Grand Canyon - Heading Back to Raleigh (5/29/2005)
I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and watched a weird movie on HBO. Around 7:00 I went downstairs to wait for Budget to pick me up. At 7:30 they had still not shown up. I called them and they said they were waiting for me to call. Hmmm, when the reservation was made they said they would pick me up at that time. No mention of me having to call them. So 15 minutes later a driver pulls up and takes me to their office. I thought they were around the corner. Turns out they were at the Flagstaff airport. So I go inside the airport and see one other person waiting at the Budget counter. The airport is empty. There are three people in the office behind the counter. A young gal was on the phone. After I gave her the evil eye, she mouthed that she would be with us in a minute. Well 5 or 10 minutes latter she finally gets off the phone. Another 5 minutes later and I have my car. What a pain. So I make it back to the hotel, collect Andrew and Kristina and head for Phoenix.
We were looking for a donut shop on the way out of town but did not see anything. Down the road a bit we found a Sonic Drive-In so we pulled in for a bite. Then back on the road. As we hit the desert near Phoenix, we stopped on the interstate so Kristina could get some pictures of the cactus along the road. As we approached the airport I expected to see a gas station. Of course I guessed wrong. We ended going 10 minutes down the road before we found a place to fill up.
We returned the car and quickly caught a bus to the airport. We walked in and looked left and right. I did not see any self check-in stations and only saw a long snake line of people with ticket people. So we entered the snake line. I was still looking around and could not see any self check-in places. After about 10 minutes, an America West person came by and said they had self-check in on the other side of the door we walked in. So we jump out of the snake line and go right up to the empty self check-in area. This is poorly marked. I guess I'll know better next time. The end result is we made it to the plane with plenty of time to spare.
I bought a burrito to eat on the flight back to Raleigh. The ride home was pretty bumpy. There were some big storms over the mid-west. Of course two screaming babies were near me! We arrived home on time and our luggage made it. Karen and Wyatt met us at the baggage claim and drove us home. It was another long day and I was glad to be home with my family and sleep in my bed.