San Francisco, Part I

Here I am, sitting jetlagged from my recent vacation. Given that it is only 8:00 p.m. in California, I am still awake. I told Lexcie that I was going to sleep, but I’ve failed. So, I think I’ll start a write-up about the trip.

The Flight In
I decided to go with Southwest Airlines for the the trip to San Francisco, because the tickets were only $89 one way from Islip to Oakland. It was a bit more expensive for Lexcie, who purchased the tickets two months after me, but they were still affordable nonetheless. He’s never flown Southwest before, and I told him how great it was (in fact, I fly so much that I’m one round-trip away from getting a free trip on the airline). We drove to MacArthur, debated over the $11 per day long-term parking, and then sent our bags through curbside checking. Our flight was on time – which is usual for me, hence my reason for loving Southwest so much. In fact, I’ve never had any experiences quite like people on “Airline” did.

The flight itself was the usual tedius transcontinental trip. Taking pictures out of the window lost its amusement factor after a while, so we decided to deface the Sky Mall magazine with doodles and thought bubbles. Then, we made a lists of things. After five hours, we arrived at Las Vegas for a one-hour layover. Or so we thought.

The airport was freakin’ hot – but what do you expect from Las Vegas in July? It was scorching enough that none of the soda machines in the food court had ice. We staked our claim over in the A line for our connecting flight, and chatted it up with a San Diego father and daughters, who claimed and insisted that Robert DeNiro was on the Islip-to-Las Vegas leg of the flight with his sister. I just have a hard time imagining Robert DeNiro sitting with us plebians on Southwest when he could probably afford his own private jet or at least first-class on a non-stop flight. Suddenly, our connecting flight status changed – it was now leaving an hour later. Then another half hour. Then it was cancelled. Southwest said they could accomodate us on another flight to Oakland, and quickly switched our boarding passes and luggage to the other flight. Then that flight was delayed. I could tell that Lexcie was not amused with Southwest at all! I guess I shouldn’t have talked it up so much. All in all, we arrived in Oakland about two hours later than we had planned.

Oakland 
We picked up our rental car from Dollar, which turned out to be $215 more than I expected because California has a $25 per day surcharge for drivers under the age of 25. Even if we had put the car under Lexcie, it would have cost the same because he would have needed to purchase the supplemental rip-off insurance. We drove to the Jack London Inn, which was in Jack London Square next to an Amtrak station (hmm, wonder why Lexcie picked the hotel? ;o) hehe). Driving down Embarcadero was strange because the car was right next to the street-level tracks, which had no safety fences. I had to pop a U-y and Lexcie kept saying, “Watch out for the trains, watch out for the trains!”

The hotel itself wasn’t the greatest, but you get what you pay for. It was one of those older musty types. In order to take a shower, we had to kick the shower handle, then yank the faucet in order for the water to come out of the showerhead. The only saving grace was that the water pressure was quite strong. Overall, I give it a two out of five – a place to sleep, yet not so shoddy you pay by the hour.

Lexcie had warned me that I’d probably hear a bunch of Amtrak trains go by, especially in the morning, when the commuter trains started. In the middle of the night, one rumbled by and woke me up. A fews days later, we were informed it was actually a 4.2 earthquake, so I was all excited that I was actually in an earthquake. However, to my disappointment, I just did a Google News search and the earthquake was on Friday, when we stayed in San Francisco. Way to burst my bubble, Google!

But, it seemed that the Islip area had its fair share of excitement that night. Around 4:30 a.m., my phone rang twice, and it was my friend Chrissy. Now, any call at that time is bad news. She asked if my family and I were all right. Confused, I asked her what was going on, and she said she had just heard that my street was hit by a tornado. I thanked her for calling, and in my delirious state, began to panic when I realized I had no one to call to find out what was going on in Islip. Grandma or Alyse would have never picked up the phone at that time, and Mom was in Binghamton visiting my brother. I finally text messaged Chris, who was commuting into work at that point, but he replied back that he knew nothing about it, however, there was a steam explosion in Manhattan the day before. Oy! Well, it turned out that the tornado was on Nassau Street in Islip Terrace, not on my street in Islip, so all is well. All the excitement seems to happen when I’m not around!

To be continued…

One Response to “San Francisco, Part I”

  1. Haha, you got owned by Southwest!

    We picked up our rental car from Dollar, which turned out to be $215 more than I expected because California has a $25 per day surcharge for drivers under the age of 25.

    Haha, somebody should have done her research!

    IIRC, that’s true in nearly every state that unless you’re doing a corporate rental, there’s a surcharge for under-25s. As for my they wanted Alex to pay, I think it’s because he’s not a citizen or permanent resident yet.

    Confused, I asked her what was going on, and she said she had just heard that my street was hit by a tornado.

    My mom was a little freaked out by it and wondered if you were still home since she knows that you live in Islip.

    All the excitement seems to happen when I’m not around!

    You know, maybe you should consider that a good thing. 🙂

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