Last August, Paul and I took a trip to California. It was one of those trips that I so badly wanted and needed, but I was so torn about taking. My mom was ill, and I wasn’t completely sold on jetting off to the other side of the country for a week. Paul convinced me that everything would be okay and that if I needed to, I could hop on a plane and fly back to NJ at any time. Looking back, I am so happy that I didn’t let worry get in my way. This trip was something to remember.
It all started at Newark Airport when we were notified that our delayed flight to Phoenix would cause us to miss our connecting flight to San Francisco. “We can fly you to another city in California,” they said. After suggesting just about every city other than Oakland, I said, “How about you fly us into Oakland? You know, the city closest to San Francisco?” Geography. Don’t ever doubt its importance.
Since our original flight was going to get in around midnight, we had a reservation at a hotel at the San Francisco airport for our night of arrival. Paul quickly got on the phone to cancel it, while good ol’ EWR claimed none of this was their fault. They blamed all of our problems on the Windy City of Chicago. If they could only get their planes to Newark on time…
Once on our flight to Phoenix, we started to realize we might not make that connecting flight to Oakland either. And, we were hungry. Real hungry. This was because Newark didn’t have any real food to eat in the terminal we were in, so we were surviving on Southwest pretzels and nuts. Secretly, we hoped we’d miss the flight to Oakland so we could have dinner in Phoenix. We’d worry about California in the morning. After all, we didn’t have a hotel room anywhere.
But that didn’t happen. Our plane touched down to Phoenix just as our flight to Oakland was scheduled to depart. We ran off the plane to hear our names being paged across the loudspeaker. Our gate was clear across the airport in a different terminal, so we ran. I always thought we’d make a good pair on The Amazing Race, and in my heels, I proved that we just might have a chance at winning on that show. We turned the corner of the long terminal and at the very end stood our pilot, waving us down! When we arrived to the gate, they said, “How come you didn’t take the cart we sent for you?”
Our bottoms hit the seats while the plane backed away from the gate. As we each took a minute to catch our breath we looked at each other and said, “Where are we staying tonight?”
For the first time ever, we booked a hotel in the sky. Thanks to Southwest Wifi only being $8, we were able to snag a room at the Westin for way more than we wanted to pay. The flight attendant even gave us a price quote on an Uber, all the way up in the clouds. Special thanks to the passenger who gave us her kid’s bag of grapes to eat too.
We arrived at the Westin San Francisco around 3 AM, the same time the police arrived to take care of the smashed glass window at the entrance of the hotel. We were too tired to care who crashed into the place. At 4AM we were checked in and waiting desperately for room service to arrive.
The rest of the trip was grand. Besides San Francisco, we made our way to Carmel and Sonoma for a few nights outside the city. I’ll save all of the details of the rest of the trip for another post.
Until then, I’ll be looking into the application process for The Amazing Race.