Escape from San Francisco

When we travelled from Seattle to San Francisco, we took the Metro bus to SeaTac airport. I had some leftover bus ticket coupons (for $1.10, before the latest fare increase), so we only needed an additional $.30 to get us both to the airport. The airline tickets we were using were "free" tickets we got from a previous flight.

We ended our trip to San Francisco by spending some time at Fisherman's Wharf.

We were planning to take the Streetcar back to our Hotel, pick up our bags, and catch the Airporter Shuttle to the Airport for our flight out. (streetcar by 5:00 pm, shuttle at 6:00, at airport by 6:30, flight at 7:30) Fisherman's Wharf is on one end of the cable car line, and our hotel was on the other.

There were so many people that we had to wait for three streetcars. Then, the car we were on required maintenance, so we had to wait while they "replaced the grip" halfway to the hotel. By the time we got to the hotel, (at 6:20) not only had we missed our shuttle (6:00) but we also missed the next one (6:15). Then we learned that the next shuttle, which was not supposed to leave until 6:30, had already left! (Ten minutes early!)

We could not afford the time to wait for the next shuttle, which would not leave until 6:45, so we had to pay almost double what we were planning for a "Lincoln Town Car" (not quite a Limo) to take us to the airport. We got to the airport at 6:50, then learned that our 7:30 flight had been cancelled and rescheduled to 8:30. (Cancelled due to weather - there was a thick fog rolling in.) So, we had rushed to the airport when we did not need to.

Ah, but that was not the worst of it. Our airline tickets, which had been in the side pocket of one of our bags, were no longer there. After unpacking and repacking our bags in the airport lobby and not finding them, we were forced to buy two brand new tickets (one-way to Seattle.) They would not accept our confirmed reservation as "proof" that we had tickets. (We never did find the original tickets - we believe they fell out or were stolen from our bag.)

Having our new tickets, we stepped away from the Gate to grab a bite to eat. When we returned, we discovered that our flight had been rescheduled and moved to a different Gate - "Oh, we did announce it. Didn't you hear?" We were just a short ways down the terminal at a Snack Bar, and we did not hear. Then, this flight was postponed a half hour (from 9:00 to 9:30) because the incoming plane was late (again, due to weather).

Finally, we are on our way to Seattle (flight leaves at 9:30, due in Seattle at 11:00) We were planning to take the bus from the airport to Redmond, but as I was looking over the bus schedules on the plane, I realized that although we could get to downtown Seattle (our transfer point) we would miss the last bus from Seattle to Redmond by just a few minutes. (The next bus from SeaTac left at 11:22, arriving in Seattle 11:52 - and the last bus from downtown Seattle to Redmond left around 11:45) - This would leave us stranded in downtown Seattle, with luggage, at midnight - not a good prospect.

So now, we were faced with having to spend another unexpected "chunk of change" for a Taxi or Airport Shuttle, to get from SeaTac to our apartment, or find some way to get home from downtown.

Luckily, (to make a long story short) another passenger on our flight overheard us talking about our dilemma, and offered to give us a ride to Redmond. They were very nice people. They were coming back to Seattle, where they lived, and were going to pick up their car from a "long-term" parking lot. Even though it was out of their way, they offered to drop us off in Redmond. Pretty Cool!