07 Jan 2009 @ 6:27 PM 

This is kinda late getting written, but I have a great excuse. On the day I left Denver, half of the keyboard on my laptop began to only work intermittently. I discovered that banging harder on the keys don’t make them respond any better.

So I left Denver on Sunday 12/21. Of course, the day after  the crash at DIA. I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it on time. I planned to go to the Park and Ride that RTD offers, but the lot was full. I was bummed because my roommate had given me free tickets to ride the bus. It was going to be sweet. Free parking, but it didn’t work out. So I proceeded to the economy lot. Upon arrival there, I discovered that it was full, and I had to go to the overflow lot. By this time, I had exceeded the cushion I had built in to my leaving from the house time. I rushed my way to the overflow and took the shuttle to DIA. Let’s see $5 a day for 10 days, great, I’ve gone from free parking for Christmas to $50 parking for Christmas. Now that’s a deal!

I got to the kiosk right about the edge of the check in time for having checked baggage. I had already done the online check in, and I just had to check my baggage. Now, off to fight the security gates and try to make it to the gate in time. Security wasn’t too bad and I made it in time to the gate…. to find out that the flight was delayed. I spent 2 hours in DIA delayed, meanwhile I had a connection flight in Houston, TX to get to my destination in San Antonio, TX. Most of the country was delayed that day because of some bad weather. So the reason they gave me that we were delayed leaving DIA is because of bad weather in Houston. I checked the weather radar (because I discovered that DIA has free Internet, its slow and not very good, but its free). Low and behold, there wasn’t a single cloud over Houston. I don’t know what this mysterious weather was that was over Houston, but apparently we couldn’t leave.

Thank goodness I had exit row seats though. When we finally boarded the plane, they wanted volunteers to give up their exit row seats. Maybe I’m just a cold hearted jerk, but I am not giving up my exit row seats. I have long legs, and what ever reason someone else has can’t be much worse than mine. Some nice person gave up their seats and a lady with her leg and arm in cast came back to take his seat next to me. I asked her “Let me guess, skiing accident?” She said some snow boarder on the slopes had run into her without even stopping to see if she was OK. The guy with her chased him down. Then the flight attendants realized they couldn’t allow this woman in the exit row as it was against regulations to have someone disabled to sit there. Seeing as how they crashed one of their planes yesterday, they needed to make sure they played by the rules.

When I got to Houston, I got off the plane about 10 minutes before my connecting flight left. I ran down to find the gate only to find, that once again, my flight was delayed. I was a bit thankful for this as I doubt I would have made it. So, I went off to get a bite to eat. I got a salad at Wendy’s which according to the person working there was the last one. Lucky me, but no free Internet at Busch International Airport.

I got to Houston a little later than had planned. Wendy, came to pick me up and bring me to her parent’s house. Her mom was up waiting for us. It was around midnight when we got there, so we all went to bed. I had a great time visiting with Wendy’s parents. They fed us well and kept us entertained. We went to a swanky restaurant called Tower of the Americas. The food was good. It was like the space needle in Seattle. It rotated and we were able to see a full view of San Antonio. Pretty cool, and my steak was great. We then went down to the Riverwalk and did a boat tour. The lights were pretty and it was fun. We also went to Nixon, TX where Wendy’s dad is from. I got to meet several of Wendy’s Aunt’s, Uncles, cousins, and her grandmother. Its a tradition for them to have a big family party on Christmas Eve at her grandmother’s house. I had a great time meeting her family.

On Christmas day, we opened presents. Wendy gave me an iPod Touch. I couldn’t believe it. That was something I had been really wanting, and  its expensive. I had no idea she would spend that much on me. I guess she’s serious about this 😉  Well, it was a wonderful gift and I have been enjoying it very much, especially at work. Wendy’s dad smoked a turkey that we ate for lunch. It was a really tasty turkey. Late that afternoon, Wendy and I flew to Jackson, MS where my family is.

My mom, brother, and his wife came to pick us up at the airport. We got in late so we got home and all went to bed. My dad was working, but he was going to have the next few days off. This was the first time Wendy had met my family. On Dec 26th, we did our 2nd Christmas, this time with my family. We sprung my grandmother out of her retirement home so she could be with us. The neighbors fried us a turkey for Christmas dinner #2. It was pretty good too. Mom cooked way too much food as usual. My aunt, uncle, and two cousins came up from Louisiana to vist late that afternoon. I hadn’t seen all of them at one time in a long time. It was great seeing them. The next day Wendy and I went to go visit my friend Ramsey from college. He told me he didn’t believe Wendy existed so I had to prove it to him. We also went by and visited a couple of my other friends from school. I had been wanting to introduce her to my friends. She’s a great catch and I want to show her off. One night we at at Cock of the Walk in Ridgeland. They serve southern fried catfish. A home meal I always look forward to. It was really tasty.

Of course we were rushed to try to see everyone and do everything. There’s never enough time to spend at home as you would like to have, but I was glad to get to spend the time that I did have. And I was really glad that Wendy and I got to spend time with each other’s family.

Next year, who knows what is going to happen.

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Categories: Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 09 Jan 2010 @ 07 07 AM

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 01 Dec 2008 @ 12:19 PM 

When I began planning my visit to Salt Lake City to see my girlfriend, the only time she and I had time off was the weekend following Thanksgiving. As I began looking for flights, I found that the prices were unreasonably high because of how many people are returning from Thanksgiving that weekend. There was over a $100 difference between flying on Sunday and flying on Monday. My girlfriend was working all day that Sunday, so we decided it wasn’t worth it to pay extra and not get to visit for that time.

I thought this would be a great idea, as also the typical Thanksgiving airport traffic would be done. Hoping everyone would have returned by Sunday. Much to my surprise, this was not the case. Apparently, people don’t always return home on Sunday for the workday on Monday. That or there were just a lot of people out for business travel at 5AM on a Monday  morning.

Oh, and if you’ve never heard Henry Rollins go on his rant about his experience at the Airport, you need to listen to it sometime here.

Ordinarily I fly Frontier Airlines when I go out to see my GF. But they have recently caused me to stop making them my preferred carrier. More on that at another time. Today as I cleared baggage check in with Delta, I proceeded down towards security. Check in at DIA is one level above the security lines. After leaving check in, you can see above the security area from the level above. I could see that the lines were much longer than I remembered in all the other times I’ve flown. Especially at 5AM in the morning. One of the TSA employees told me that the lines at the other end of the building were shorter, so I went down there. Well, I don’t think she was well informed because they were just as long. I had checked the DIA website before I left home and it said the security wait times were only 5 minutes. I don’t think that ever gets updated. Check it now, I bet it still says 5 minutes. Curious, I decided to call the phone number for DIA security wait times, while I was standing in line and it told me 10 minutes. It too was no accurate. I don’t know how long I was in that stupid line, but I can tell you this. My flight left at 615AM and that was the time I finally made it to the gate, with about 10 other people on my flight as well.

The most frustrating part of the ordeal was that they only had 3 scanning lines open. There were about 3 left unopen and then there was another one that was open, but only for the people who have paid for the flyclear program so they can zoom through security. Of course they had Speedy Gonzalez checking your boarding pass before you could get to the scanning area, and this guy is wanting to make conversation with everyone. For once, someone was actually taking his job seriously and actually reading boarding passes and comparing them closely with your ID. I guess I should be grateful for that, but today, I was in a hurry.

The wait for security was wrapped zig zagging around all the little turn styles that they had setup in the area. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t think to open up more lines or call in for more workers or something. I mean, wait time was ridiculously long. Somehow, a guy wearing what looked like a pilot’s uniform jumped in front of me as I had my stuff in the tubs to be scanned. How does this work? I mean, yeah, you are a pilot and its important that you get to your airplane, but why are you given preferential treatment to getting through security? Its not like the plane is going to leave without YOU. However, it will leave without ME! Tell me how that makes sense?

Well, as I said earlier, I get to my gate AT the departure time. Delta had already closed the door to leave the gate, but the door to the plane was still open. Lots of folks here trying to get through, but they won’t let them on, and all of us were victims of the folks at security. Thankfully, Delta was willing to let us reschedule without having to pay more. I was the 3rd guy in line to get there to reschedule. The next confirmed flight was around 2PM, but they put us on standby for the next flight leaving at 730. I was hoping that others for the next flight would be caught in the same issue I had with security. Thankfully, there were 3 people who didn’t make it for the flight and got out. My time in Salt Lake was going to be short to begin with, and the longer I had to wait to catch a flight was going to make it that much shorter.

The flight out was crammed pack with people. I arrived a couple hours later than planned, but it was still an acceptable time period.

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Categories: Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 09 Jan 2010 @ 07 10 AM

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