Alaska Airlines pilots owe me $500. Not really, but they should.
Debbie and I flew to the Washington, D.C. area recently for my 65th birthday to see the sites and visit my son Chris and brother Mick.
We had tickets on Alaska, so when were heard of the strike we switched to another airline. That cost us $500 more. And, we couldn’t get our money back from Alaska – they just gave us a credit. Like I ever want to travel with them again.
Anyway, when we got to Atlanta for a layover we were told that flight was canceled because some Delta pilots were supporting those at Alaska. We waited hours in two different lines before we got different tickets to our destination.
During the vacation, we received information that our flight from the layover in Chicago to Seattle was canceled. We booked that on Alaska, hoping the strike would be over by then. After hours on the phone seeking options – including one that would fly us to Dallas, but we would have had to get to another airport to disembark – we got the tickets we wanted, and only had to leave two hours earlier than planned. Plus, we didn’t have to pay any more money for those.
The vacation itself was fun. We went to a Top Golf, and I was so pleased prices were half of what they were the only other time I’d been to one – in Las Vegas – that we played for three hours.
My brother showed us where he works as a police chief for a college system. That was interesting in that a huge memorial was outside one of the buildings where someone had been killed in a shooting.
We then went to my son’s house on the eastern shore where we had to cross the 17 1/2 mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge that had two short sections that actually went under the water instead of over.
Certainly a highlight of the trip, as expected, was D.C. I was amazed at the price I got for a 4-star hotel downtown, until we found out it was the size of a bedroom. Chris said that’s how they all are in Japan. Having never been there I didn’t know, but he was stationed there in the Navy for three years.
I’d only been to D.C. one other time, but that was just after 9-11 so many things were shut down. And that was for a work conference over three days so we only got to see a few monuments up close.
Deb and I decided to take a bus tour to see the monuments, basically because we are old and were short on time.
We started at the Navy memorial downtown then went to the nation’s capital, which is much more impressive than the one here in our state. Our guide told us this area of D.C. was a swamp years ago. I had honestly thought that nickname came from political leanings.
I was so disappointed we didn’t get close to the White House, which the brochure said we would. Of course right after 9-11, I couldn’t get close to it then either.
We didn’t really see the World War II site, having just enough time to quickly walk around it.
The Lincoln Memorial is one I actually made time to go to my first visit, but it was still impressive this time.
A huge disappointment was the reflecting pool didn’t have water in it. Apparently, it’s drained for winter, and wasn’t to be filled until early May.
The Korean Memorial was eerie in that every step you took as you walked around it, one of the soldiers had an eye on you.
And we went to the Vietnam Memorial. One person who died there was only 15, having stolen his brother’s ID to get in. The number of names on that wall is astonishing.
We took a break for lunch then went on a boat trip up the Potomac River, seeing things like the Watergate building, JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Jefferson Memorial and Reagan airport.
After lunch, we went to three memorials that I had been no way near my first visit, so those were a treat. First was FDR, one of my favorite presidents. Then we walked over to the MLK memorial. I was in awe of the wisdom of the quotes of those two men. It was like they could see the future.
Last we went to the Jefferson Memorial. They honored his birthday earlier that day so there were flowers all around it.
We actually had enough time to go to a few of the Smithsonian Institution museums, which also was a treat. We saw the Hope Diamond and too many other things to share here.
We ended the vacation back in Norfolk, where we played at the Stumpy Lake Golf Course. We like to play best ball, because it’s so much more fun than regular golf. We actually used about the same number of shots from each of us in the foursome, and we shot 2 over par.
I had hoped to cross D.C. off my bucket list, but I still need to go back to hopefully get into the White House and go up the Washington monument.