We flew down last Sunday, at a very very early morning hour to Phoenix, Arizona. We started by leaving the house at 4am, much to Wolsey’s chagrin.
We arrived at the airport, with no caffeine in our system and with only an hour to wait until we fly out. Fortunately I went to the local Starbucks to get my caffeinated fix. Trust me, no one wants me uncaffienated.
We got down to Phoenix and for the first time ever I was in Arizona. I stepped off the plane and was hit by a wave of heat that was unexpected. While it was in the high 30s in Seattle, but they were having a heatwave in Phoenix and it was in the mid-90s and unlike Atlanta, it was a desert. The last time I had been in a place that warm and dry was when I was 15/16 and we were homeless as a family, living in a car and making Lake Tahoe our place (it was when we went down to Carson City/Reno).
We finally got to the hotel (a La Quinta which I have liked, not sure why my coworkers hate the chain), changed into short’s and decided we were hungry. There was Mimi’s Cafe just a block and a half up and we thought it would be a great place. There we ordered lunch (well actually I ordered some sort of specialized waffles).
It wasn’t bad at all, the prices were Seattle average (11-13 each). I probably wouldn’t recommend it for locals though, we didn’t realize that Seattle prices are high in Phoenix, and I wouldn’t recommend paying top dollar for a not top dollar place. The waitress was nice though, and we found out she had lived in Everett for six years.
We then headed back to the hotel, where we promptly laid down and napped.
We got up, decided we were still hungry (we hadn’t eaten large meals at Mimi’s) so we hit Red Robin and found the food to be extra greasy (unlike our normal Red Robins we live next too, oh and yes I realize in general the food is a bit greasy, but this was above and beyond).
Finally we just hid out in the hotel room, the temperature was spiking even hotter.
We then went to Tia Shorty’s and I had the absolute best tacos in my life. The shredded beef just melted in my mouth, the spices were wonderful and I am glad I ended my Arizona food sampling there as it left it on a really good note.
We then got back to the airport for a later then we like flight (didn’t leave until almost 7pm) and we got into town after 10pm. With the Lyft ride back to the house we were in bed by midnight.
Overall the trip was a stupendous success, not because we went and saw a bunch of things, but rather because Wolsey gets his surgery 14 months earlier then normal (end of May/beginning of June 2017). So this trip was fantastic!
If you want to go see the photo gallery from the trip, go here.
My first couple of days have gone really well in San Diego. I figured instead of doing a “daily” update that I would just update every couple of days. It really isn’t that exciting. The one thing of note, it is now Tuesday (start of Day 3) and I it has not gotten above 59 degrees, pouring down rain and cold (that 59 was only for a short while). I feel like I am in Seattle.
Day 1: This was probably the most interesting day so far. I got up early, hung out with the hubby until he dropped me off at 6:45am.
While I was waiting at the Alaskan Airlines terminal things got a little surreal. About 10 minutes after we were starting to board there was still no plane at the gate (I was sitting at the window right where it should be). We all assumed no big deal, it was probably late coming in. That is when they announced that “they couldn’t find the plane”. You heard that right, not that it was late, but that they couldn’t find it.
After the initial murmurings happened from all of us customers they made a second announcement confirming “that the plane was not late, they still just haven’t found the plane.”
It turns out that the plane was one of several Alaska Airlines jets sitting on the tarmac overnight. It looks like someone forgot to bring it out in the morning. Talk about a surrealistic way to start your day.
The flight itself was pretty smooth, I definitely prefer the 2.5 hour flights as opposed to the 4.5-5 hour flights to Atlanta. Once we landed I successfully secured myself a rental car. I was about an hour behind, having arrived and secured my stuff at 2pm. I then decided to go visit the USS Midway Museum on the San Diego Harbor since check in wasn’t until 4pm. I will post about that separately as I have a lot of pictures I have to go through and I want to post.
Finally I got to my room, dropped my stuff off and went to In-N-Out for attempt number two. I figured the place needed a second chance, since everyone has a bad day. I got there and ordered a regular cheeseburger without tomato.
Of course it came with tomato, so I had to pull tomato bits off of it, I am definitely not impressed with their ability to modify orders. The people ahead of me evidently got their order after me and went back up to yell at them for something. I ate the burger and found this burger a lot better than the Double Double I ordered in Los Angeles. Even so, I wouldn’t really put it above a good McDonald’s burger, and definitely above a Dick’s burger.
I figure next time I will just go get two cheeseburgers from McDonalds for a little less than a single cheeseburger here and not be as disappointed. I then went by a grocery store on my way back to my room, worked a little then went to bed.
Day 2: Monday was less exciting. I woke up at 4am and starting working. Then around 7 I went to my Data Mining using Access class and it wasn’t bad. Honestly it is a helpful class, and I am not unhappy to get the info. Actually I am happy to get it, I learned some things already that will help with the “work session” I got for the SAS program last week.
We got out of class and I found Von’s, a grocery store that is evidently owned by Safeway, my Safeway card even worked so it wasn’t too bad. I then went by Carl’s Jr and was also disappointed.
So then I went back to my room, played around on my computer for an hour and a half and then fell asleep unexpectedly.
The last two days in Los Angles were quiet. There wasn’t much to say except I went to class on Thursday, went back to the hotel and talked with the hubby for about an hour. Even though I found Yum Yum donuts the night before, I have to say it was still way better talking with my husband then eating heaven on earth.
Friday was a 3/4 day of work. Don’t get me wrong, there has been things I have learned, however it is called a “work session” and so there were many hours of just rerunning programs with no real goal. The highlight of this last work session day was going to lunch at chipotle across the street. It was like a contest, it had been raining heavily all day, and I had not realized that L.A. does not have the same kind of drainage that Seattle does and the streets were literally flooded 3-4 inches deep. The topper for our trip out, on the way back a truck slammed into a mud puddle beside my supervisor and I and a wave of water 4 foot high (no, that is not hyperbole) swept across us. The annoying part is I heard and saw him coming, but it was slow motion and I couldn’t get out of the way.
We finally got back to the class and I was soaked. I couldn’t dry off either because my clothes were packed in the car a couple of blocks away. So I sat there in the class for three hours and dripped. Funny enough my lightweight coat was soaked the whole flight. So by the time we left Friday I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. We ended up driving back to the airport and it only took about 35 minutes on the freeways, so we were fortunate.
Once at the airport I had time to look around. The first thing I noticed was how run down the terminal. It was a bit dirty everywhere, things seemed to be falling apart and it was lacking in any real food/store selection. The Sea-Tac and Atlanta airports both have several stores, restaurants and fast food. There wasn’t any fast food at all in the terminal I was in at all. The biggest disappointment though was the swag in the airport shops. I tried to find the hubby his travel spoon from Los Angeles but no luck. There was only two shops in the area to begin with and they were bare of almost anything I was interested in. That was a real disappointment and the first time I couldn’t find a spoon.
The flight back was ok. It was very short (only about 2 hours and 12 minutes in the air) but this was a Boeing 717 which means absolutely no leg room. Seriously I never once could touch the ground with my feet when my legs were straight forward. The flight was short though, and I had the aisle so I did survive it.
Finally I rolled into the Sea-Tac Airport and the hubby picked me up. I can’t tell you how much I missed him. We crawled in bed, talked for a long time then fell asleep. He definitely made everything all right.
There are probably a few little stories I forgot to tell. I will probably bring them up later. However, overall my trip wasn’t the worst. I definitely like Los Angeles better than Atlanta. The people are very similar to Pacific Northwest, with a bit of gun loving that was a surprise. Tomorrow morning (today is the Saturday after coming home) I fly back down to San Diego. I will post more about that as I go.
The second day was a bit unremarkable. It started with going down to the “breakfast nook” of the hotel. There they had a waffle maker and a breakfast bar. I grabbed a waffle and a yogurt and eat quickly.
Then I went back up to the room and worked a bit on one of my audits and it wasn’t pretty. Also my hair wouldn’t spike up…
The first two/thirds of the day was spent in class learning how to use SAS. It is a pretty cool thing to do, I am really hoping we actually use it at work. I think it can be a pretty good tool. Also both of our presenters/teachers were easy to listen and it was a fairly relaxed environment. If only my work computer would quit blue screening on me.
Originally we were going to go to the Disney store since we were next to Disneyland, but I needed a bit of space to myself so I begged off. I went to my room, sat around for a few minutes and decided I needed to get some exercise. With no workout gear I decided a walk would work just as well as anything else. I haven’t really walked around here and wasn’t sure where to go. I have been to Jack in the Box for lunch, but this time I decided to turn right and take a walk down that direction.
I did find something awesome on my walk. I had gotten about a mile down and was getting ready to turn around when I came across Yum Yum Donuts. Evidently it is a chain of donut shops down here in California. I hadn’t heard it before, but the place looked inviting.
I walked in and was overwhelmed with a most beautiful sight. A whole display case full of wonderful smelling fresh donuts.
I went in and bought a couple of donuts. I have been fairly good so far, and honestly I do eat my emotions (well my stress is probably a closer approximation) so I had to have some. They were better than they smelled. I haven’t had donuts this good since Lafeen’s back up in Bellingham in the late 1980s. They are better than Voodoo donuts, and I think I have had Rocket Donuts and they are better than that as well.
While I was sitting there, I decided I needed to bring some milk back to my hotel room for my cereal I had bought the night before. So I traveled just a short distance further. There I was confronted by a sign you would never see here in the Pacific NW.
It is always interesting to see how even though we live on the same coast, both Washington and California are very progressive/liberal, but there are just small things that do show the minor differences. I then went into the 7-11 and got some milk. The store had more food in it then I am used to seeing in a 7-11. Not quite as good as larger bodegas, but obviously at least this location sold some food, and I assume that is because there are not any grocery stores within walking distance of the hotel.
Finally I went back to the hotel room. There I was inundated with Shark Tank on the TV. I don’t think I have mentioned this before about L.A. but I am always surprised at how TV is slightly different in each town. However, evidently California is pretty similar overall to Seattle on that part. The stations are pretty similar and there is a wonderful lack of 4 different FOX stations I got stuck watching in Atlanta. Also the ads aren’t objectionably conservative like they were in Georgia.
Then my little brother called and after he was done talking to me I got to do the only thing I wanted to do today… talk to my husband.