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September 15, 2010

Are we ever getting home?

Yesterday was quite the interesting experience trying to get home from our 8-day trip for my parents' 50th anniversary celebration. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever end!

It started with a late-night drive from Davenport to O'Hare airport because our flight was leaving early in the morning. Thankfully, we found a Fox News simulcast on the Sirius radio that was in the rental car, so we were able to listen to some of the stuff that we watch anyway. It was *really* weird to hear Red Eye instead of just seeing it. A lot of the jokes are visual, so we missed some of them (thankfully, we were recording them all at home, so we watched it last night).

After getting to the airport, we had a long wait. And without Internet access for our phones! Why is it that a smaller airport like Seattle (and yes, "smaller" is just relative) has free wi-fi access for everybody, but O'Hare, the busiest airport in the world (or one of them anyway) only has wi-fi access for those who have Boingo?

Is that annoying or what?

But we got by. Good thing we had some games on our phone. We were too tired to read, really.

We tried to upgrade again because the flight to Chicago was *so* wonderful, but there was only one spot available. Neither one of us would take it without the other, so Coach it was! I must say that, while it certainly wasn't a *comfortable* flight, Alaska certainly has the most leg room in Coach of the three airlines I've flown (American and Delta are the other ones). For the first time in a long time, my knee didn't start hurting half-way through the flight.

I slept most of the flight, though I wouldn't call it a "good" sleep. We got into Seattle on time, and we had another 90 minute wait for our Quick Shuttle bus. But at least we had Internet! (Booooo, Chicago!)

Needless to say, we were feeling pretty tired at this point, though I was starting to get a second wind. We had lunch and sat down at a table to wait, checking in with people online, until the bus began loading just after 12:00.

And that's when it got *really* interesting.

First of all, I love Quick Shuttle. I even gave them a rave review on Epinions. This time, we had a different guy than all of the other times I've used the service. I don't know if he's new or if the schedules just changed, but he seems to be a regular for this route now. He was also our driver on the way down to Seattle.

And he is terrible.

I'm sorry to say that this was the worst Quick Shuttle experience I've ever had. I know driving a bus isn't easy, and there will be some jerky movements and rough driving. But this guy took it to a whole new level. It was making the wife a bit nauseous. He sped up to stop lights and then braked hard; he was all over the road (not in a drunken way, but just in a bad driver way). He was nice enough, so I certainly didn't have any problem with his attitude. But his driving stunk!

That was all fine and we were just happy to hit the border and be on our way home (the quickest border crossing I've ever had in a bus), but that's when it got really weird.

We get into the city (you can have Quick Shuttle stop at any major hotel in the downtown area, and we have one right down the street). While you have to maneuver the one-ways correctly in order to pull up right in front of the hotel, in the past the driver has just asked me if I minded getting off across the street. I had no problem with that because it's still very convenient. Or, last time, he pulled up on the side of the hotel, which is actually even closer to our building than in front.

This guy turned the corner and just kept going, even though we could have gotten off across the street. Fine, no big deal. He stops at one hotel and lets everybody but us and another old couple off. Turns out we're going to the same place.

Cool! We're almost off this hell-ride of a bus!

But it was not to be. Instead of going straight (let us off at the side) or turning right (let us off across the street), he turns left! We thought he was going to drop us off right there on the corner, but no! No, he drives all the way down to Davie Street, and then goes driving through some of the narrowest streets of the West End I've ever seen. There's no good reason a huge bus should be going there!

We heard one thing that sounded like a dog being run over, but I think it was just the gears on the bus. He was trying desperately to maneuver through these streets, just to pull up in front of the hotel, come hell or high water!

After another scary 10 minutes, he finally pulls up in front of the hotel. I guess he didn't want the old people to have to walk far with their suitcases (the doorman met us), and I guess I can see that. But you really should know how to get around the city if you're going to drive a bus!

He just looked lost. And since he was a bad driver anyway, that made all of the extra driving even worse.

But we made it! I've never been so glad to be off of a bus in my life.

We spent the evening unpacking and decompressing. And hit the sack early.

I still recommend Quick Shuttle, but if I get this guy again next time, I may just walk to Seattle.

What a long day.


  1. I'm sorry you had a long trip home. That bus driver sounds dangerous. You must have been soooo tired. I'm glad you vdon't have to go back to work till Mon. You can get rested up.
    I just want to tell you & Kim how much we loved having you home to help us celebrate, I feel like I ignored you some. I hope you didn't feel I did. There were so many people all wanting our attention. Hope Kim survived everything okay. We loved seeing her. You can tell her everyone who talked to her fell in love with her. They all said she was so nice. Of course we totally agree with that. She really made a hit. We love her so much.
    Take the rest of the week & catch up on your sleep.
    Talk to you soon. Love you.

  2. (Sorry, I commented earlier and I guess it didn't show up).

    Yeah, we had a good time. We're definitely catching up on our rest, though. :)

    Love you too!


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