Well we did get the 30% off the room making it almost worth staying the night. We woke up earlier than the alarm and just got moving. We checked out at 6:00 a full half hour before breakfast started, but when Donna went back into the lobby to get a Charlotte area map we had seen she coaxed the front desk gut to let her snag an apple and an almost warmed up Cinnamon Bun. The drive to the airport took us right by the same shopping center that we got ice cream at last night and it had a Panera Bread place, so we stopped in for a bagel and a banana.
We pulled into a long term lot but it seemed like every spot was taken. We wound our way further and further back where we parked against a back fence or as Captain Barbossa would say, “You’re off the edge of the map Jack.” Our shuttle bus driver was a hoot and made whatever we pay for parking out there worth it. She stopped the bus to pick up one group of five, three women and two men. The guys were in the back and the women were up front and started stacking the luggage inside the door of the bus and the driver yelled out at the guys to come forward and put the bags on the rack as they were big strapping fellows and she was just a bitty older women. Once loaded up all was forgotten and she gave them the same spiel as she did us. “To get back here you have to get on a bus for Long Term One, but a short bus and tell them you are in the north west corner. Remember a short bus, like this one, not a long bus as it couldn’t make the tight turns.” We stopped and picked up one lone woman and when she asked what airline of her, she just sighed when the woman answered Jet Blue. Everyone so far had answered US Air. She told the new woman that she would have to get off at the US Air stop as the one she wanted was always backed way up with rubes. She could just walk back to it, it wasn’t far.
Trouble started when I tried to check in using the self service kiosk, it didn’t know me. Not by name or flight or swipe of the credit card. I flagged a clerk and he couldn’t find us in the system either. Off he went to find someone with a clue. She arrived and fingers flew. Seems that US Air stopped flying the morning non-stop to Seattle months ago. They were nice enough to offer us seats on the 5:55PM non-stop, a mere 11 hours later. When we expressed displeasure at that, her fingers flew around the keyboard in a blur (obviously she done this a few million times before.) She could get us on a flight to Phoenix
By the time I get to Phoenix she’ll be rising
She’ll find the note I left hangin’ on her door
She’ll laugh when she reads the part that says I’m leavin’
‘Cause I’ve left that girl so many times before
where we could change planes and hop one to Seattle. One 4–1/2 hour flight just became a 3 hour flight with a 2–1/2 hour layover followed by a 2–1/2 hour flight. “Oh, you want to sit next to each other? Impossible,” she says.
For the first flight we were placed 3 rows apart and the second we were 6 rows apart. But for both flights we managed to find a nice person to swap places, so that we sat right across an aisle on one flight and next to each other on the other. With the amount of other seat hopping that was going on, this seems to be standard flight operations on US Air. Judging by the long lines at the service counters, everyone last one of them, canceled, delayed and changed flights I guess I shouldn’t expect anything less.
Our next surprise was at the car rental desk. Seems that if you rent through Travelocity or Orbitz or some other intermediary company and miss your selected pick up time the quoted price doesn’t need to be honored. Our ridiculously low price for the car jumped by about 100%. After what we had dealt with so far yesterday and today we didn’t put up a fight. Plus it was still lower than the price quote we got directly off the rental car site.
Now everything is just fine. The weather was great for driving with the top down, the Seattle traffic was not nearly as bad as expected, the B & B in Snohomish is nice and new nephew James is as cute as a button. Although he took to me right away about 5 minutes into the visit he decided he didn’t like me at all (no problem, because now I won’t have to change any diapers.)
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 177
Started up, went down, back up, back down, up again, still up.
PT Cruiser Top Transitions since 05/25/07: 4