Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sleepless in Seattle...well...SeaTac

So I'm really glad to be home. The last few weeks have been super tiring. After getting back I worked for a couple of days before heading off to Seattle. My little brother got married in Snoqualmie on the 6th. It was a cute wedding and Collin went with me. It was a fun but quick trip. Then came home and worked for one day before hopping on another plane for San Francisco. Another quick trip, but not as quick as we had hoped.

We flew into SFO on Monday night about midnight. Got our baggage and our rental car without a hitch and made it up to Marin county. After that...things started heading south. I had made reservations for us at the Sheraton...a hotel I had stayed at a few times before without problems. Turns out things weren't going to be as easy this time. The hotel is currently under construction so only a handful of rooms are even available. We had reserved a non-smoking king. We checked in, got a key and proceeded to our room. Turns out he gave us a double queen. Not what I wanted. So...we treked back to the front desk. A really long walk. We finally got back to the front desk and the concierge apologized and gave us keys for a new room. Again, a long trek back only to discover that the room had not been cleaned. Awesome. At this point I was perturbed, but tired. I just wanted a damn room. We took the keys back again and he apologized again. Then he informed us that the only other rooms he had were smoking. That pissed me off so I cancelled our reservation and we left. It took another hour of driving around until we found a hotel room at 2am in Corte Madera. Turned out okay because the hotel was nice and it was really close to the office we needed to meet at the next day, but was an exhausting thing. Needless to say my reservations will not be at Sheraton anymore.

So...the trip started going better for a while. It was exhausting, but we were doing okay...after all...we were together and we always have fun together. Wednesday afternoon we returned the rental car and went to the airport. We got there 2 hours early...seems that security at SFO is nice and streamlined. It took us no time to get to our gate. So we sat there for two hours until they boarded our plane.

Once on the plane the fun began. Turns out Seattle (our layover) had a freak snowstorm and they were deicing and plowing the runways. We sat on the tarmac at SFO for 45 minutes with engines shut down until we went back to the gate for refueling. At that point they had located another flight for me and Collin. We got off the plane only to find out that they couldn't get us our bags. So...we got back on. (Collin had accidentally packed the car keys) We finally got cleared to take off and headed toward Seattle. But...they put us in a holding pattern over Portland. We circled there for another 45 minutes until they cleared us to continue on to Seattle. We finally made it there...with snow still falling heavily...and sat on the SeaTac tarmac for another 45 minutes waiting for a gate. By this time I had called my employees to tell them to cancel patients for the next day. No way I was making it back for work the next day. We got into SeaTac at 11:30pm...a full 5 1/2 hours after boarding at SFO. Of course we had missed our connecting flight by this time, so we were booked for the next morning at 6:40am. Oh, and a million other flights had been delayed or cancelled, so all of the hotels were filled with other passengers. We had nowhere to stay. Awesome.

Luckily, there was one last restaurant open in the airport. Collin and I grabbed a bite to eat and a couple of beers each (in hindsight we should've drank more). Then we tried to find a place to spend the night. We wound up in a corner with Col on the floor and me on the bench. We were both wearing our coats and using airline blankets as pillows. Airport sleeping sucks. The lights are on all the time and every five minutes you get the little security announcement stuff. Then at 3am some buzzsaw decided to lay in the corner near us and disrupted what little sleep we were able to get. I wanted to punch him in the head.

Morning rolled around and we hit the Starbucks for a little jumpstart. Then we walked back to our gate to find that our 6:40 flight had been delayed until 7:30. That was great news. We sat and people watched for a nice long time until it got delayed 7:45. Ultimately, the 8am flight to Santa Barbara boarded before we did and we finally got on the plane around 8:15am. So...instead of arriving back in town on midnight Wednesday, we actually got home at 11am on Thursday. Tons of fun. Really not a fan of SeaTac airport anymore and I don't think we'll be making any trips there soon. I sit in my super comfy sweatpants nice and happy to be home. It's nice to just kick back for a few days. Too bad I just have to go back to work...wouldn't a real vacation be nice. :)

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