February 6, 2015: Going Home

After going to bed so early last night, I was up shortly after four this morning.  Probably not the best for having a good flight tonight as I am going to be past exhausted and long ready for bed even before I board my very first plane.  It is going to be a long, long day.  I do not get to New York until noon tomorrow with no chance to sleep between now and then unless some miracle happens and I am able to rest a little on the plane, but I do not expect that at all.

I tried staying in bed as long as I could but by five it was clear that I was not going to fall back asleep.  So I got up, did a little work and packed up the hotel room.  I headed out around eight thirty.

I checked out of the hotel and started my walk.  For the first time this week it was really raining.  Really, really raining.  There is a major storm hitting San Francisco today.  Not only did I have a nearly two mile walk in the rain, but a two mile walk while pulling my suitcase behind me and carrying both the laptop and the CPAP bags.  It was a very long feeling walk.

When I got to the office I was completely soaked.  Everyone was pretty shocked when I got to the office.  I’m told that in California, people just do not walk in the rain.  Apparently I am a tough New Yorker.

I spent a lot of the day in meetings.  Lots of “getting ready for me to go” kind of stuff.  This is my last day in the office until, most likely, late June.  So a lot of little things to wrap up.

This evening, as my last thing in the office, I gave the weekly demo presentation for our team!  So I got to get up in front of the entire company and give a quick technology talk.

After work I hung out for nearly an hour before actually leaving the office.  Then I walked almost exactly a mile from the office to the Mission and Sixteenth BART station.  It was raining pretty hard again and the wind was really whipping through.  It was so windy that at one point I actually got hit by a rock!

I got to the BART station and took the train, which was completely backed, to San Bruno where Sarah picked me up and delivered me up to her and Jeff’s house.

Jeff has been in pain for days with a killer headache that he cannot shake at all.  He has been in incredible pain.  I hung out there till around nine.  We got dinner in from Shari’s which Sarah ran down the street to pick up.  I got their pie shake this time, it is their signature thing.  And it was delicious, but I think that I would rather just have a normal pie normally.

Sarah dropped me at the airport and I went pretty quickly through security and was to my gate nice and early.  I just listened to my Audible book for a while until getting onto the plane.  My flight was delayed by thirty minutes since early in the day because of the weather. So instead of leaving at 10:55 PM we were scheduled to leave at 11:25 giving me extra time to just sit.  I did hit a bar and have one Blue Moon while waiting and had a nice conversation with a California college student named Matt who was at the packed bar next to me.

Once on the plane I started watching a movie while we were waiting.  I was really, really fortunate that on a completely full, not one seat left over, plane that I somehow was the only person in my entire three seat row!  The flight attendant even stopped and looked at me and I was like “I know, right?  It’s like winning the seating lotto!”  So I had lots of space to myself.

They came on the PA system pretty quickly and told us that the plane was not able to take off at wind speeds of greater than thirty miles per hour and we were currently sitting at forty two which meant that we were stuck.  We could, in theory, use different runways with different wind patterns except that they are all shorter and we were ten thousand pounds over weight to safely use those runways.

So we had to sit tight for a while and wait for the wind to die down, which it didn’t.  We sat for a long time.  We got regular announcements as to the status, but it was never good.  At one point the airport management came onto the plane after the pilots had left and explained the situation and explained that they were carefully watching connection times and would be in contact with Atlanta airport to work out options for people and were already removing people from the flight that had no means of making it to their connecting flights.  Luckily for me, for once, I have a really long layover in Atlanta so I can absorb at least four hours of delays in San Francisco and still make my connections there.  So I was not really worried yet.

We had pretty much accepted that we were going nowhere tonight and figured that we would all be heading to a hotel soon when suddenly the pilots dashed onto the plan, sealed the doors and we were off.  There was a lull in the wind and we were going to make it out during that window come hell or high water.  And we did.  We only had a few planes ahead of us on the runway and we took off as quickly as possible, only about two or three hours later than originally planned.  I was quite impressed that they pulled it off.

The take off was tough, I was nearly thrown from the aisle to the window from the swerving of the plane with the cross winds tossing it around.  Even once we were in the air the turbulence was something awful.  But we were underway and going to be in Atlanta in time for me to make it back home on my planned flights.  So even though there were major delays, it did not actually affect me in any way.  I just sat on my airplane (where I had three seats to myself and a movie to watch) instead of sitting in the airport later on.  Six of one….

It was a nice, new Boeing 737-900 plane with the nicer seats, really nice built in entertainment system, USB chargers and full electrical outlets.  I have been pretty happy with Delta over the last several flights that I have had with them.