Hello Washington!

Last night we made the flight from San Francisco to Pasco, WA to spend some time with M’s parents before we head to Japan, our first destination abroad in our round-the-world trip.

I’ve never flown up the Pacific coast from California to Washington, so it was cool to watch the view during the flight:

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Plus, I love seeing how the cloud cover changes as I fly and seeing features like mountains and buildings poke out of the clouds. The sun set about halfway through our first leg (SF –> Seattle), so I didn’t get to see much of the landscape like I did when I flew down to Charleston, SC from New York a couple years ago for a wedding ( which had a great view of the Atlantic coastline). However, when we drive back to Seattle in a few days, we’ll take Snoqualmie Pass through the Cascades, so I’ll get a feel of the terrain then.

When we arrived to M’s parents place, three packages awaited us:

The first was our Japan Rail Passes! We’ll take these bad boys over to the train station to exchange them for the actual passes when we arrive. We ordered 7-day passes for our week in Japan, which will give us access to bullet and local trains/buses in the country. At $279 USD a pop, this will save us a bunch of money since we plan to see Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nikko, and Hiroshima during our stay (for comparison, a 1-way bullet train ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto is 13,910 yen, or about $135 USD). We also rented a pocket wifi which will essentially give us a hotspot for our devices during our trip.

The second package was a keyboard case I bought for the iPad that I’m taking on the trip. It made sense to me to get one for the blogging and trip cost tracking that I’ll be doing throughout the trip. I’ve used it this morning to write this post, and so far so good! Having a tactile keyboard makes typing a lot easier.

The third package was a surprise: M’s diploma! He was finishing up his Master’s degree at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana this summer, and he is definitely ready to complete that process. This is a good sign.

I’m looking forward to a pretty low-key week here in Pasco. After we leave Washington, we’ll be on the go for the next 4.5 months. Wooooooosa.

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