The closer we get to Seattle, the denser the traffic becomes. We come to a full stop a couple of times. Great. This was what I feared. A traffic jam. I’ve seen Seattle traffic before.
Luckily, it clears. Though it’s still dead busy. My other fear is an accident. We’ve seen plenty of those. And how some people drive. Scarily irresponsibly.
The last kilometre or so, off the motorway, to King Street Station, takes forever. But we still roll around the back of the station on time.
“It’s a handy place to get dropped off. Look! There’s the taxi rank.” I’m so observant.
“I’d already seen it.” Smartarse Andrew says.
Our taxi driver is very friendly. But tries to short-change me by $10. The cheeky bastard. He didn’t do much arguing when I pointed out his “mistake”.
I don’t have to show any proof of right of entry to Holland. It’s so stupid. Feeling brave, we check in three bags. They’ve always popped out like clockwork until now.
“Where’s the lounge?”
“At gate A1.”
That’s where we go. Not even pausing to grab some duty-free booze.
I have to pay for one of the kids $39. That’s cheaper than at Schiphol.
“You’d better eat and . . .”
“We know, Dad. We have to get our money’s worth.”
This is much bigger than the lounge in San Diego. With a much better spread of food.
“A double bourbon, no ice, please. What would you kids like?”
Hop Valley Kraken Stash IPA
Standard grapefruit stuff. Better than they have in the lounge back in Schiphol, mind. There your only choice is Heineken Pils.
We can see half of Mount Rainier. Sadly, it’s the bottom half. Some stupid bridge between terminals obscures the interesting half.
I need to relax before the flight. In a whiskey sort of way.
It was a nightmare booking the seats. I ended up getting us all aisle seats, but on wildly differing rows. Less cramped – something important on a long flight.
“Whiskey time again.”
“Don’t go crazy, Dad.” Lexxie warns.
“When have I ever done that?”
“Is that a serious question? Because if it is, you’re delusional.”
“But fun delusional.”
“No. Just delusional.”
I watch the planes for a while. Grab some food. Get another bourbon or three.
“You’re not going to go crazy, are you, Dad?” Lexxie is still worried.
“Would I ever?”
“We’ve already had this conversation.”
I don’t go crazy. But start heading to our gate well before the 60 minutes recommended. Picking up some whiskey on the way.
“Welcome aboard our flight to Atlanta.” The pilot announces.
What the fuck?
“Sorry, our flight to Amsterdam. Definitely Amsterdam, not Atlanta.”
The bloke in the window seat next to me moves to the row behind, which was empty. Leaving me two seats. Which is brilliant.
It helps me get a fairly decent kip. It must be at least six hours of OK sleep.
We use our reserve EU passports to get through the machines. Though the queue for other passports isn’t bad. It still seems crowded here, but not as chaotic as two weeks ago.
That’s a bit worrying. There are piles of luggage in the corridors. And even bigger piles of bags behind screens close to the carousels. That’s super worrying.
There’s a huge scrum around the carousel. Three flights are unloading at once. No sign of our bags. Even after it says all the baggage has been unloaded. Damn.
Then I spot my scruffy case. The other two are right behind it. Phew. Minutes later, we’re speeding along the motorway to Amsterdam. And an awaiting Dolores. Who – angel that she is – has tea ready.