Monday, May 28, 2012

Seattle, WA

Sorry for the delay - work travel has definitely been crazy! Last weekend we both headed to Seattle; Jason flying from Dallas and me from Chicago. Jason had the wonderful experience of "Flying 4th", which essentially means Jason got to be a flight attendant for a night! He had to sit in the extra jump seat (there are usually 3 out of 4 filled by flight attendants - thus, flying 4th) and hand out peanuts and snacks to everyone. We arrived to the hotel pretty late - about 11pm Seattle time, but 1am central time.

The next morning, we ventured to Pike's Place Market. It was so cool to see all of the fresh flowers, food and fish. There were vendors of all kinds, so it was fun to just walk around and take it all in. While we were there, we HAD to stop at a Starbucks so I could be a typical tourist.

The rest of the day we spent exploring the waterfront area. Our hotel was right in the middle of everything, so it made getting everywhere really easy. We stopped for lunch at the local fish 'n chips place on the pier - Ivar's. Everything was delicious and fresh! After this, we made our way through the Olympic Sculpture Park and on to the Space Needle.

We ended the night at The Alibi Room. It is right across from a wall that everyone puts their used gum on. How is this an attraction?...GROSS. Anyways, we had some yummy pizza, and of course some fish. Everything from this restaurant comes right from the Market, so it's incredibly fresh. It was a great little place that we would absolutely recommend.

We woke up pretty early on Saturday morning for our adventure along the Olympic Peninsula. We drove south to Olympia and made our way around Route 101. We made a stop in the Olympic National Park to hike around a bit. 

After this, we stopped at a little Indian lodge for lunch on Kalaloch Beach. We walked along the beach for a while, but it was really cold and windy! Moving on, we made another stop to hike around in the rainforest. I had no idea there was a rainforest in Washington, but it was really beautiful. Completely different from the rainforest in Puerto Rico, but still interesting. We only had time to hike one trail - the Hall of Mosses. There were a few more trails that I wish we could have explored, but we'll leave that for next time.

Let me preface this by saying -  this wasn't my idea! Along the way, we saw signs for Forks, so we HAD to stop and take a picture here. It was a funny little town though. I guess they get a fair amount of tourists, but Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts were everywhere! I'm absolutely sure the normal residents hate Twilight with a passion.

As we were driving, we stumbled upon on the most beautiful things Jason and I had ever seen. We were literally driving in wall-to-wall trees for hours and then this ridiculous lake came out of nowhere! To finish our drive, we took a ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. It was a good, relaxing way to end the day.

Our last day in Seattle wasn't much of one - for Jason. We ate breakfast in the Market, worked out and headed to the airport. Jason's flight was at 1pm. I (for some unknown terrible reason) scheduled an 11:59pm flight out of Seattle to arrive in Chicago at 5:30am. I watched a movie and walked around Pacific Place to kill time. Of COURSE my flight was delayed, but I made it back to Chicago for another week of work travel!

I will be going to Las Vegas for one more week of work travel next week. After that, work travel is over! Also, I will be making my way to Minneapolis in 3 weeks for a girl's weekend.

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 wait, Denver!

As is evident in my last post, our travel didn't go QUITE as planned. I am in Chicago for work right now, so I had a flight booked from Chicago to Boston - a guaranteed seat! Should have been a piece of cake. That is, until American decided to cancel all flights into Boston. I wouldn't have been able to leave until 10PM the NEXT DAY. Wah! I called Jason frantically asking him to get me anywhere the next morning. After a crazy cab line and 2 hours of sleep at a hotel next to Midway airport, I jumped on a SWA flight to Denver (sans baggage - that was in Boston).

The cab line extended to the end of the terminal then wrapped back around...

Once Jason arrived and saved the day with a change of clothes, we went exploring Denver. We walked around Wash Park, ate dinner at a sushi place called Japon, and then went home. I still didn't have my baggage, so we also made a pit stop at Target for some essentials.

After MANY calls to American's baggage services, my bag finally arrived on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, since my camera was in my checked bag, the only photos I have are from my iPhone. We didn't want to wait around, so we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park early Saturday morning. One thing I love about Colorado is that everyone is so outdoorsy. While I've said the same thing about Arizona, Colorado is more "our scene". On our drive, we literally saw hundreds of bikers - so cool! We did a fair amount of hiking in the park since a lot of the trails were still closed for the winter season. In some places, there was literally a foot of snow on the ground! We hiked to Chasm Falls and then also around Bear Lake.

We also made a drive around CU's campus in Boulder. It was so beautiful! For those of you that know Jason, you know that he's always wanted to teach. He could see himself teaching here down the road and I could definitely see myself living there!

That night, we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at Denver Chophouse and Brewery. It was AMAZING! Everything we had was delicious, but my favorite thing was the (free) cornbread. Mmm!

All travel blunders aside, we had a great time in the short time we had there. Denver was a fun city that I definitely want to go back to. Jason has never been skiing, so I'm sure a trip back is in our immediate future. Barring any more unfortunate American Airlines events, we will be in Seattle in a week and a half. Look for another post then!
Thanks for reading and thanks SWA!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ode to Southwest Airlines

While I could write about how much I hate American Airlines (which I do - particularly at this moment), I am choosing to write about how much I love Southwest. I am grateful every day that Jason works there, not only because he loves his job, but also because it truly is an amazing company. Thus, my ode to Southwest.

Thank you for my free flights, particularly when I get my three previous ones with American cancelled.

Thank you for your friendly service, it really made my awful night/day better. From the gate agents to the flight crew, it never ceases to amaze me how amazing your employees are.

Thank you for the yummy snacks :)

Thank you for not canceling ANY flights (no matter how late you had to work) and not stranding literally thousands of people. As a side note, I waited an hour and a half for a cab...just to give you an idea of how many people were stranded by American.

Thank you for picking up the tab IF flights get cancelled and not making people pay out of pocket.

Thank you for my free bags (and for not sending my bag to can it get there but I can't. Hmm).

Finally thank you for creating a culture that makes people happy. Southwest customers are just so much nicer than any other I have encountered.

As a side note: Due to aforementioned cancellations, we are on our way to Denver this weekend! So thankful SWA got me out of Chicago and that I don't have to spend my weekend in O'Hare. My "confirmed seat" to Boston was supposed to be at 10:00pm thanks. Hopefully my bag arrives in Denver by tomorrow!