First of All –
- First canceled flight
- First rebooked itinerary
- Pangborn Field
- Ft. Myers
- Miles Cruised today: NA
- Total Miles Cruised to date: 2,329
- Hours Underway: NA
- Fuel: NA
- Morning House Battery Reading: NA
- Wind Speed: ; Wind Direction:
- Daily High Temperature: 25 in East Wenatchee WA; 75 in Ft. Myers FL
- Water Temperature: NA
Our holiday visit with our two sons and their families is at an end. We spent the Christmas week at our youngest son’s house, enjoying time with his family, and especially with our 5 year old granddaughter and our 9 month grandson, who was experimenting with walking while we were there. After Christmas we drove up to Oak Harbor and enjoyed a great week with our oldest son and his family. Grandkids there are older (grandson is 15 and a high school freshman; granddaughter is 10 and in 4th grade). We caught up on all their doings, including ROTC armed drill team for our grandson. Sandy spent some memorable time with our granddaughter, who got a Singer sewing machine for Christmas. She and grandma stitched up several projects on the new machine, with Gracie absorbing sewing knowledge and grandma storing up memories. We also managed to sandwich a trip over the mountains to Leavenworth to look in on our home there, and reconnect with friends back in Eastern Washington. We took the Amtrack train from Everett to Leavenworth, and found it to be a wonderful, relaxing way to travel. While home I put in some quality time with the snowblower, clearing away two feet of compact snow and getting the driveways and walkways back into shape. We drove our car back to Western Washington so we could more conveniently run around without having to borrow a car from the kids. That meant a drive back over the pass to Leavenworth when the time came to fly back to Florida. I allowed an extra day in Leavenworth so I could deal with a foot of new snow, which had fallen while we were on the west side. Things are in good shape at the homestead now, snow-wise, and having given the house sitter some lessons on how to operate the snowblower, she should do fine through the rest of winter.
For us, though, it is time to start thinking about palm trees, sandy beaches, and 80 degrees. We arise at 2:45am, which gives us enough time to get out to the local airport, Pangborn Field, for the 5:40am shuttle flight to Seatac Airport, aptly located partway between Seattle and Tacoma. I walk up to the ticket counter exactly 1 hour before scheduled take off, and the cheery airport manager asks me if I’d gotten the message, yesterday evening, about our flight being canceled. It’s 4:40am, I’ve been up for 2 hours already, and we’re facing an 11 hour, 4,000 mile cross country trip, and that’s definitely not the question I wanted to hear from him. I say “Obviously not, since I’m standing here right now.” He tells me they texted me shortly before 9am, and also emailed me, that the plane from Seattle had been unable to land due to fog, and therefore, we had no plane to take us over the mountains this morning. I discover that this happens to about 20 percent of the flights this time of year. They have a shuttle van lined up to drive us to Seatac, however it will arrive 2 hours after our scheduled flight departs. The manager is apologetic, and efficiently books us on alternate flights, with a connection in Atlanta, which will get us in to Ft. Myers just 2 hours later than our original itinerary. So, we bounce our way across Blewett and Snoqualmie Passes in the shuttle van and arrive at Seatac at 9:30 am. The lines are awful, and we reach our gate just 15 minutes before the start of boarding. Take off is delayed by 1/2 hour due to a dog having been improperly loaded onto the plane. Both dog and owner must be taken off the plane before we can take off. This is a matter of concern, since we have only 1 hour in Atlanta to make the connection to Ft. Myers. Once in the air, the pilot assures us that he will be able to make up the lost time, and in fact, he does. We land on schedule at Atlanta, at Gate F11, which is at the opposite corner of the terminal from our departure gate to Ft. Myers. Fortunately, the lady sitting next to me on the flight explained about the high speed train that quickly gets one to remote gates. We find it without getting lost, and arrive at our gate while boarding is in process. It’s a great relief to settle into our seats for the final leg of our transcontinental trip. Things go well from there. Our duffel bags show up in good shape at the carousel, our hotel shuttle van arrives without delay, and a comfortable hotel room awaits us. We grab a bite to eat at the sports bar across the parking lot, at 10 pm, which isn’t too bad considering the 3 hour time change.