Covid...ugh!! It has halted the whole world. Being an American, there are very few countries I can visit right now. That doesn't mean I can't explore my own country though!
First up, Seattle! Let me start by saying, I have not flown since December 2019. I don't remember the last time I went that long between flights. Here is my review of how things went.
I flew out of the Oakland airport. Masks are required the whole time unless you are actively eating or drinking, and there are signs everywhere about social distancing. TSA Pre-Check was not open. No, the security lines were not long. Just would have been nice to know ahead of time as they required me remove my laptop, and it was buried in my rolly carry-on. I had to keep my boarding pass handy to show the next TSA agent, so I could leave my shoes on and go through the metal detector instead of the body scanner.
Once inside Terminal 1, there was only 1 restaurant open. They were only using 4 tables and had limited staffing. You could order food or drinks, including alcohol, to-go but again, limited staffing. People seated in the waiting area near me said it took them 45 minutes to get a beer.
This trip I flew on Alaska Airlines. The plane was one of the smallest commercial planes I have been on. They boarded first class, military, then started from the back of the plane forward. You could smell the cleanliness when boarding. There were 2 seats per row per side of the plane. Unless you are family, it was limited to one person per row per side, so it was not crowded. Plenty of overhead bin space too which is always nice. Alaska had limited food and drink service. You could only get what they had for free. Therefore, nor purchasing alcohol or the fancy snacks. Soda, water, coffee, or tea with a Bischoff cookie. Due to the limited capacity, getting off the plane was quick and easy.
Take off Landing
My friends that I was visiting live in the west Seattle area. They have an absolutely beautiful backyard! We spend a lot of time out there. It is always fun to see all the new plants and flowers. Also, fun to try and figure out what causes my allergies to flare up. :-)
One thing covid can't shut down is going for walks and seeing all the beautiful flowers! That is probably one of my favorite parts. The colors are different then we get here in CA and more vibrant. While we walked to Al a Mode for some amazing pie, I was "that person" who stopped and took way too many pictures of flowers. Here are just a few of my favorites. Also, because I was in west Seattle, we are close to the water. The view is always amazing when I am there.
I lucked out in my timing of going up to WA. Things there were still a bit more open then in CA. We were able to go to Alki Beach for some cider and yummy roasted garlic cheesy bread. Locust Cider & Brewing was across the street from the beach. So, of course, the mandatory ocean pictures happened too. After Alki, we drove to a park that overlooks the water into Seattle.
My friend does not have a direct water view. However, she made a friend down the street that does. We walked to her backyard, and as you can see...WOW!!! Amazing view of the sound.
My return home always comes too quickly. My airport experience was a lot like my trip out. However, Sea-Tac did have TSA Pre-check open. There were not restaurants in my terminal open, but I did see some open in other terminals. My terminal had just the little shops that sell magazines, snacks, and bottled drinks.
If you are contemplating traveling around your home country, I would recommend it. Remember to check each area's updated covid regulations. You don't want to land somewhere and not know about a 14 day quarantine.
Happy and safe travel!
- Wander With Mekela