Friday, June 15, 2012

On The Road Again Day #1 – West Coast Trek

Well the Professional Nomad is on the road again. Actually, I’ll write this post in parts and upload it tonight. I’m currently sitting in the terminal at BWI (Baltimore) airport awaiting my Southwest flight to Kansas City and then on to Seattle where I’ll meet up with my son.

There is nothing unusual except I arrived here this morning at 6:00 AM for a 9:35 AM flight that is already delayed to 9:45 AM. I was surprised at the ease with which I got through TSA security. I went to a rather isolated security checkpoint and got through fast. Of course, I always travel with some audio equipment and my Rode NT4 stereo microphone caught their attention. None of the rest of the other electronics I had packed in my backpack seemed to bother them. So they pulled the microphone out, examined it and asked what it was, ran it through the X-Ray scanner again. Done.

I then went to a Silver Diner in the terminal and had a nice relaxing breakfast and then came to my boarding gate where I’ve been taking care of some business. It’s getting near boarding time so, I’ll write a bit more, later.

I’m in Kansas City now. The Southwest Airlines flight was packed. Not one open seat. All things being equal it was a decent flight hurtling through the sky in the big red and blue Boeing 737 tube. We arrived early.

I went to the Starbucks in the Kansas City terminal and ordered a strawberry smoothie to carry me over until I reached Seattle – BUT, they didn’t have any bananas to make a smoothie with. The young woman at the Starbucks counter said they haven’t had bananas all week – the shipment hadn’t come in. I won’t tell you what I was thinking at that moment. I ordered a Grande Chai Tea Latte. First, the cup wasn’t full, second they had it made in about two minutes and third, it wasn’t very hot. It in no way resembled the delicious, really large, carefully brewed and steeped, appropriately hot Chai Tea Latte made with pride and care and taking about 8 to 10 minutes to make that I’ve become so
accustomed to at the Backwoods Bean Coffee Shop in Sparta, North Carolina. The proprietor, Selma, is amazing with her customer service and care she puts into everything she serves.

I checked email. The terminal had free wifi – as opposed to Baltimore where you had to pay a fee to use the wifi. I took care of a few bits of business, composed this addition to this blog post and we’ve just been called to board the Seattle flight. So, back I go into a second red and blue tube that will hurtle me through the sky to the final destination of the day, Seattle, Washington. It appears we’ll leave on schedule.

I’m now in Seattle. The flight was uneventful. The plane was again filled to capacity. But, it was still a pleasant flight. I began reading a new Kindle book I had downloaded while at the Kansas City t
erminal. I also read the airline magazine that had several excellent articles.

My son was waiting with the rental car when I hit the ground. I called him after I had my one checked bag (I carried my other bag, the backpack with the microphone in it, as carry on baggage). He pulled off and we were off. We went and took care of some business on the rental car. We walked from the rental car office downtown to his current rented office with a beautiful view of Puget Sound. Then picked up the car and drove to his house near Lake Washington on the east side of Seattle. I met his housemate and another friend, he showed me where I would be crashing and he went off to run a couple errands.

When he got back, I had rested a bit and he and I went out to dinner to a very nice little restaurant situated on the lakeshore. It was a fitting end to a long day of travel.

My only real surprise was that it was COLD when I arrived in Seattle. I believe it was in the upper 50’s or maybe 60 degrees. Oops, I hadn’t contemplated that. I walking around in a short sleeve polo shirt and slack and every one else is wearing jackets, sweaters and flannel shirts. I didn’t bring any warm clothes with me other then one long sleeve shirt and a windbreaker. It was an overcast day, but I did catch a beautiful glimpse of Mt. Rainier through a whole in the cl
oud cover as we were driving to dinner.

I’m on the road again and I’m loving it. More about this trip in future posts.

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