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My Trip Begins…

My day actually started way earlier than it needed to, honestly.  I was up and doing things by 7am, even though my flight wasn’t until 11:52pm, I still had several things that need to done first, such as laundry and packing.  I also had to go get gas for the Sante Fe because by 11:30am, Barbara, Sanji and Mahesh would be at the house so we could all go to Emerald Downs to watch the horse races.

The reason we were doing the horse races on the same day that I fly out (and would normally just veg all day) is because it was Costco Day at the races, which means anyone who works for Costco can take the whole family and get in for free.  Along with admission you got a program, soda and bag of chips for free also.  Not too shabby.  The races were fun.

Due to my schedule we were only able to stay for 4 of the 9 live races and as such we all placed our bets on who we wanted to root for.  I chose my horse by going with my gut and I also picked the easiest way to win, “Show”. That way as long as the horse comes in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, I win.  Mahesh jumped out on the very first race and won as his horse (who *I* had to remind him he chose earlier but was going to change his pick just before he placed his wager) came in first and he chose him to “Win”.  He got a whopping $9.50 for his $2 bet.  My horse?  Well, he came in 4th, naturally!  Mahesh won again on the 2nd race as he picked his horse to “Win” also.  My wife, Yvonne, also won as her horse came in 3rd for a “Show”.  My horse?  Not to sound like a broken record, but he came in 4th, naturally! In the 3rd race I chose “Wicked and Wild” because 1 week from right then my wife and I will be in New York City seeing “Wicked” on Broadway.  Again, I chose with my gut feeling and that one just seemed natural.  I also found out that everyone else in our group had picked him to either “Win”, “Place”, or “Show”.  When he came in 2nd, I was over excited!  I knew I hadn’t won a lot, ($10.50), but it was just so cool to win!  The 4th and final race I had chosen the #7 horse, “Ivory Man”, because… well… I’m a white dude.   As they were showing the horses before Post, I just got a gut feeling on the #4 horse “Youcan’ttellmeno”.  Looking at the reader board I could see he was a BIG TIME favorite, which meant that if I did bet on him my payout wouldn’t be that big if I did win, but I figured that since all I spent on wagering was $20, why not take that $10 I won and lay it on the #4 horse to “Win”.  If I lose it, I am still only down my $20.  I decided to do it, even against the wife telling me I shouldn’t, and went to place my bet.  As I stood there in line I got to thinking, “You can only really win, if you bet BIG!”  I had another $100 in my pocket, should I lay it on the #4 to win as well?  When it was my turn at the window, I just put $10 on him figuring I didn’t wanna lose that other $100 the day I leave for my big trip, just in case.  Well, needless to say the #4 horse came in with the “Win” and my original pick of “Ivory Man” came in 2nd, so my “Show” bet was a winner as well.  2 winners on 1 race, gotta love that!  I ended up winning $23.50 on that race, combined with the left over $0.50 from my previous win means I won $24 for the day, so to be UP $4 after 4 races wasn’t too shabby I didn’t feel and since we were done, *I* was the big winner of the group.  My wife was quick to point out that I was also the big winner 6 years ago today, as today is our anniversary.

After the races it was time to get home, finish up the last minute things and get ready to head out to the airport.  Mike was going to be picking me up around 7pm and naturally he got there just after 6pm and I wasn’t ready.  After telling my puppies I would see them in 2 weeks (the longest I have ever been apart from them) we headed out.  After a couple long hugs from my wife, it was time to jump in the Sante Fe and be on our way.

Mike wanted to take some time and just hang out before my flight, so we decided to try and find a place we had heard about called “Jersey’s” in Federal Way.  After consulting Google and not finding it, we gave up and headed for the “Time Out Ale House” in Federal Way instead where we had a few beers, a huge plate of nachos and watched the Mariners lose to the Angels as once again League serves up a loss.  I really don’t understand why that guy is taking up a roster spot at this point.

After wasting more time just outside the airport which included us driving around just to see what all was in the area, after a a quick stop at the Safeway to get me some ear plugs, we found ourselves somewhere we had never been.  No biggie, we were just south of the airport so not to worry.  Then I looked up and in the distance I would see the Space Needle?!?  Um, what?  The Space Needle is a ways NORTH of the airport, Mike where the heck you taking us?  Something similar to this had happened to us almost 20 years ago and has been a good laughing point with us, so naturally, this cracked us up!

Mike dropped me at the airport about 10:30pm and refused to help carry my bag inside because it was so heavy he was sure I had a dead hooker in it!  After checking in, it was time to go strip for security.  Ever since the Shoe Bomber travelers have had to remove their shoes to get them x-rayed, yet I wear a brace on my right leg/foot that goes inside my shoe so it’s a royal pain to do that.  I understand why though, so I make it work.  If I wasn’t just taking a carryon bag with me today, not checking anything, I would have packed my brace in my suitcase and wore my Crocks to make it easier.  But I didn’t, so here we are.  What really sucked is that I had to unpack my laptop, which was buried in my duffle bag.  Ugh!  Between my brace, my laptop and taking everything out of my pockets, removing my phone, having to put my toothpaste out of my bag as well, I felt like I had to repack right there at security.  As all that went through the x-ray, I headed for the metal detector and it buzzed as I went through.  I had forgot my watch and the nice, yes I said nice about someone working airport security cause she was just that, lady reminded me about belt buckles too and I was wearing one for the first time ever at the airport, so I had to remove it as well and send it through.  So there I am.  Wearing jean shorts that are too big for me and wont stay up without that belt, no shoes (and no brace) so I am limping a bit, trying to get through the metal detector again.  As I walked through I held my breath and…. and… NO BUZZ!  WOOHOO!  The lady told me, “Good job, you did it!” lol

After getting dressed and repacking everything I made my way to my gate. I don’t know about you, but for me, my gate is always the last one down any given concourse I have to go.  I get that it’s probably because I fly the “low cost” airlines, like today with Air Tran, but still.  That don’t make it any easier to lug that freakin’ heavy ‘dead hooker’ around!

I got to my gate, A-14, and the flight before ours was just pulling away from the jetway, which means my plane wasn’t even there yet.  I took a seat and almost fell asleep.  I had to remind myself to wait to do that for when I get on the plane.  Once our plane got there, and the previous passengers deplaned, it didn’t take long before I was headed towards my seat.  As I always do when I board a plane, I stop for just a brief moment as I am walking into the plane, place my hand on the side of the plane and say a quick prayer.  I hate flying so much that I even have to take some pills to calm me down.  Not that I would freak out,  I just get very anxious.  If I could fit in the restrooms, I would probably just have a couple drinks and let that relax me, but I ain’t taking the chance.

I was darn near asleep before we started pulling away from the gate, but as the plane lurched, I was awake.  The taxi to the runway was a long one, I swear it had to be 8-10 minutes and during that time I did fall asleep, but just as we turned the corner and the pilot hit the gas, I was awake…barely, but I was.  I remember take off.  I did look out a little over Seattle, but then I was out!  It didn’t last long, but it was ok cause I was awake for beverage service and after getting my water, taking a few sips… GOOD NIGHT!  I slept for a full hour that time and couldn’t believe that shortly after looking at my watch, I was asleep again!  What woke me up that time was a little bit of bumpy air, but I noticed that the fasten seatbelts sign wasn’t lit, so I figured they weren’t expecting much, or so I hoped.  It wasn’t long after that I felt as if we had already started our decent into Milwuakee.  That made no sense cause it was too early for that.  For most flights that started right about 30 minutes before you land and this was too early.  So I nodded off again and was woke up to the pilot announcing to the flight crew to prepare for arrival.  Say what?  I had only been out for maybe 5 minutes that time, yet we were indeed on our approach.  Holy cow, that means we will be early!  At this point I got excited!!