Well, I have embarked on my trip eastward…I’m visiting my parents in West Virginia for 8 days (2 of which have already passed) and they are taking me to Washington D.C. for my birthday!
I can’t tell you how I’ve been anticipating this trip, but my friends probably could – I’ve been the annoying friend who talks incessantly about one thing over and over when asked about my life. 🙂 The home of our nation, it just seems too good to be true. I knew these places existed, of course, from television and the movies (can anyone say West Wing?!), but it’s somehow different when you see it up close and personal. Like your eyes are playing tricks on you or something.
But, before I get to the exciting adventures we are and are planning on having, let me tell you a bit about my trip out here. There’s a few constants in my travel and here they are:
1. I consider myself a seasoned traveler and I think most people would agree. I know the system. I have my quart-size ziploc bag inside my purse at all times and have it removed with all of my liquids before I even get to security. I just get it. Even when things go wrong like a bag missing, a delayed flight, or turbulence, I’m okay. I can deal. But it never fails that when the plan goes through turbulence I raise my little window shade as if I could actually DO something about it. Sure, Amy, lift the shade and inspect the airplane wing. I’m sure YOU are going to be able to tell if something is wrong…And while we’re at it, let me just say that I will never understand how something that weighs TONS can actually become airborne. It just boggles my mind.
2. Whenever I arrive at the Pittsburgh airport and my Dad and I are scouting the conveyor belt for my bags it never fails…he tries to talk me out of waiting for my bags. “Are you sure that’s not it? It looks like it!” No, Dad. I’m sure. That’s not it. But to be fair, he does all the heavy lifting. He’s probably hoping that he WILL get a different bag – hopefully a lighter one. Sorry, Dad. No luck. But on the plus side, I’m ready for any contingency!
And now, here’s a few tips that I’d love to share with my lovely blog-reading friends…
1. Security: they’ve started to make you pull out ALL electronic devices, not just laptop computers. So, if you’re traveling with an MP3 player or a portable DVD player, pull it out to avoid the condescending looks and the demeaning comments…trust me.
2. The Houston airport seriously has the best bathrooms. Try to get flights that will connect through Houston if you are going that direction. Not only are the clean and well designed, but they actually have a designated cubby in each stall to put your carry-on bag and purse. Wrangling my bag, the door and my purse was a blessed distant memory…traveling alone sometimes sucks.
3. Prices have been raised. I walked into the airport with my standard 20 spot to cover magazines, gum, etc. and left the first airport with about 57 cents. Ew.
4. From past experiences, I have learned that United Airlines suck. I really loathe them to the point that I refused to travel with them, even though they were the only airline with a direct flight and were a bit cheaper than any other airline. It just wasn’t worth the hassle. Their customer service is horrible and they are constantly badgering and bullying people into giving up their seats. Hey, ma’am? I paid 800 million dollars for my ticket in DOLLARS, so why don’t you back off?!
5. In contrast, I flew Continental this time which was SO the opposite! Everyone I met was nice and helpful and bent over backwards to make the trip comfortable. Despite the connecting flight, everything ran smoothly and without incident. Oh, and they never tried to fast talk me out of my seat. Always a plus…
So that’s it for now. I got in on Thursday afternoon, ate dinner with my family and hung out with my sister, Brittany and then we left for D.C. on Friday late afternoon. After stopping at the Outlets on the way, we are now ready to put on our sightseeing hats and see the sites! I’ll be sure updates and pictures for those of you that care. 🙂