So on Tuesday our road trip ended.
For the last time, super-organized Robert loaded the back of the Hummer in his carefully determined pattern guaranteed to make sure everything fit. It called for an official photo, and Jaki posed with him before getting behind the wheel to drive us through the cold and wind and rain to get to SeaTac Airport (the one between Seattle and Tacoma, for those who haven't been out this way.)
When Jaki and Robert organized our travels, we saw lovely coastline, beautiful forests, and enough fauna to stock the San Diego Zoo. It may have been cold and rainy on several of the days, but we saw some dropdead bits of America. It was back to Nature in a place where Nature is especially stunning.
So, left to our devices, LK and I debated the best way to finish off such a lovely trip. We discussed it and chose the next - and final - phase of our trip before returning to families on the East Coast. There was really never any doubt about where we were heading:
OK, it may not be Mother Nature, but it is our nature! Our time with Jaki, however, proved invaluable for our trip here. For Jaki taught us the Joys of Upgrading during our two weeks with her and Robert.
The absolutely best example happened in Victoria. We had booked into a very nice hotel on the harbor, but upon checking in Jaki made sure the folks at the reception desk knew we were going to be celebrating two birthdays on our two nights in that city. Presto! We were moved into what may be one of the loveliest hotel suites I have ever been in. (And those who knew me when I was using an expense account know I sampled more than a few in my day.)
LK took some pictures, just to give you an idea:
All of that, and a balcony sitting over the harbor as well. In fact, there were parts of this very large suite that the four of us never used, but it was nice having them there, I suppose. After all, it's good to be upgraded.
On our own, though, it was back to reality. A quick trip to Expedia, and we had booked $30 rooms in the Luxor, the famous black pyramid-shaped hotel. Checking in, though, the clerk tempted us with an upgrade to their top-of-the-line suite for only $75.
OK, I know Jaki's upgrade was free. But I was still tempted. After all, I reasoned, we have to pay considerably more for a small, dark room in Wodonga when we drive through to get to the Tasmania ferry. And we were in Vegas, after all. I splurged.
We ended up in a massive suite - not quite as large as the place in Victoria but heaps bigger than two people needed for a couple of nights. Oh sure, you might quibble a bit about the very large faux Egyptian decorations. (You definitely would if you were into interior decoration at all.)
I'd like to report that we made money in Vegas, but sadly some things never change. However, the room did help us keep some bucks in the wallet. It was so comfy we spent lots of time there. (And it didn't hurt that the NBA finals were on for two of the nights.) So we had a comfortable, upgraded time in Vegas.
Back to the East for families. And that trip is worth another blog. Next post.