Friday, July 10, 2009

What is the opposite of Hotel Cinderella?

I made it to California! I am loving it! It is so beautiful here and the weather is perfect. I am jealous of the people who get to live here!

The trip here was long, but pleasant and easy. I got up at 2:45 am on Thursday morning and headed out from the airport in Richmond. I didn't allow a ton of extra time between airport arrival and flight time (about an hour) because Richmond is never crowded that early and I usually zip through everything. Well, not this time! I had to wait a little while at check in because they only had two agents. One was checking in a soldier who was going out of the country and the other was dealing with some baggage issue, so I waited. Then I got to security, which had only a short line. I still had plenty of time. Then the guy, two ahead of me, at the x-ray machine brought everything to a complete halt. Suddenly, all the conveyor belts stopped running, a page went out, and extra security guards and police officers rushed over. Two guards stood in front of each people-checking entrance and at least one stood at each line of people. Two to three stood at each bag-checking x-ray. Ugh! No one said a word, complete silence. The only people doing anything were the four guards and police officers who had crowded around the carry on x-ray in my line. They were pointing and whispering. After a few minutes of this, the guy at the front of my line said, "They are only rocks. I have rocks in three bags. All they are is rocks. If you want me to open them and show you, that isn't a problem. They are only rocks." They ignored him and continued to point and whisper. After a few more minutes, they called the guy over and hustled him and his bags to somewhere in the back, under heavy security. I never did see what happened to the poor guy! Now everyone was still standing around, apparently they had to wait for an all clear sign to begin scanning again. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long, only a few more minutes. Altogether, we probably waited about 10 minutes, but it seemed much longer. I got to my gate in plenty of time before boarding started.

I had to take a short flight to DC and then get a flight to San Francisco from there. The flights were all on time and went well. I don't like flying too much, not because I'm afraid or anything, but because I don't do it often. I always feel like everyone else knows what they are doing (and most of them do!) and I'm just a dummy. For instance, I have never been able to recline my seat. Never. I just can never figure out how to do it and I'm too shy and embarrassed to ask. This time, when I was on the flight from DC to San Francisco, I decided that I had to recline it so I could be comfortable, since this was a LONG flight. I debated in my mind for about a half hour before I finally asked the flight attendant how to do it. Yay! I finally know how to recline the airplane seat!

Then I had to use the restroom on the plane. Normally, I go just before getting on and right when I get off the plane, but this time I really wanted to get up and stretch my legs. I always worry about blood clots. Anyway, the restroom was in the middle of the plane, with seats in front of it and behind it. At first, I wasn't even sure if it was the restroom, since there were no signs. They always have a sign that says Lavatory. Not this one. So I found what I assumed was the lav and tried to figure out if anyone was in there and how to open the door. There was no occupied sign or anything, just a very small, oval shaped thingee that had a tiny red dash on it. What does that mean? Is this even the restroom? I walked to both sides of the assumed restroom and looked for a sign. Nothing. I pushed the door where it said push. Nothing happened. Was this a closet? Was I supposed to be pushing it? In the meantime, everyone seated in the seats near the restroom has stopped what they are doing to stare at me. Or at least I feel like they have. Two flight attendants are bustling around right next to me because that is where the "kitchen" is. You would think they would have seen my confusion and offered to help, but no. Finally, after trying the door several times and not getting it to budge, I decided to ask. The flight attendant looked at me like I was a complete moron. She said it was the lavatory and it was occupied. Okay, well at least I know I'm in the right place, now I just have to wait until it opens. Finally it opened and an elderly woman came out. I wondered if she had had a problem finding it, too. I went in and even a dummy like me was able to find the toilet. After washing and drying my hands, however, I couldn't figure out where to throw the paper towel. There was one tiny door that said, "no cigarettes" and another one that said something else, which I can't remember now, but had nothing to do with paper towels. I looked around for a few more seconds and decided to try the no cigarette door. There were other paper towels in it, so either everyone had it wrong or I had broken the secret code! I left the restroom, red-faced, hoping that everyone around me had forgotten what a fool I had made of myself before going in! At least my seat was rows in front of it, so no one around me had witnessed that fiasco. I felt like I had a big neon green colored sticker on me that read, "Stay at home mom, no travel experience, please excuse her stupidity"!!

So somehow, even with all of my airline ineptness, I managed to make it to California, on time and happy! The day was long, I arrived about 15 hours after getting up, but it actually went by pretty quickly. I attribute that to the fact that I had a lot of plane changes and didn't have to wait in any one place for too long. I arrived to a husband who was very happy that I was here, too, so that helped as well. I especially enjoyed the layover in San Francisco. That airport has a beautiful view out every window. The terminal I was in was like a peninsula, with glass on three of the side. There were views of mountains and water and a pretty bridge.

The hotel is really, really nice! It is a suite, with a living room, small kitchenette area and a bedroom. We have a decent view of mountains (hills maybe?). Last night we went out to eat at Ruby's Diner in Huntington Beach. It is way out on a long pier. Mike claims it is about a quarter mile out, but I think it is more like 1-10 miles! It was fun to walk it, though, people were fishing on both sides and one guy even had caught a small shark that he was showing to everyone. The beach was beautiful and the waves were big, so there were tons of surfers.

We had a delicious dinner with entertainment. There was a pelican preening just outside our ocean view window! He was so cute. A lot of people kept gathering around him for pictures and he didn't even notice them. I have pictures, but I have to wait until to tonight, when I have Mike's computer, to upload them. We also got to see tons of dolphins swimming by, which reminded me of The Outer Banks in North Carolina.

After a great night's rest, on a very comfortable bed, we went down to breakfast at 6:00. They have a full breakfast here, so I had french toast, bacon and a delicious juice mixture. I also grabbed a bowl of fresh fruit and some yogurt to take up to the room for lunch. After Mike left for work, I relaxed with my crocheting, in front of Good Morning America. I love that show, but rarely get to see it now that my kids are older and I can sleep in. Then I took a four hour nap (I guess I was more tired than I thought after the long day yesterday!), showered and headed down to the computer. After this, I plan to head to the pool and relax on the sundeck!

1 comment:

Denise said...

Okay, I want to know exactly what this hotel had that we don't have. I mean, we have a livingroom, a small kitchen, and a bedroom. Granted, there are no views - of anything! I belive in replacing windows rather than washing them.

And honestly, if you'd wanted a full breakfast while you were here, all you had to do was make one!

So, let's not do these comparrisons anymore, okay?

Oh, and I laughed so hard about the airlines stuff. We are SO much alike!!