This morning I spent some time uploading lots of new photos from various events over the last few months. These aren’t in much of an order, I tried chronologically but some wrap around the others. Click on the name to be taken to the album for that event.
Recently in Family Category
I am starting with Monday since Sunday was traveling. Our flight was delayed in Miami so we didn't land until almost midnight. Then they lost one of Kelly's bags. We put in a tracking request then went to get our rental. Luckily we got out the bus and in line first. Then we had the adventure of finding the hotel in Old San Juan. We finally got in room after 1 AM.
We slept until 10:30 and got up and had some breakfast. Now we are getting ready to go out and see the town. More later maybe?
On the Sunday January 4th episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition the work my parents did was shown. Below you can see a picture of the bed that they worked on. After the pictures are links to videos from the show, they aren’t very long only 10 seconds or so.
On Sunday December 31st we got up before 6 AM and got to the airport about 7 AM. Our first flight of the day was NWA158 to Minneapolis / St. Paul and was supposed to leave 9:00 AM. It actually left at 9:24 AM and even with leaving late it arrived at 2:05 PM which almost 15 minutes early. This flight was actually the only "normal" and good flight of the trip, which isn't really saying much I am afraid.
Our second flight was Minneapolis St. Paul to Detroit. The second flight of the day was NWA758. When we landed it was already flurrying, this concerned us. We looked at the departure board and everything looked ok initially the flight was still on schedule to leave at 5:00 PM. We went to go get something to eat while we waited for the next flight. In the meantime the snow started to get harder and harder. Also the incoming flight that was to be our plane was delayed almost an hour. We had originally allowed ourselves almost 2 hours in Detroit to make the connection. Each delay made it a closer call. We finally boarded the plan about 5:30 PM. At this point because of the snow we sat on the tarmac for close to two hours. We had to be de-iced and then had to wait for the planes in front of us in line. We took off at 7:08 PM, and finally landed and got of the plane at about 9:45 PM.
The problem with getting of the plane at 9:45 PM was that our final flight of the day NWA973 actually left on time without us. This of course meant we were stranded in Detroit thanks to Northwest. After getting of the plane we got in line with all the other stranded passengers to see what happens next. We were given a voucher for a reduced hotel rate, not free and no food vouchers. We were also told we could request our bags in baggage claim however the wait was 2-6 hours. That was not good since our final flight was only 10 hours away at 8 AM the next morning. After collecting ourselves I called and made a reservation at the Airport Days Inn in Romulus, MI.
We headed over to baggage claim and ground transportation. We called the hotel to get the bus to come. They said it had already been there and would be back in 20 minutes. We got on along with many other stranded passengers, by the time we left the airport the bus was full. Luckily we were in the front seat and were able to be first in line in getting our room. We went to the room and dropped of our stuff. Amazingly the motel had a bar that was still open and serving food. We got something to eat and went back to the room. The room was a little cold due to a malfunctioning heater. They moved us to a room with a working heater. We watched the ball drop in our luxury room and went to bed.
We got up about 6 AM the next day. We couldn't clean up much due to not having clothes or much in the way of toiletries. We headed over to the airport to get to our gate. Since we had no bags and had checked in the night before we just walked to the gate. Our new flight to Pittsburgh, PA was NWA965 and was scheduled to leave at 8:10 AM. It left a few minutes late but landed on time. My parents picked us up at the airport and drove us to their house. We had some lunch, packed the car and left a little after noon. We finally made it back to my house about 5 PM.
It was a long 10.5 days. Lots of fun and a little bit of stress. Maybe the next time squeezing all this in might be reconsidered.
We were in Seattle from December 26th to 31st. However the 26th and the 31st were mostly travel days, so we really only did something there the 27th-30th. This may be updated some as Kelly helps clear my already foggy memory.
Wednesday the 27th - Kelly got up about 5 AM to go and find coffee. Her mom didn't have the right coffee pot for her so Kelly had to go to Starbucks. Kelly's parents went into to work in the morning. Kelly went in with her mom to get a checkup at her stepfather's dental practice. After Kelly returned her grandmother, she and I went out to lunch at a local restaurant. A woman that Kelly's grandmother used to work with was working and sat with us to eat. After lunch we went to get Kelly a coffee pot (she has like 6 scattered around the country now). We also went and drove around the small town near Kelly's parent’s house. We then went back to Kelly's stepfather's dental practice for Kelly to get a cleaning. I got to see the practice which was very nice and well laid out.
The three of us then went and saw the places where Kelly or her grandmother had lived in and around Tacoma. We also drove through part of the zoo. After the zoo we headed downtown to The Old Spaghetti Factory a restaurant Kelly wanted to go to. We got there a bit early so we walked down to the Museum of Glass. The restaurant opened at 5 PM and we arrived a few minutes early to put our name on the list since the place was quite crowded. Our names were called before Kelly's parents arrived. Once they arrived we were seated quite quickly.
Thursday the 28th - Kelly got up and took her grandmother to the airport to head home. While she was gone I attempted to get the wireless router and laptop working wireless in the house. I got it mostly working, but had to do a bit more tweaking later. In the afternoon we watched a PBS documentary called Fire and Ice on DVD.
Friday the 29th - After breakfast and hanging around a bit Kelly wanted to go somewhere. We decided on Townsend. On the way there Kelly saw a sign for the Naval Undersea Museum and she thought I would like it. We spent a few hours looking around the museum. Afterwards we went to the nearby town of Poulsbo. We got some breads and other snacks at a bakery. I also found a final present for my mom. When we got home Kelly wanted to go to the Zoo Lights at Point Defiance Zoo. Since dinner was going to be quite late we decided to go before dinner. It was quite a large Christmas light display. When we got home we had the traditional Christmas ham for dinner. After dinner we started watching the movie Cuckoo. Kelly and I didn't make it through the film before we were falling asleep.
Saturday the 30th - After eating breakfast Kelly and I watched the rest of the movie we missed the night before. After the movie Kelly wanted to make a pie to take to her brother's that night. Due to an inability to find some items and her mom not wanting to help it was a little difficult to do. Once the pie was done we talked about how we were all going to go to Kelly's brother's house for dinner. Kelly and I decided to take the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle. We caught the 11:30 AM ferry and got to Seattle a little before 1 PM. When we got there we had lunch at a Fish & Chips place on the pier. After lunch we walked over to the famous Pike Place Market. We first walked through the lower three levels. I found a comic shop that had some posters I wanted. Once we made it to the main level we went to a bakery. Then we walked around the rest of the market. I got a light switch cover to match my stairwell. We also got some jam for the person watching my cat. While we were walking around we ran into Kelly's sister in law's mom. She was in town for a party in relation to the marriage last summer. We then took a bus over to Kelly's brother's house. We had dinner with Kelly's parents and her sister in law's parents. After dinner we went back home and packed for our next day of flights.
On December 26th Kelly, my parents and I got up at 4:00 AM to head to airport. We left the house about 4:30 and got to the airport about 5:30. The airport was a quite a bit more crowded than I expected. We checked our bags in fairly quickly and got our boarding passes. We beat the biggest rush to the security checkpoint according to reports from my parents. We were on NWA966. It was supposed to leave at 6:41 and did take off at 6:48. It was a very quick flight and actually arrived a bit early. Our first NW issue occurred at this point, they couldn't get anyone to move the jet way for about 20 minutes. We just sat parked at the gate waiting to get off the plane.
Our connecting flight to Seattle was NWA211. The flight was originally supposed to leave at 9:31 AM. While sitting at the gate at about 9:30 an announcement of a delay was made. After much complaining NW said the delay was mechanical due to spoiler. Even after more complaining they indicated the delay would be about an hour. It was at this point I left Kelly at the gate to investigate a later flight, which in reality might be earlier. I had no luck with that flight. When I got back the gate area was empty other than Kelly. She said they moved gates. Apparently the plane was worse and they decided to change planes.
We boarded the new plane a little after 10:30. Then we proceeded to wait close to an hour for NW to get people to move our bags. After finally pulling away from the gate we then waited for a while to get a flight plan from air traffic control. We finally took off at 12:04 PM, only two and a half hours late. As a result we landed late as well.
Kelly's parents met us at baggage claim. We left the airport at got home at close to 3 PM about 3 hours later than planned. When we got home Kelly's parents put the second Christmas turkey in the oven for later.
When we arrived at Kelly's parents her grandmother, her brother and sister-in-law were there or arrived shortly. About 5 PM Kelly's aunt, cousin and her cousin's 2 year old daughter arrived. After everyone got settled we exchanged and opened presents. A little after 6 PM we finished with presents. At that point Kelly's brother and his wife packed up to leave since they had to work the next day.
At about 8 PM the remaining people sat down to eat dinner. Kelly and I were a little tired but enjoyed dinner. We both finally got to bed about 9 PM, which for us was like midnight after getting up at 4 AM.
This will be the first of a few posts of the journey's Kelly and I went on. We left my place on the morning of Saturday the 23rd. The car was full of bags for traveling and presents for giving. We got to my parents in Pittsburgh late in the afternoon. After unpacking the car and settling in my parents took us out to dinner. We went to a an Italian restaurant close by. The chef even came out and asked my dad if he liked his meal, which was the special of the day lamb chops. We figured my dad was the only one to order it.
On Christmas Eve we did some things around the house. Kelly made three pies for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas day. My dad and I went out to get some last minute groceries. While out we went to the railroad tracks and found a piece of goal for a gag as part of the stocking I was making. When I got home I did some work on my parent's computer, my mom wanted to get some screenshots of something on her TiVo. It was a little harder than I thought it would be originally. I ended up using a few tools to get it done.
Late in the afternoon my brother decided to go get a TV from Best Buy. They had a 32" LCD on sale for $599 which was $300 off. He and I measured before we left and then called my dad again. The problem was the TV was about 1-2" too wide. My brother decided the deal was too good and got it any way. When we got it home we realized it was truly too big. My brother has an Ikea entertainment center which is only so flexible in its configuration. My brother and I came up with two not so great ideas. One was making a shelf that sticks out to place TV on, the other was to notch the vertical sides to allow the TV to fit. My dad's idea was to move the center support about 4". My brother started cleaning off the entertainment center.
We then had dinner. Kelly made mashed potatoes to go with the turkey, stuffing and veggies that my mom and dad made. It was all really good. After dinner I helped my brother finish modifying the entertainment center. The TV ended up fitting fine afterwards. We played with the cable and found some un-encrypted HDTV channels. After everything was hooked back up my brother turned on the Wii. He played a game of tennis then I tried bowling. Kelly then wanted to try bowling and my brother and I played as well. Kelly crushed us in score.
On Christmas day Kelly and I got up and had breakfast while waiting for my mom and brother to get up. We then started with stockings and cards. After the stockings we started opening the presents. As is tradition we all open one at a time in a sort of round robin. When all was said and done, Kelly managed to have the most individual gifts, which she seemed to enjoy.
After the gifts we started preparing for the rest of the family to come over. While we had some time to spare I attempted to setup and test the TiVo Series 3 I got my parents. More on that later in another post. Around 4 PM the various families started to arrive. We had dinner first, which was left over turkey, ham and various sides. After dinner the real fun began.
Everyone exchange stockings, my mom had even made one for Kelly. Everyone went through their stockings and enjoyed what they found. Then the presents were handed out, my mom again had done an extra few for Kelly. After presents we had dessert, which the primary was Kelly's pies and her home made whip cream. After dessert everyone left about 8 PM. Kelly and I went to bed around 9 PM in preparation of getting up early the next day.
To be continued in part 2.
While up in Pittsburgh my parents had a few computer things they wanted me to look at. They wanted to hook up my brothers printer and scanner to their computer. I got the scanner working without issue. I then got the printer working. There was a small glitch though, the printer didn't work with DOS Wordperfect 5.1. For most this wouldn't be an issue but my dad uses it as his primary word processor. As a result this option would not work. I then went through the process of re-attaching the Citzen GX-140 that is the dot matrix work horse. To satisfy the other requirements we went out and got Canon Pixma MP500. It seems to do everything they need and then some. Hopefully it won't be too complex.
This past weekend I went up to my Grand Mother's 80th birthday. It was in Pittsburgh. The party was a surprise for her and about 40 people attended. She was really happy and had fun. It was neat meeting relatives (on my mom's side) for the first time as well as seeing some I hadn't seen in a very long time. One of the highlights of the evening was a powerpoint my uncle had prepared. It had highlights and pictures from my Grandma's life. Things like her as a kid, getting married and having kids. Then it went on to the Grand Kids such as myself and my cousins. The final slides were about the Queen of England. She and my Grandma were born on same day. My uncle replaced the face and said Queen Madolyn. It was really cool night.
About three weeks ago my parents told me that my brother was planning on going to Korea to teach English. At the time he was supposed to leave very quickly, like a few days later. In the meantime there were a few glitches and delays with his work visa for Korea. Friday morning he got his final visa and he flew out Saturday morning. He sent an email from Korea Sunday to say he had made it. He has a new blog setup where he plans to post during his year in Korea.
I am still waiting to figure out why he fled the country. :)