Thursday, August 18, 2011

Leaving the mainland

Here's Ryan on his last mountain bike ride in Twin before shipping his bike to Hawaii.We left Twin on Saturday July 2nd after selling most of our stuff and boxing and shipping the rest. We went to Eric's house for a couple of nights before setting out for Seattle, where we shipped our cars from.

Here are the kids dancing at Eric's - so funny. I don't know where Cora learned those dance moves. Cora's definitely going to miss all of her cousins that she got to see so much in Idaho.
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The drive was a bit of an adventure - we each had a car since we were shipping both cars, and we were trying to stay together the whole time. Of course, along the way, in a small town in Oregon, we ran into car trouble with the Cirrus. And we were driving on the 4th of July, so most of the mechanics in town were closed. Miraculously, the last number from the phone book answered, and we were able to get our car fixed at very little cost. We were definitely being looked after. A little ways before we got to Seattle we stopped at the Snoqualmie Falls.Even though we were all exhausted, we decided to head into Seattle to watch the fireworks - we just couldn't pass up the chance to see the big city firework show. Plus, Ryan and I were all hopped up on caffeine from our multiple Dr. Peppers while driving. ;)Our plan was to drive to Seattle, spend one night in a crappy motel with an airport shuttle, then check out but leave our stuff in the storage area at the motel and go sightseeing the next morning. In the afternoon we would drive and drop off our cars at the port and then catch a cab back to the motel, take the airport shuttle, and catch our evening flight.

Even though I got sick/nauseated overnight in the motel, we stuck to our plan and did our sightseeing in the morning. Here we are at Pike Place Fish Market - cool place, we wished we had more time and money.Then we dropped by the Space Needle.*Warning - long travel adventure story ahead*
After that we headed to the port - only to find out that Matson, the shipping company, was closed that day for a union holiday. So after many hours on the phone with Matson, Delta and other companies, we wound up staying another night, and dropping off the cars and flying out the next day - which was Ryan's birthday. So Ryan spent his birthday traveling instead of relaxing in Hawaii. It was quite a headache, but Matson did redeem themselves somewhat by paying for all of our extra expenses - our flight change fees, meals, and hotel. And since I was sick and we were all still recovering from our trip, it wound up being okay that we had another night in a hotel (a nicer one this time) to rest.

So the next day we dropped off our cars and went back to the hotel to take the shuttle to the airport. Of course, the shuttle wound up being very late, but we figured we had plenty of time still. I should mention that we had the two kids, two carseats, 5 check on bags, three rolling carry-ons, two backbacks, a laptop bag, a diaper bag, a stroller, and a baby hiking backpack. We figured that checking a 50 lbs bag was cheaper than shipping a box, and we were planning on using SkyCap. Unfortunately, the hotel shuttle was not allowed to drop us off where there was a SkyCap - we had to go on a couple of elevators and across a bridge to get to ticketing. I still don't know how we managed it and we definitely got looks. Once we were at ticketing, an inept Delta employee cost us 30 minutes more than it should've taken us to check in, and then we had to run through security and to the gate, still with our kids, stroller, backpacks, baby carrier and 3 rollerboards. A train ride and several out of the way elevators later and we arrived at the gate, running, out of breath and sweaty, just in time to claim our seats and avoid having them taken by a crowd of people in standby. I've never been at an airport still trying to get to the gate when the final boarding call is announced. We were the last ones on the plane. Luckily the kids were pretty good on the plane and the rest of the trip was fairly uneventful. Ryan had the worst end of the deal - after arriving late at night he had to get up the next morning for his first day at work - since we spent an extra day in Seattle he didn't have his jet-lag recovery time we had planned.

If you made it though this narrative, congratulations. The moral of the story is - we're so glad to be here and we will never be so crazy traveling again. And if we're ever tempted to, we can look back at this story and remind ourselves.

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