Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting home

We travel "non-rev" meaning of course non-revenue. We don't get seats until all paying passengers get seats. The flight to San Jose from DFW was pretty full, but we got seats in coach...middle seats...but seats all the same. There are normally 6-7 flights a day between San Jose and DFW. On weekends there are only 3 flights a day. All flights today are full.

So in order for us to get home we have to be flexible. The original plan was to go from San Jose to Chicago to DFW. Then we looked at the flight time. The flight to Chicago is 4 hours 15 minutes. We would then sit in Chicago for 2 hours before flying another 2 1/2 hours to DFW. Yowzers. The advantage is there are a lot of flights from Chicago to DFW so if we were late or something cancelled....we had options.

We ended up flying from San Jose to San Diego to DFW. Both flights were fairly full. Before we left the hotel, the flight from San Diego to DFW was looking like we would get First Class. The price difference isn't much. We normally go for it as we get a meal and a better seat. The meal is worth the price difference as eating a meal in the airport is more than the difference between coach and first. Plus I get Bloody Mary's!

We left the hotel at 9AM. I planned on stopping by a Red Box at a Wal-Mart down the street and then going on to the airport. We had been to the Wal-Mart yesterday. We got there by following a back road as there are very few exits on this highway and NO frontage roads. When we left the Wal-Mart we drove over the highway and eventually back on it. We assumed...well I assumed that if I drove OVER the highway right by the Wal-Mart I should be able to exit off the highway onto the road adjacent to the Wal-Mart. Wrong. I took the exit right before the Wal-Mart....and drove right by. The exit brought me to a different highway. The next exit off that highway was 2 miles down!!!! WTF!?!?!?!? Pissed off I set up the navigation system to take us to the airport. Boo.

We dropped off the rental car (a Chevrolet HHR...which we both kinda liked) and headed to the gate. I wore my uniform and was able to cut in the security line as well as bring all my liquids. Once through I went to the men's room and put on a regular collared shirt and took off my uniform pieces. I don't care to travel in uniform.

The flight to San Diego went fine. The plane parked at a commuter terminal. We then took a bus to the main terminal. Because the bus was outside of the secure zone we had to re-clear security. This could have been a problem as I was out of uniform and had liquids over 3 oz all throughout my bag. I risked it. I gave the TSA agent the secret sign when I put my bag through the scanner. As my bag went through she looked at me...nodded...then I went through the metal detector and flashed my badge. All good.

First class ended up being full. San Diego airport is the most expensive airport I have ever been in! A basic meal at a bar cafe was $30! This was after the waitress giving us an employee discount (I was wearing my badge around my my discount!). We did get seats together near the front of the plane. The flight was fine.

This weekend was fun and relaxing. I can't believe how much we drove. This is the first rental car we have ever needed to truly fill up. We drove over 490 miles! That's almost as much as I drive in a month. Most of that was driving from Salinas to San Francisco and back.

The Monterey Aquarium was hands down the best aquarium we have been to.


We met up with my mother in law, sister in law, my niece and my sister in laws new girlfriend Kelly. We made our way through the aquarium and had fun. My sister in law, Jami, forgot the stroller. My niece Haley did pretty good with all the walking. The lack of stroller would be an issue though. After the aquarium I wanted to eat lunch at a place recommended to me by a Captain I flew with. The restaurant was 1.4 miles away according to my Google map on my phone. I advised everyone of this...and they were okay with walking. Yeah. About 1/2 way they all started complaining. Eventually we made it.


Kelli closed her eyes in both photos I took here...this is the better of the two

I had the best clam chowder of my life. The restaurant was the Old Fisherman's Grotto. The only ones who had seafood were myself, Jami and Kelly. My mother in law and Kelli had "normal" food. Boo them. Afterwards we made the 1.4 mile walk back to the cars. I did however buy a bunch of cotton candy (I love cotton candy!) and loaded up Haley with it. She will soon relate me to sugar....and that's okay with me.


Haley was eating cotton candy while on Jami's shoulders...then putting her sticky hands in Jami's hair...good times!

We said our goodbyes to them and made our way to the Hyatt Place in Fremont. I love the Hyatt Place. Kelli had never been there before. She is a new fan. The rooms are big and very nice. I have stayed in the Hyatt Place at least 15 times over the last year. Each time was in the same hotel. Well that hotel has free beer at a Manager reception every afternoon. I assumed it was a Hyatt Place thing. Nope. Just that one hotel. Oh well. We still really enjoyed the hotel.


Right now we are tired. Next month we are penciling in Vegas maybe. For now...relaxing.

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