Step One: leave very early in the morning for a hop to mild Boise. It was quite a discovery to find out that Idaho has some hospitable locations, even in the winter. Where my grandparents live in Rexburg is unbearable eight months out of the year because of horrendous winds and low temperatures. I was expecting the same from Boise, but I was way off. They rarely get snow, and when it does happen to fall, it melts the same day. They are considered the desert of Idaho and have a very temperate climate. Honestly, I would buy a summer home here! It was gorgeous! And, luckily, they also have a PF Changs.
Step Two: fly an evening flight to Spokane, Washington, just a half-hour away. My mom spent her senior year in high school in a small town a short drive from Spokane and came here for school clothes and to buy things not available near their home. She said she used to go to the mall with her mom, then eat at The Flamingo restaurant across the street after shopping was finished. I wish I would have had time to run to the mall to see if it was still there.
Step Three: fly to Yakima and spend a lovely evening in a new hotel. The Holiday Inn just reopened a few blocks from their old location, and the hotel is so pretty! The bed was comfortable, and dinner with Boss #2 and other passengers was pleasant. He is quite the jokester and is fun to be around. I didn't have much time to explore the town since we left early the next morning.
Step Four: fly to Portland, Oregon for a day of airplane-watching. We didn't know when we were leaving next, so we stayed close to the airport. I would also easily purchase a summer home in Portland as I love this place. After we borrowed a crew car for an Indian buffet lunch, we returned the spoken-for car and spent the rest of the day waiting for our passengers. They originally said 7:00 PM but showed up just before 5:00 for a short hop to Seattle.
Step Five: fall in love with Seattle, Washington. I have always wanted to spend time here, and this was my first real opportunity. I am in love. More on this day in Seattle to come.
Step Six: spend an evening at the Boeing Museum of Flight and drool over all sorts of neat airplanes. Accidentally meet an acquaintance of an acquaintance from my former life in Customer Care who happens to work at Boeing. Graciously accept when he offers a personal tour of a 787 Dreamliner the next morning. Try not to smile too much when sitting in the left seat of a 787 Dreamliner. That's right, folks. I SAT IN THE CAPTAIN'S CHAIR OF A 787 DREAMLINER! Since everything is proprietary, I couldn't take pictures. You will just have to trust me that an easy way to have a great week is to sit in an airplane that NOBODY sits in!
Step Seven: fly home via a stop first in Boise to drop off a passenger. It was still beautiful, and I would still buy a summer home here.
Mesa-Gateway, Arizona -- Boise, Idaho -- Spokane, Washington -- Yakima, Washington -- Portland, Oregon -- Seattle, Washington -- Boise, Idaho -- Mesa-Gateway, Arizona