T minus 15 days: Here’s the plan

Squeezed June 28, 2010 by Keith
Yep, it's almost that time once again for this reverse snowbird to seek shelter in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I probably go up there as often as most other Islanders go to Vegas. In fact, I was there last year, and though I did have fun, I can take only so much neon at one time. In any case, I'm really looking forward to this trip, and have been since February when I first bought the ticket (thanks to HawaiianMiles for picking up the tab for my return trip…half price tickets, FTW.)

Here's what I have on tap:

July 13 (day 0): I leave Honolulu in the afternoon, arriving at night in Portland.
Most other airlines run red-eyes to the West Coast. Hawaiian's flights leave Honolulu in the afternoon Hawaii time, getting there at night in Portland on Pacific time. Getting in late at night in Portland has never really been a problem for me in the four times or so I've taken Hawaiian. True, it may be 11 p.m. when I get there, but my body still thinks it's 8 p.m. – enough for me to be coherent enough to pick up my baggage and rental car, and settle into my hotel room (or host's home, as the case may be). Then by the time I'm settled in it's time for me to go to sleep, which I can do horizontally.

For some reason, I have trouble enough getting a sound sleep in a seated position – add the jet noise and the general discomfort caused by the seat and it becomes nearly impossible. So Hawaiian's flight schedule works well for me and usually I wake up the next morning with minimal jet lag.

July 14-16 (days 1 to 3): Portland, part 1. I don't really have a set schedule for most of my first segment. I have dinner scheduled on the 16th with a high school friend of mine who moved to Portland, got married, and started a family. I do plan to visit the campus of Lewis & Clark during that time. It always amazes me how much the campus has changed since I graduated 16 years ago. Besides that, I have a few places on my flexible agenda: visiting Voodoo Doughnut (never been, but have heard a lot about their bacon maple bar – want to try it out in person); Bagby Hot Springs, and whatever else comes to mind. Also to visit restaurant chains that have yet to make the jump across the pond – Olive Garden, Red Robin, Sonic, etc.

July 17 (day 4): Portland to Seattle (by way of Mount Rainier): The plan on the 17th is to check out of the hotel relatively early and hit the road heading north. First stop, weather permitting, will be Mount Rainier National Park for some photo ops and then from there into Seattle. After that, finding someplace to eat, then watching the sun go down on the Space Needle.

July 18 (day 5): Seattle: Hoping to get up early to get a chance to take a picture perfect shot of Seattle from Kerry Park, then planning on visiting Pike Place Market and other places, maybe the Ballard Locks, Woodland Park Zoo, or the Museum of Flight.

July 19 (day 6): Seattle to Vancouver: Making a stop at the Future of Flight Center in Everett and taking the Boeing factory tour, then from there to the Canadian border – a quick stop at the Peace Arch, one of the few places where you can straddle the physical U.S./Canada border – and then on to Vancouver.

July 20-21 (days 7 and 8): Vancouver: What? Vancouver isn't hosting the Summer Olympics? LOL. But there are a few things I plan to do while I'm there…Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, jogging in Stanley Park, and Granville Island, with some poutine (Canadian-style cheese fries) on the side.

July 22 (day 9): Vancouver back to Portland: Hoping the lines at the border aren't too long, and that I can stretch my legs again in the Puget Sound area before heading back south.

July 23 to July 25 (days 10 to 12): Portland, part 2. This is probably when I'll be spending most of my major souvenir shopping time…zero sales tax, FTW. I also have an early morning photowalk date on July 24 at Oaks Amusement Park for Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photowalk.

July 26 (day 13): Back to reality. Leaving in the morning and arriving back in Honolulu in the early afternoon.

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A half-hour saves me $90.

Squeezed March 5, 2010 by Keith
What a difference half an hour makes. Here's the story…

I was having some difficulty logging into the Hawaiian Airlines site to view my reservation (I wanted the ticket number so I could put into my tripit.com itinerary). So I called Hawaiian web support – they were kind and courteous. Turned out that the site was undergoing maintenance, but the rep was able to enable my account temporarily so I could see my reservation. It was then that I found out that there were some schedule changes to my original flights…same flight numbers but earlier departure and arrival times.

That meant that since my flight to Portland arrives 30 minutes earlier, I could pick up my rental car that much earlier. (I hit the ground in Portland around 11:00 p.m. PDT so the sooner I can get my rental car and get to the hotel, the better, and the sooner I can get on Pacific time. I hate red-eyes because I have difficulty sleeping on a plane.) So I went onto the Enterprise site, accessed my reservation, and bumped my pickup time up half an hour to 11:00 p.m. I wasn't expecting the originally quoted price to change, but it did. From around $400 for around two weeks to $310.

In a word – SCORE. A penny saved is a penny earned. And saving 9,000 pennies…all the better. :)

Posted via email from Northwest Passage 2010

Define the edges and everything falls into place.

Squeezed February 24, 2010 by Keith
This trip will be a little different from my other Northwest
expeditions. It’s the first time in a while, since 2001 to be exact,
that I’ve gone to the Northwest “just because.” The last four trips
I’ve been on were primarily to attend an event (my friend’s wedding in
2004, and Hood to Coast in 2006, 2007, and 2008), though I scheduled
time before or after the event to explore and unwind. In fact, this
trip may have been just that…centered around an event. For a while I
was seriously considering doing the Eugene Marathon. A friend of mine
had done it a couple of years back and had a good time. But financial
constraints (in particular, the state’s plan to delay state tax
refunds until July) put the kibosh on that plan.

So, I was targeting July or August (to plan around my 20th high school
class reunion). By then my tax refund moneys from both federal and
state would be in, and combined with some money I had put away for the
trip late last year, it would pay for the trip. But then came the hard
part – deciding on the dates, finding a pair of dates about two weeks
apart that would give me maximum time and minimum disruption to my
obligations at home.

It was on February 19 that the pieces of the puzzle started coming
together. I found a good roundtrip fare on Hawaiian for July 13 – 26
and took Bing Travel’s advice to book it. Plus, HawaiianMiles allowed
me to chop that fare in half – woo hoo! After that, everything else
fell into place in a matter of a few days; I have my car reserved and
reservations at hotels in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver (at AAA
rates, of course).

Now comes the hard part – deciding what to do while I’m there.
Fortunately, I have five months to think about it.

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This shirt is so bright, you have to wear shades.

Squeezed December 18, 2009 by Keith

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And we’re off!

Squeezed December 13, 2009 by Keith

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In two hours this street will be packed.

Squeezed December 13, 2009 by Keith

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Testing Posterous

Squeezed December 4, 2009 by Keith

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Can you hear me now? Good.

Posted via web from Northwest Passage 2010

Jesus has AIDS…

Squeezed December 4, 2009 by Keith

Somehow appropriate for World AIDS Day, if somewhat belated, and something to think about. From Russell Moore, Dean of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, via crosswalk.com:

Some of you are angered by the statement I typed above because you think somehow it implicates Jesus. After all, AIDS is a shameful disease, one most often spread through sexual promiscuity or illicit drug use.

Yes.

Yes, but those are the very kinds of people Jesus consistently identified himself with as he walked the hillsides of Galilee and the streets of Jerusalem, announcing the kingdom of God. Can one be more sexually promiscuous than the prostitutes Jesus ate with? Can one be more marginalized from society than a woman dripping with blood, blood that would have made anyone who touched her unclean (Luke 8:40-48)? Jesus touched her, and took her uncleanness on himself.

AIDS is scandalous, sure. But not nearly as scandalous as a cross.

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Yup. Winter’s coming.

Squeezed December 3, 2009 by Keith

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I’ve been lured to the dark side…

Squeezed November 27, 2009 by Keith


Yes, it's mine. It's an iPod touch, though, not an iPhone, though that may follow in a year or two…who knows?

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