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What I did on my summer vacation — Halls Hill Labyrinth

October 14, 2022 | Bainbridge Island, Washington,Family,Summer,Traveling

Posted by Becky @ 3:27 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — Seattle Waterfront

September 4, 2022 | Family,Seattle,Seattle Waterfront,Summer,Traveling

We spent a day on the Seattle Waterfront, taking a harbor cruise and taking a spin on the Seattle Great Wheel. We also got something to eat and did some shopping. I had to buy at least one thing with Bigfoot on it.

Posted by Becky @ 1:54 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — Chihuly Garden and Glass

September 2, 2022 | Chihuly Garden and Glass,Family,Seattle,Summer,Traveling

We visited Chihuly Garden and Glass, and these photos don’t do any of it justice. If you ever get a chance to see any of this in person, it’s totally worth it. It’s unreal, otherworldly, and beautiful!

Posted by Becky @ 10:25 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — Space Needle

August 29, 2022 | Family,Seattle,Space Needle,Summer,Traveling

Posted by Becky @ 1:02 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — Museum of Pop Culture

August 22, 2022 | Family,Seattle,Summer,Traveling

My main photos at MoPOP. And we bought Jimi Hendrix playing cards. lol
Posted by Becky @ 3:27 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — Scandinavian Specialties

Family,Scandinavian Specialties,Seattle,Summer,Traveling

Verdens beste kake (world’s best cake) is a delightful treat, and this one was delicious with a cup of hot coffee. We stocked up on brunost and leverpostei (which we accidently left in the fridge at our last hotel), Kvikk Lunsj and Gjende cookies (which, of course, we call Gjendem cookies.)
Posted by Becky @ 3:06 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — downtown Seattle hop-on hop-off bus tour

August 14, 2022 | Family,Seattle downtown,Summer,Traveling

Fountain in front of the Seattle Public Library, where we parked and got on the bus tour.
Starbucks union strikers.
There are so many trees downtown.
This is in front of the Museum of Pop Culture. I had to explain to the kids what it is.
The Seattle Great Wheel, which we got to ride the next day.
We would also take one of these cruises the next day.
Posted by Becky @ 3:14 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — Amtrak’s Starlight Coast trip from Los Angeles to Seattle

August 13, 2022 | Amtrak,Family,Summer,Traveling

In our room.
Funky clouds out the window.
One of the stops.
View out the window.
Mountain flowers.

And all the food!

Posted by Becky @ 12:41 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — LA

August 12, 2022 | Family,Los Angeles,Summer,Traveling

The good parts …

View from our hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Posted by Becky @ 6:57 pm | Comments  

What I did on my summer vacation — part 4


Dream vacation, nightmare travel planning

A few days before our trip, I asked, “I just realized we have 2 or 3 ferry rides from Seattle to Victoria. Should I book those in advance? Or will we be OK to show up, buy tickets, and wait for the next ferry?” And she did NOT say, “Yes, I would highly recommend buying tickets in advance.” I already knew those words were in her vocabulary, but she didn’t choose to use them here. Nope. She didn’t answer my question at all. I was slammed with work before I left, so I didn’t have time to check on it myself or to keep after her for an answer. She sent me a link to scan passports and vaccine cards to prepare to get into Canada, and I spent what little time I had taking care of that. In any case, I had almost SIX HOURS to think about this whole thing while waiting for a ferry. We showed up before 4 p.m. at Port Angeles for the 5:15 p.m. ferry, but it was full. So, we waited on standby, not knowing if we’d even get on the 9:30 p.m. ferry. (The last one.) I had a lot of time to think how much it would cost me to get a hotel room in Port Angeles (I called and they had rooms available) and to eat the cost of the hotel and whale-watching boat tour in Victoria. We got on the 9:30 p.m. ferry and had to drive in the dark to find our hotel and check in after midnight. We were up bright and early the next morning to eat our lovely breakfast (it was an adorable B&B and I wish we could have spent more than a few hours there) and get to the pier for our tour. The tour was four hours of wonderful information and education about whales and other animals we got to see. I would absolutely recommend it.

The trip back to Seattle was brutal. We had bought ferry tickets ahead of time this time, but the 3 p.m. ferry was already full, so we got on the 7:30 p.m. ferry. After the two-hour ferry ride, it was dark, and we still had two hours to go. I was so tired, I stopped at a gas station for coffee and a power nap. It was after midnight when we got to the hotel, but they had a shuttle service that would pick us up at the airport (which is something our travel agent should have told us) after dropping off the rental car — which I did that night instead of with all our luggage the next morning. When it was all said and done, I hit the pillow at 2 a.m. and got a couple of hours of sleep. The shuttle (which was free) took us to the airport the next morning. Because they “aren’t allowed in there” to drop us off at Delta ticketing, we got directions for how to navigate from where they dropped us off to the ticketing counter. I had meant to pay for priority when checking in for our flights, but I couldn’t find how to do that on my phone. So we had to stand in line for an uncomfortably long time. Then we had to search for TSA PreCheck. It was a relief to get to our gate in time.

Then came Atlanta. People who help with travel planning do important work. I had physical challenges to deal with on this vacation, and the lack of information and misinformation I got gave me several sleepless nights and extra stress. That culminated in a panic attack in the world’s busiest airport. I really did try to power through everything, hoping whatever mistakes happened wouldn’t ruin my entire dream vacation. But it’s when I look back now that I realize those mistakes by that travel agent weren’t just inconvenient. They did me actual physical and mental harm. Yes, I have some beautiful photos and some great memories, and I’m glad for that. But the “service” I got was harmful. I want to continue traveling, and I still need help with planning, but I’m scared now whether I’ll be able to find anyone trustworthy.

Looking back now, I see that the point I should have walked away, giving up her nonrefundable fee and paying whatever penalties there were, was when she didn’t update her system, which then threatened to cancel everything — and she called, expecting me to do something about it. But it was 1 month from our vacation, and I had no way of knowing how many mistakes she would make and how devastating they would be. Or maybe the time to walk away would have been after her I’ve-done-this-for-10-years snit. Yeah. That’s the one that should have done it. Sigh. Live and learn — and hope to do better for myself next time.

Posted by Becky @ 6:25 pm | Comments  

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