Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Coming home to the snow in Seattle

My trip home wasn't uneventful, but I got home and that made me happy. The office in Glendale is pretty close to the Burbank (aka Bob Hope International) Airport, so I was able to get there quickly. I had some time to spare, but I couldn't remember my T-Mobile wi-fi hotspot account user name, so I responded to emails off-line.

About thirty minutes before the flight's departure time, people started lining up. Normal practice on South West, but I was flying Alaska. It was weird. And then, in another display of strangeness, they announced that they would load the aircraft from the rear to the front. It makes perfect sense. I was sitting towards the back of the plane, so I got to get on quickly - all those people in line had to step aside.

The airline also announced that our "non-stop flight to Seattle would make an intermittent stop in Sacramento to refuel." Evidently, the winds were high and we needed to take off on a short runway. With the plane as full and heavy as it was, we wouldn't have made it with a full tank of gas. It delayed our flight by about an hour. It sucked, but there were some advantages. Fewer crazies on the streets when we got here.

Listening to the news, I expected it to be a real challenge driving home. It was 19 degrees outside and my MINI needed snow brushed off and the windows scraped. The driver side door handle had frozen shut, so I had to crawl in through the passenger seat. I was happy because I found a watch cap in my trunk and the seat heaters were warm!

The interstates were all clear, but wet - obviously salted or some thing done to keep the ice from forming. As I got closer to Bellevue on 405, there was sometimes a build up of ice between the lanes, but people drove appropriately. It was no big deal.

Once I left the interstate, it was a different story entirely. I don't think the roads in Issaquah or Sammamish were salted, plowed or otherwise. There really were cars just stopped in lanes, abandoned. I even saw a car with tire chains abandoned on the side of the road. I had no issues driving, stopping or turning - my MINI is front wheel drive and that makes a world of difference.

The roads were icy but not undriveable. I can see that school buses would have difficulty and school was canceled again (text message received while I was on the airplane letting me know school was canceled today).

It is supposed to snow more tonight and record lows are supposed to be broken. Ah, this is really winter! I like looking out my window and seeing snow covered bushes, lawn furniture and mountains. I like this.

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