January 25, 2015: Off to San Francisco

I got up this morning and set about trying to get at least one Kidding Around Europe Podcast completed before we had to get in the car to go to the airport.  We did so much work yesterday getting these podcasts recorded it would be a shame not to get at least one of them ready and edited so that people can hear it.  I am not giving myself any ability to edit them while I am on the road, I am going to be far too busy dealing with travel, living out of a hotel and starting a new job to even think about editing a podcast while I am out in California so if we miss this morning there will be at least two additional weeks until a new episode is released and that is just too ridiculously long.

So I worked like crazy this morning and managed to get the very long Luzern podcast completed and posted while getting everything packed and ready that needed to be before we had to leave at a quarter till eleven.  So that made for a busy morning but I am very glad that I did it.  I also took care of paying some bills and some other miscellaneous stuff that you never think of until you are sitting around getting ready to head out of the house for two whole weeks without any access to the stuff that you normally have access to every day.

We have two additional podcasts now that have been recorded but not edited.  Those I hope to get ready and posted promptly upon returning to New York in thirteen days.  I get back the Saturday after next, two weeks from yesterday at noon after flying the red eye back from California.  I am so thankful that my new job was so willing to fly my in last minute today and back so promptly in two weeks and to do so from our local White Plains airport.  Those flight details alone have made everything so much easier.

Things went pretty well this morning and we were all packed into the car on time.  Dominica and I were discussing on the drive to Westchester County Airport in White Plains just how amazingly blessed we have been with the weather and conditions from all of our traveling this year.  We have been driving and flying all over for months now and we have had just no weather concerns at all which is nearly impossible to believe considering when and where we have been going and just how much of it we have been doing.

It would turn out that tonight we would discover that a major blizzard, predicted to be possibly the worst on record and codenamed Juno, was expected to bury the Westchester area in as much as thirty inches of snow tomorrow!  I flew out just in time to miss it.  Even just hours later the clear day would have been a very snowy one and many flights were starting to be cancelled.  This could have been very bad.  Instead I had no weather concerns with my flight and Dominica had no issues driving.  She had a nice, clear, crisp day to drive to and from the airport.

We got to the airport right on time.  I gave hugs and kisses to my girls, Luciana did not like the cold and told me that I had to close the door.  Lies, however, held my arm and did not want to let me go.

Once in the airport I grabbed a quick sandwich at the Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and got through the security line with loads and loads of time to spare.  I found a place where I could plug in my iPhone and get it charged up to one hundred percent, just to be safe, and spent an hour playing Trivia Crack on the phone while it charged.

I am traveling today with my new hard shell luggage that Dominica bought for me as a surprise last night and my CPAP bag.  Very light for two weeks!

The flight was fine on this first leg.  A quick fifty nine minute hop to Philadelphia.  I shared a two seat row with a semi-retired teacher from California who grew up in Connecticut.  We talked the whole way and did not notice the trip at all.  Of course, being less than an hour, there was little to notice.

I had an hour and a half layover in Philadelphia so once I found my gate I found some substantial food to eat.  I found  place called Burrito Elito and they had a No Meato Burrito so I got that.  It was huge and tasty and insanely messy.  It just disintegrated as I ate it.  I had to practically hold half a burrito’s worth of burrito guts in my left hand as I attempted to scoop up the filling with the right hand.  Probably not the best choice of food for an airport but it tasted good and was a decently healthy choice, all things considered.

The flight from Philly to San Francisco was the long one.  It felt like forever.  The flight, on US Air (now a part of the new American) did only a single drink service and no food service, not even a cracker or cookie snack, for the entire flight which was about seven hours, I think.  We had really good winds, which also made for a lot of turbulence, but made great time.  We took off at five after four eastern and landed around seven thirty Pacific.  So seven hours but we got in half an hour early.  On this flight I sat in the middle of a full three person row and neither person beside me said one word the entire trip.  Thankfully it was a new Airbus A321 and not a Boeing 737 which it replaced as the seats were larger and I actually fit there.  It was not actually uncomfortable.

During the flight I listened to J. Maarten Troost’s “Headhunters on My Doorstep” and only had about twenty minutes left of the book when the plane landed in California to fifty five degree weather.  Quite a difference from the heavy snow starting to come down back in New York.

My flight had had the free T-Mobile texting, again, so I was able to talk to a number of people while I flew.

I grabbed a taxi and rushed off to my hotel, the Carriage Inn on Seventh Street right in San Francisco proper.  The taxi ride was about forty five dollars but did not take too long.  We were late enough and it was a Sunday so traffic wasn’t horrible.

My only goal for tonight is to get into the hotel, settle in and relax.  And that is exactly what I did.  I got checked in and got assigned the Hunter S. Thompson room, which was perfect as that was a writer that Troost was discussing in the book that I was reading on the way here! (Thompson is famous for inventing gonzo journalism and he wrote “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.)  I have no computer tonight.  To save on space and weight we decided that bringing my laptop was going to be foolish and that it was smarter to just wait until I got my laptop from work tomorrow and just make do tonight.  Having two would be silly.  It is, in theory, just one night without a way to write anything.  So no updates from me tonight.  (I actually wrote the update on Monday night once I had a laptop.)

I found a burger joint called Custom Burger (actually a chain, Ryan says one is going in on Market Street near 1180 in Newark, New Jersey where we used to live) right across the street so I walked over and investigated.  The front desk at my hotel had informed me that they had veggie burger options there and I had been feeling like a veggie burger tonight so this was perfect.  Cheap, close and easy.

I got the burger (and some fries and onion rings) to go and brought them back to my hotel room.  It was a long day of traveling and I did not really feel like hanging out alone in a semi-fast food place.  I tried turning on the television but realized that I have no idea what is on or how to find something to watch on a traditional television so I turned that back off again.  I have actually lost the ability to use a television in any meaningful way!

I watched some short travel shows on YouTube while I ate.  The food was quite good.  I posted a little on Facebook although being online is a little frustrating as I do not have a computer which which to do my posting so I am working just from my iPhone.  I caught up on Trivia Crack and climbed into bed.  It was probably no later than nine thirty when I got to bed.  Very early indeed but my internal clock is still on eastern time.  I will be awake far too early tomorrow.