Well, now that I’m back from Seattle, I thought I’d take a quick minute to share the highlights of my trip (and rant about all the crap that happened along the way).
Why was Greg in Seattle, you may ask? I’m an operations instructor for a health-care management company (which shall hereafter be referred to as TeamHealth), and said company is rolling out a spiffy, new version of our operations software, so yours truly gets to spread the gospel to flocks all around our great land. Over a 3-month period, I’ll visit sites in Federal Way, WA (the aforementioned Seattle trip); Sunrise, FL; Middleburg Heights, OH; Woodbury, NJ; and Pleasanton, CA.
The trip started out fine, with a Sunday morning ride to the airport. My lovely wife, Ginny, was nice enough to provide shuttle service. My traveling companion, Lyschel, and I arrived with plenty of time to check-in before the flight. No sooner had Ginny pulled away from the curb, we found out that our connection in Dallas was cancelled due to fog. The next flight would be around 2 PM ET, and we’d have to connect in Chicago. Rather than face several hours watching planes take off and land from the comfort of a rocking chair (oh yeah, our airport has rocking chairs in the terminal, but that’s another story), we decided to call Ginny-cab and ask for a pick-up.
Once we were finally airborne, the flight to Chicago was a breeze (I usually just sit back, read a magazine, and let the pilots worry about flying the plane). Landing at O’Hare, we were shocked to find our next flight to Seattle was also postponed until around 9 PM CT. I began to realize that once you’re past the airport security gate, you’re something of a political prisoner. Luckily this inmate had a copy of Portal on his laptop and a penchant for ripping holes in the fabric of space/time, so I was all set.
Once we (finally) arrived at SeaTac, sometime around midnight PT, the fun wasn’t about to end. Our luggage had managed to beat us there. We picked up our rental car and proceeded to the security gate. After checking our tag against our rental contract for several minutes, the attendant (fresh off a riveting game of Sodoku), strolled over to the window and asked, "You like this car?" Puzzled, Lyschel responded, "I dunno, I guess so." "Well, it’s the wrong car," he replied. Avis had parked a different car in our designated spot, so our contract didn’t match the VIN. Alas, we were stuck at the gate while Avis corrected their mistake. Meanwhile I was reminded of the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; Lyschel failed to see the parallel.
Training was about as uneventful as you’d expect a week-long corporate training fest to be, although there was enough snow on the first morning for us to spin some gnarly donuts in the parking lot.
The sun acutally popped out for about 15 minutes one afternoon, the rest of the week involved precipitation of some type. I think I grew mildew in my tender places.
We hit the town on Tuesday evening with a couple of colleagues from the area. They entertained us at Salty’s on Alki Beach, which had some of the best seafood I’ve ever enjoyed. From there, Lyschel and I bravely trekked over 500′ up to the top of the world-famous Space Needle. I don’t know what I was expecting; it’s basically a taller version of Knoxville’s beloved Sunsphere and a leftover relic from a long-forgotten World’s Fair. However, it did offer a pretty nice view of the city.
By the time we left on Friday, the rain had definitely gotten the better of me. Seattle is a lovely place, I’m sure, but without some serious mood-altering drugs, I’m not convinced I could survive the gloomy weather. I’m starting to understand the city’s caffeine addiction. Oddly enough, I didn’t visit a single Starbucks during my entire visit.
The return trip home was a lot shorter, although I was almost beaten by a group of passengers for bringing a bag of candied nuts onboard the plane. I couldn’t help it; they have an addictive chemical that make you crave them fort-nightly.
Needless to say, I was very glad to see my wife and baby on Friday night. We spent the weekend doing a whole bunch of relaxing.
If you want to experience any more of the magic, check out my Seattle Trip album in the Gallery.