August 24th 2005

I flew from NZ on a Qantas Flight to LA, a 12 hour flight.  I had 3 seats to myself then a Kiwi guy asked if I would
mind if he sat in the seat by the window as his seat was cramped. It was fine with me, nice to have somebody to
chat to. later, he helped me get through immigration then helped me to my transfer flight on Alaskan Airlines to
SEATAC Airport Tacoma/Seattle, a 3 hour flight. My fight was held up for about 30 minutes and I got chatting to a
guy in the boarding lounge.  He told me to board the plane at the same time as he, as he was travelling 1st class
and me, well I was in economy. I was all so new at travelling and all the help I could get was appreciated.  Finally
after 4 years  I et Andy andh he drove me to my hotel- Shilo Inn.   I Stayed at Tacoma, for a few days, it was a little
out of the way but lovely people and a lovely place to stay.
I will always have wonderful memories of my stay at the Shilo Inn. This was my first venture out into the world
alone and worth the courage it took me to start this journey  

My next adventure was a trip to Seattle. Andy came and collected me and drove me to Seatlle and once again
helped me book into my hotel. Days Inn. He then had to leave and go back to Tacoma and work.
After arriving there, I walked around and got myself lost, I saw the Space Needle in the distance so I headed for
that.  Silly me I forgot to take my camera as I was just taking a little walk, and also forgot to take my pass to go up
the tower.  The next day I set out on another walk as I needed to find the Hotel where I was meeting the bus for
my Mt Rainer Tour. Once again I got lost and ended up down by Pikes Market, but this was a place I wanted to see
so it wasn’t such a bad thing. I also went back to the Space Needle and I lost my nerve to go up it, so unfortunately
I never got to go up it and I regret this.
The following day I set out first thing in the morning on my Mt Rainier trip. It was a lovely day and I really
enjoyed the trip.  It is a beautiful Mountain and the landscape and all the trees are very similar to NZ.
I felt really quite at home, and was gaining my travel confidence a little more every day. The people I met on this
first part of my travel adventure were so nice, and so helpful.
I returned to Tacoma by Grayline Buses. I went to the wrong bus station and ended up at Greyhound Buses, what
a terrible scary place. My bus fare home was $2.50 and that included 2 different buses, I was amazed how cheap
it was. The bus driver took me to the Terminal at Tacoma then told me which bus to get on to get back to Shilo
Inn. The drivers were so helpful.
The next day I wanted to visit the Tacoma Mall so started to walk, but went the wrong direction. I have a habit of
getting lost. I did a crazy thing and accepted a ride from a strange man. My thoughts were, well there are a lot of
traffic lights I guess I can always jump out. I got to the Mall safely and jumped out of the car the moment the guy
stopped, with a quick thanks I was gone. This is something I will never do again, I realised later the danger I had
put myself into and I caught a cab back to my hotel when I had finished shopping. The traffic was crazy it was the
Friday of the beginning of the Labour Day weekend.
My adventures at Tacoma were about to end.  It is a place that will always hold special memories for me. It was
the beginning of a journey that was to continue for the next couple of years.
Andy took me to the airport and I had never experienced a curb side check in before and that was quite a shock
to me.
I sat in the airport lounge my eyes filled with tears because I felt sad to leave and very nervous of the next
adventure I was heading into.
I have never seen Andy again he continued his adventures in life and I continued mine.
From Tacoma I then flew to LA then onto New York as that was the way my flight was booked, I should have flown
directly from SEATAC to JFK it would have been a much faster way to go.
My Ticket
HK1 1755 1045 QF 3113 V 03SEP
LAXJFK HK1 1415 2247 QF 3112 V
17SEP JFKLAX HK1 1700 1953 QF 26 V
17SEP LAXAKL HK1 2140 *0510
The Beginning of my journey  -