Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Battle in Seattle

The CdA Casino Hosts promised surprises and adventure when our little group gathered at six AM on Saturday morning. About 30 of us were going to fly over to Seattle, have lunch, watch the Zags vs. UCon, have dinner, and then fly back to Spokane..... It was a great plan, but the best laid plans never hold up to a snowstorm..... especially in Seattle. Surprise!!!
By dinner time a considerable amount of snow had fallen, the hilly streets in downtown Seattle were being closed since they were becoming impassable, cabs stopped running, buses chained-up their tires. It didn't matter to a group of Spokane/N Idaho vets of REAL snow!! We were in a wonderful Sports Bar near Key Arena which easily accommodated our group of thirty for post game food and fun. Gonzaga's OT loss didn't dampen the mood for very long. After dinner, we took a slow icy bus ride back to the airport, checked in and cleared security, only to have the flight, and all in and outbound traffic, grounded. Surprise!! We spent a few hours taste-testing the tap offerings of the various taverns located in Sea-Tac and used the time to really get to know each other. Our hosts scrambled to find a place for us to stay, and then get us there. With days of cancelled flights out of Seattle, this was no easy task, all the hotels were full of stranded travellers. We were able to find all the taprooms of Sea-Tac, and got some serious exercise in doing so. Adventure!! Eventually, we were able to find another charter bus back into downtown where rooms at the Westin were waiting for us. As we checked in, the desk clerk provided toothbrushes and toothpaste with the room key. Surprise!! The view of the Space Needle, the Waterfront, and Downtown Seattle blanketed in snow from the 34th floor was spectacular. With the airport and the passes closed, the next day provided opportunity to slip and slide on the sidewalks to shop or continue to sample local brews at yet another Sports Bar. Adventure!! At long last, a charter bus was found that would haul our group back to Spokane. At first it looked like Highway 2 was the only passable route, but Snoqualame Pass opened up briefly and our bus plowed through. With stops to chain up and remove, and a couple of snack pit stops, we made it back to Spokane eight hours later. What an Adventure!! What a fun trip, made quite memorable by the extreme detours we were forced to take because of the weather. Each member of our group has stories to tell, we laughed so much, we made friends for life, we can't wait to get together again for more Surprise and Adventure.
Many thanks go out to our hosts from the CdA Casino, who made this trip so memorable. The behind-the-scenes work to minimize any inconvenience, and to get us all home in one piece was remarkable. The memories will bring a smile for a long time to come.

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