Arriving in Seattle

September 24, 2006 at 4:56 am | Posted in Personal, Seattle | Comments Off on Arriving in Seattle

The trip to Seattle was quite an experience. Actually, I would classify it as more of an ordeal, but I tried to adapt and just look on the bright side of things.

My wife and I arrived at the Montreal airport approximately 2 hrs before my flight was scheduled to leave. After getting our boarding passes, apparently we had to go through US immigrations. No one had told me this and I was a bit perplexed, was I thought when I reach my destination, that I would go through US immigration. It was very strange to see US Border & Customs at the Canadian border. To make a long story short, due to interviewing, processing, and registering me they caused me to miss my flight. This is the first time my wife or I have ever missed a flight.

Now, this was approximately 7am Seattle time, but I called Microsoft Relocation which has somebody on call for any sort of emergency. They rebooked me for a later flight to Washington DC (and a connection from there to Seattle). This time around though, the immigration people were nicer and made things go much quicker.

The plane to Washington DC was quite small. First time I have been on an Embraer jet. It wasn’t very fun, especially during takeoff as the turbulance effects smaller planes much more. When we arrived, we made a quick dash to our connecting flight as it had already boarded and we were soon on our way to Seattle.

Upon arrival at Seattle, our baggage did not arrive. This was quite frustrating as we were now dead tired and had just waited around an hour at the baggage claim area just waiting.  The United people were nice though and apologized. My baggage was apparently in Chicago (it seems like it missed the connecting flight at Washington) and United said they will deliver it to my home.

I went to Avis to pick up my rental car. Everything was fine, but then I remembered to go back to check I had GPS in the car. Apparently she said it was not on her system, even though my reservation that I had printed out from their website said it was included. The Avis lady included the GPS, and I went to pick it up from another counter. Again, I had to wait quite a while as their GPS units are pin-locked and the one they assigned to me refused to accept the PIN. They gave me another unit, and finally we got to the car (Ford Grand Taurus).

I was very nervous driving as it was now late at night. I pretty much had no idea where I was or where to go. I had my wife act as navigator and we programmed the GPS. After driving for a while, I noticed it wasn’t updating my location. Turns out it disabled GPS indoors (parking lot) and didnt turn it back on once we were outside. The GPS was not useful at allat first. I plugged in my destination. It seemed the roads were in Yellow, but then there was a Red line, which I thought was my route, but then I saw other intersecting red lines, so it confused me as to which path(s) to take. I asked my wife to rely on my map but the thing is we were on a highway, we had no idea which one, and it was very confusing for her. She did a good job though as she managed to point us in the general direction we needed to go and began to pick up which exits I need to take. While driving we got a glimpse of Seattle at night which is just beautiful. It is truly stunning and I wish I could have taken a picture.

We began to get lost as we approached Redmond (especially as it began to fog pretty heavily), and so I followed some signs directing me to Redmond Town Center. I parked there, and decided to try to figure out this damn GPS, or figure out a route on one of the maps I had. After playing with the GPS for a few minutes, I enabled Audio Alerts and re-entered the destination and now I got a white line directing me exactly where I needed to go! Hmm, where was this white path before??? Also, the GPS would now direct me verbally on where I need to go (i.e. Turn Left after 0.1 mile) which was now really great.

I got to the place to pick up my apartment key, and then I put in the address of my actual apartment at Shorewood Heights. We arrived pretty easily now and no more getting lost. Unfortunately, it took us a while to try to find where our apartment is, until we found a map of the units, and figured out their numbering scheme.

The place is pretty nice. Of course, though, I can’t wait to move in to a permenant place, as the apartments here do not have a cozy/homey feel to them. Looking forward to exploring more of Seattle before I start work on October 2nd.


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