We overslept due to intruders in our bed, then rushed down to Lola’s for breakfast with two of my teammates from Singapore. Breakfast was good (doughnuts excellent as ever, children mollified by pancakes, Continental breakfast disappointing) and our voluble server gave us helpful advice about where to go in Washington. He firmly recommended Crystal Mountain – no queues, a gondola to the top, a good restaurant, and only an hour away, so I quickly booked a rental car and then we rushed home to collect clothes suitable for a mountain.
I rented an idiotic car, a Dodge Charger Hemi, the sort of car that rattles windows whenever you start it up, that happily boots it down the road, and doesn’t have a working fan or any ability to conserve fuel. So that was fun. I picked it up and then drove back to our house, where my wife was talking to our next door neighbour, who used to live near Crystal Mountain. She recommended we take warm hats and stop at the Black Diamond Bakery on the way.
Both of these were good pieces of advice, whereas our server at the restaurant was quite unhelpful, because it was a two hour drive to the Crystal Mountain resort, and when we got there we discovered it had closed a week ago. So no gondola access, no restaurant, no gift shop, nothing.
Nothing except for oodles of snow, which the kids enjoyed flinging at us for twenty minutes, until they got cold, and then we drove down the mountain again and drove for an hour to get food in Greenwater, before heading home.
So in total the girls spent four hours in the car today, but didn’t throw up (unlike the visit to the State Fair) and remained pretty well behaved until a tantrum when we got back and went to the supermarket.
A successful day then, but I’m not trusting unsolicited advice from restaurant staff again for a while. Trust, but verify.