Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vacation Trip, Day 3: Planes & Puberty

I now have so much more respect for anyone that can navigate their way around San Francisco airport. We left Napa early, around 8am, to allow time for rush hour. Good thing, the Bay Bridge took forever to get across. But that was the easy part of the commute. The hard part was seeing a sign telling us to get off at San Bruno Blvd, and there were 2 identical looking San Bruno exits. 

You know where this is going. Yes, we took the wrong one.

Ten minutes later, we were back on the freeway and eventually found our way to the rental return. Then for some reason, we had to go to the International Terminal to find our gate, where we were to take a shuttle to our gate. Huh? Go to one gate to take a shuttle to another gate? Apparently so. The SFO airport is under construction so this is the way it works. We managed to get to our “real” gate about 90 minutes before flight departure, so all was well.

After an authentic Chinese food meal, where I imbibed in several beers to calm my pre-flying nerves down, we went on this ramp-looking thing to board the plane. Not the usual tunnel, but a ramp outside. Our plane hadn’t been through puberty yet, hence the need for beer to not go insane. For those who don’t know, I don’t have a problem with flying itself—it’s the taking off and landing that I don’t like. And on a baby plane? Yikes.

To top it off, several musicians boarded the plane with us. One carried a guitar and looked like an older, scruffier Bob Dylan. Others looked like those hair band guys in the 1980s. I found my mind wandering to the story of Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly (both musicians who died in a plane crash) and I really hoped these particular guys were not famous. That way, nothing would happen to our baby plane.

I was happy to learn that no, they were popular in California but they were not famous, and we landed just fine.

Then came Los Angeles traffic in a taxi to arrive at the conference hotel. I was able to unpack everything, not just the first layer of my suitcase. Felt great. Then we discovered the hotel only has Pepsi products and not Coke, so we walked across the street to the Hilton to buy some coke products. Yay for those hotels who have Diet Coke!

Tomorrow, the conference starts. CJ and I have gone through our bags of free books, schedules, etc. and this looks to be a great year of speakers.
More to follow…

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