We are planning on a trip next month up to Portland to visit granddaughter E and be up there for her eighth birthday. The trip is over a month away, in the window that several places suggest as the best time to make plane reservations so last night we went on line and spent some time and money to set up the trip. This will be my first flight up there – B has been going a few times a year and when I go along we usually drive so that we can take a car full of stuff up. She flies Alaska Air, the flights are convenient, cheaper than other airlines and she can check a bag and do a carry on without paying for it. (After one disaster with a really cheap airline last year that ended up costing more in the end)
I've read that airlines are cutting back flights in order to fill fewer planes and save money. Well, here we are almost two months ahead of the trip and it looks like most of the planes are already pretty booked. We get to sit together in the back row on the flight up but have to sit in different rows for the flight back. Guess I’ll check my bag instead of carrying it on and fighting for bin space. And hopefully get to see Portland when the weather is nice. And birthday number eight!
On Monday we drove down to Ikea in LA again, to pick up what will hopefully be the last of our kitchen cabinets. After putting the planned kitchen together and living with it for a while B has decided that it would be better to just fill up one whole wall with cabinets. We used to have a small kitchen table in the corner, but since we moved a wall back the table can now come out into the room a bit and we can do cabinets all the way to the corner. It’s a five hour drive down to LA pulling a trailer – California limits the speed of trucks and cars pulling trailers, so that added an hour on to what it would normally take. I knew just what to get – several more of the three foot drawer units and a bigger sink cabinet, but of course we still took five hours in there, wandering around through the displays, having lunch, and wandering some more through the marketplace before filling up the trailer with a pile of flat-packs and the trunk with odds and ends. I still am impressed with how well Ikea does their displays, and all of the wandering they force you to do in those huge stores to slow you down and get you to look at more stuff. Very well done guys.
The drive was interesting – we had a very impressive windstorm that extended through Nevada all of the way down to southern California. It was our first time driving on a Monday, usually we do Saturday in order to avoid the weekend drivers coming to Vegas from LA on Friday and returning on Sunday. The roads were almost empty, and the high winds forced almost all of the big trucks to stay parked. I think the winds were gusting up to 65mph during most of the drive, but we kept to the road just fine. One stretch south of Baker was interesting, it’s in an area with lots of sand, and the wind kept throwing it across the road. It looked like a snow storm, with very limited visibility and stringers of sand dancing on the asphalt. Then we hit some rain at the bottom of Cajon pass, and finally sunshine in LA. Coming back the wind was a little less, and so all of the trucks that were parked were moving again, trying to catch up the lost time. Still not many cars, I would much rather share the road with truckers that drive for a living than with people in cars just speeding trying to get somewhere.
So now I have a living room filled with boxes of things to put together. And some of that lovely drywall has to come down so that we can have electrical outlets all along the extended counter, plus more spotlights in the ceiling. But we will end up with some huge work areas and lots of shiny counters to put things on. We finally found some countertop material that we like; now we just have to find who in Vegas works with it and get some estimates. Yea! It looks like we are getting closer to finishing. But I’ve been enjoying the big cooktop and the ovens already.