What if I took a long vacation…

…and neglected to post the links to the pictures I took. Would anyone notice? Turns out they will – Andrew found the pictures, possibly because he’s used to how this site works, but I doubt anyone else has. I’ve procrastinated about posting them for several weeks now because Susan and I (ok…almost completely Susan) took careful notes about all the stuff we did when we visited Seattle in early June, and our intent was to post the illustrated story of our vacation, which I’m sure everyone would have found incredibly interesting 😉

Instead, you all get this abbreviated version. We went to Seattle in early June and:

visited my brother’s family:

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Went hiking around Seattle, checking out cool waterfalls:

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giant trees:

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and the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, including its stunning coastline:

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We had our occasional setbacks:

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But all in all much fun was had:

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If you enjoyed the above, There’s more of this to be found over on the actual gallery of the trip, which you can check out by clicking the link.

~22 hours in airplane hell

So, I’m back. I’ll write up how the trip went with some pictures over the next week or so, but I had to tell the unfortunate tale of airplane hell I went through yesterday. My original itinerary was: Seattle depart, 11:22 PM. Arrive Chicago at 5:40AM’ish. Wait for next plane which departed at 6:25, arrive Hartford before noon. Instead what happened was:

1) Seattle plane delayed by 20 minutes, which was then delayed another 40 minutes because they sent a guy onto the plane with a cat carrier which wouldn’t fit under the seat, only the baggage folks didn’t agree, bickered, sent people onto the plane to play tetris with the cat carrier (trying to stuff it under various seats), until they finally made the guy check the cat in as baggage. During the flight, I get 3’ish hours of fitful sleep.

2) Arrive Chicago at 6:30. Rush frantically to gate on the other side of the airport to witness my plane rolling away from the gate. Talk to customer service – get waitlisted on an 11:45AM flight. Get coffee, wander terminal, curse my fate for 5’ish hours. Try to get on flight, fail.

3) Fallback plane, I have a guaranteed seat on a 1:12 PM flight. Wander terminal. More cursing of fate. Watch as plane gets delayed in 20 minute increments, for 3 hours, moving from gate to gate as it gets reshuffled to other gates as part of this process. Watch in bemusement as the terminal starts to get overstuffed with people on delayed flights due to thunderstorms on the east coast.

4) Finally start boarding at 4:15, we are warned as we board that we may have problems due to the thunderstorms.

5) Arrive Hartford and are told we can’t land. Spend ~45 minutes circling at 32k feet in a tight spiral, until we have to bail due to low fuel. Diverted to Syracuse where we have a rough landing due to storms. Spend more than 2 hours stuffed in a hot, muggy, stinky, not air conditioned plane waiting for the storms to pass so they can refuel us. They run out of drinks before the drink tray makes it to us.

6) finally take off and have a rough flight to Hartford, where we land around 11PM, ending with me almost to the point of kissing the pavement I am so pleased to have escaped from airline hell. I speed off at 80MPH with a trail of mist behind me in the rain, grateful to finally be in control of my own fate again.

Thankfully the trip was really excellent which offsets the horrible flight experience. I’ll write more about that later.

Headed off to Seattle for the week

I’m off on vacation this week. Susan and I are headed to Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula for a week of exploring, hiking, dining, kayaking, and more. Possibly I’ll find wifi connections I trust enough to login and post, otherwise I may not post again this week.