tukwila". He said "why are you going there??" I said " because its close to the SeaTac Airport" and then he said " why are you going there?" and I said "to go to New York" and he said " that's the final stop?" and I said "no Bonaire is". HIs reply to all this was a stern "that's what you should of told me in the first place". This kind of thing happened to me about three times today, Ab said I was not in my best form. Customs and border agents make me very nervous even though I am completely innocent.
The train ride was very quiet and relaxing with the side to side rocking and the tinny crossing sign dinging when you zoom by. The first two hours of the train ride takes you behind ramshackle houses and scenery around the Fraser River where I imagined perfect locations for movies to film "finding dead bodies". Pretty creepy. I saw a flock of white geese in a field of cabbages, eagles, herons standing peacefully in the ocean water and ducks swimming in the marshlands. I saw a large white and grey owl sitting on a log on the beach. I knew it was an owl because the movement of the owls head was so distinctive, I said to Ab "oh my god I just saw an owl". He was checking us in with the airline on his computer, so he didn't even look up and said "yes Carrie that's nice". Why cant you be excited that I just saw an owl?? The last time I saw an owl in the wild was when I was a teenager in Pembroke and my best friend Melanie found a dead one the size of an orange. This one was freaking huge, and ALIVE. Oh well, I see it as good bird karma for me seeing cool birds in Bonaire. We got help from one of the train conductors with our bags at Tukwila, and we were very lucky to have a free taxi waiting in the middle of the "killing fields" as Ab put it. We were told its better just to get off in Seattle (with the rest of the smart people) and then take the light rail to the airport for two dollars each. Lesson learned.
We got a room right away at the hotel at 11am, and then took a taxi to the Museum of Flight. This museum is awesome for one reason. The Air Park. You get to go inside and walk around real commercial airliners like the British Airways Concorde (Ab and I's favourite) and the original Air Force One. Unfortunately you do not get to sit in the cockpit like I hoped, but we had a blast walking through them and kicking their tires.
John F Kennedy, Nixon and other worldly dignitaries have been on this plane. It was pretty neat. We explored the rest of the planes inside the museum, saw some real moon rocks and visited the gift store for one of those heavy model airplanes made out of metal that my brother Jason liked to throw at my head when we were kids. I picked out a Concorde. We were brave and had lots of time to kill so we took the bus to the light rail station. The buses here you have to put the dollar bills one by one into the machine, takes forever. The light rail brought us to the airport, so we walked the route back to our hotel across the street. Takes 8 minutes. So after a nice dinner at the hotel where we laughed about all the interesting people we met today, a little story telling and a shower and bedtime. We have a 330am wakeup call. Goodnight :0