June 22, 2010
You may have noticed I was gone from here for over a week. Yep, that means vacation. In this particular instance, Mr. Karen and I traveled to Washington to see our youngest nephew graduate from high school and meet our first grand-niece (she’s the daughter of our oldest niece, who is the only sister of the graduate). After those festivities wound down, we drove across Washington with Dale and Joan (Mr. Karen’s parents, for those of you just joining us) to spend the rest of the week at our condo in Idaho. We left on Friday afternoon, flying Southwest for the first time ever. (Usually we go Delta, formerly Northwest, because they control most of the flights out of Detroit, but this time, with our into Seattle out of Spokane itinerary, they were just too pricey for the outbound trip.) Being naturally anxious, I fretted about the open seating thing. I’d seen relatives interrupt family meals to check in for their flights so they could get good spots in the boarding queue; since I couldn’t be sure I’d be able break off work to check in exactly 24 hours before our flight when the window opened up, I bought myself some peace of mind for $20 by doing the early bird check-in option. Did that stop the fretting? Not entirely, but it did lessen it considerably, as did being able to read many web pages about how the process worked. When it came time to line up by the numbered pylon, I was ready. I ended up quite liking the orderliness of it all, and we even got a row to ourselves on the flight from Chicago Midway (an airport I’d never been to despite growing up nearby) to Seattle. If we’d been in the B or C boarding group, I’m not sure I would have liked it quite so well. We ended the first day (half day, really) of our trip in a hotel near SeaTac, having learned the lesson that driving a couple hours when it’s the middle of night per our body clocks is not a great idea.
Tune in for the next installment of my trip report to hear whether the frosting rose situation worked out better or worse for me than at the last graduation.