Washington: Day 4

Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 10:55pm

I suppose it’s time to report on day 4 of Washington.

It was the worst of our days, and a very long day at that. Our flight was scheduled to leave from Yakima at 6:45am, and we were supposed to eventually arrive in Birmingham at 2pm on the same day. We arrived at the airport at about 6:10, with no one at the desk so we had to go straight through security to try to check Clint’s bag since we had to check it on the trip to Washington due to it’s size.

We finally make it through security only to have them tell us they won’t allow his bag on due to size and contents and refused to check it. We figure we can try to catch a later flight, and opt to wait.

Due to the size of the airport however, there was only 2 Delta flights (both going to Salt Lake) with about 4-5 Horizon flights going to Seattle. Also, according to the employees at the airport there were no actual Delta employees working there to talk to, so we had to make multiple phone calls to Delta customer service to attempt to get our issue resolved. After hours of arguing with Delta, and just attempting to get out of Yakima, we finally were able to get a flight out of Seattle — which so happened to be 3 hours away.

So we had to take an airport shuttle to Seattle, arriving there at about 2pm. Our flight left at 12:30am, so we had a pretty long wait ahead. We were not allowed to even check in until 6 hours before our flight, so we had to wait outside security just hanging out until we could actually check in.

At this point as well, we had no money and were tired and hungry, but managed to luck out. In one of our few trips to the Delta desk I noticed a blackberry cellphone sitting there that someone seemingly left behind. After a few phone calls to the guy’s wife, we luckily were able to run into him and catch him before his plane left. He gave us $20 for our trouble which allowed us to actually eat dinner.

So basically we spent about 10 hours in the SEA-TAC terminal, another 6 or so hours on the plane before we were able to actually arrive in Atlanta, and then another 45 minute flight arriving in Birmingham at 9am over 24 hours after our original flight was supposed to leave Yakima.

This experience has left me severely unsatisfied with Delta’s customer service. They were supposed to offer and allow our baggage to be sent via a later flight, which they did not. We attempted to get them to do so, only to have them reply that we would lose all of our baggage. We tried to get on a standby list for any number of flights leaving Seattle, which several Delta customer service representatives claimed they don’t do standby. Of course, we found out they were lying when the desk was calling standby passengers as our flight was leaving at 12:30am. We kept getting mixed results from Delta having them tell us multiple things many of which conflicted with each other.

In short, it was a long trip and we were just glad to be back…

Washington: Day 3

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 @ 12:10am

Day 3 was perhaps our most interesting and fun-filled day.

A Clear View of Mt. RainierAfter sleeping in until 10am, we left our hotel and made the drive back towards Yakima, Washington. Stopped to get gas and lunch in Yakima, because it was still another 100 or so miles to Mt. Rainier, and we weren’t sure how long we’d be out there, and if there was anything on the way there. There was no shortage of fruit stands on the way their however, with many stands selling cherries for $1 per lbs, so we picked up some and snacked on them during the drive. We could have gotten some fresh apples, but wouldn’t quite know what to do with 10 lbs., even if they were only $4.

A... TUNNEL! BWHAHAHAHA...Once we exited Yakima Valley, and entered into a set of national forests, we stopped at many places along the way to take pictures (many of which you can see on my Flickr Photo Stream). There was plenty of scenic stops along the way and Clint and I both got some amazing distant shots of Mt. Rainier. The roads were quite fun to drive as well, as they twisted up and down and through the mountains with some amazing tunnels that were dug into the side.

Snow! Woohoo!Amazingly, even at only about 5,000 feet there was actually snow. And it was only about 65~70³F at that point as well, so the weather was really nice. We were pretty disappointed once we got closer to Mt. Rainier, as clouds had come in during our trip so we were unable to get any up-close shots of the peak anywhere past the visitor’s center. All the snow was understandable however, because the visitor’s center was reporting that Mt. Rainier had accumulated over 50′ of snow, so it’s not wonder a lot of it still had not melted.

After checking out the visitor’s center, we hiked up some trails up the mountain to about 6,000 or so feet where it was still completely covered in snow/glaciers. I would love to do an actual climbing trip to the peak sometime here, if I ever get a chance to. Not only is the view amazing, but it’s fun to say you’ve camped/hiked/climbed an active volcano.

Anyway, Mt. Rainier is amazing, along with Mt. Saint Helens (if you ever get the chance to visit either). Rainier is just more scenic, while Saint Helens is more shock and awe from all of the destruction, even 25 years past.

Washington: Day 2

Thursday, July 12th, 2007 @ 8:49pm

Mt. AdamsSo our second day in Washington was quite interesting as well. We were driving from Yakima to Pasco and saw Mt. Adams in the distance, and stopped to take pictures on the way there. It’s pretty interesting to think, that through the whole trip (about 80 miles) there was hardly an end to all of the farms and vineyards, even in a desert area.

Arrived in Pasco and got to go visit the Williamson’s house before the wedding. Now the wedding, wasn’t your typical wedding, at least not what we’re used to around here. But that’s okay, I enjoyed it and was glad to see Jeremy happy, and that he’s found the right person. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a picture of it, but the wedding cake was quite amusing. On top they had a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head as the toppers.

Anyway, after that Clint and I kind of hung out around Pasco for the afternoon and mostly goofed off. After wasting some time at the area mall and bookstore, we went and watched Ratatouille which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it already. Stay tuned for day 3 tomorrow!

Washington: Day 1

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 @ 7:42pm

For those interested, I have put up some photos of my Washington trip on my Flickr Account.

So we left from Birmingham at about 6pm CDT, arriving in Salt Lake City at around 8:30 MDT. It was a pretty decent flight, not too crowded, and just enough room to stretch out and move around. Although, we had a stewardess with the most annoying voice I’ve ever heard. Her voice was so high pitched it you wanted to jump out of the plane to get away from it. Talk about a high talker.

Flying into Salt Lake City was absolutely amazing, it is a really beautiful city. Surrounded by mountains and rolling hills, it’s quite breathtaking. I would love to actual visit the city someday.

After a 45 minute layover in Salt Lake, we were on our way to Yakima, Wa. The terminal is small by all means (which I will explain in more detail on day 4). After a quick trip to Walmart to replace some stuff that we could not pack, we went to bed at about 1am PDT.

Day 2 to follow tomorrow…