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Southern California 2012 – January/February 2012

Jaunuary 24 Tuesday Orlando, Nashville/Houston, San Diego

Slide Show

I found a sale on Southwest and got 2 round trip tickets to San Diego for $375.

We have a 10:40 flight from Orlando and change planes in Nashville to continue to San Diego.

We get to the airport about 9:15, and check a couple of bags.

Southwest still doesn't charge for checking bags.
I zip right through security and am heading for the tram to the gates.
But I look back to see if Olga is following.

Nope, security has grabbed her and they are doing some serious bag searching.

It seems they detected something in her bag that equated to a possible hazard.

They take her and the bag into little room and give her a thorough going over.
They finally turn her loose and we take the tram to the gate area.

It's only 9:30 so we stop at Kafe Kalik.
We get a Bloody Mary.

They are tasting pretty good.
It's still a little before 10 and the flight doesn't leave until 10:40, so we have a second.

Decent price at an airport, $5.50.

We check out about 10:10 and walk down to the gate.

We get there by 10:15 and I glance at the board at the gate and it says  boarding at 10:20.

I look out the window at the gate and there's a plane there, but there's no one lined up for boarding. Southwest doesn't assign seats, they just give you a boarding position. We have a boarding pass for the second group.

So we sit down and wait for them to announce boarding.

I sit there about 5 minutes, and start wondering why they aren't boarding yet. It's 10:25 and the flight leaves at 10:40.

Then I notice that the plane at the gate is no longer there.

I figure there must be some sort of delay and go to the counter at the gate.

It no longer says Nashville, now it's Fort Myers.

So I ask the guy at the desk, "What happened to the Nashville flight".

He says, "It's gone to Nashville, are you Hill?"

I admit it and he says they paged us about ten times. None of which we heard.

As Governor Perry said so eloquently, I say "Oops".
I check my boarding pass and the flight doesn't leave at 10:40, it leaves at 10:20. I had 10:40 in my head and never looked at my boarding pass.

"What do I do now?"

The guy at the desk tells me they are going to give me a break and not charge me another $442 to upgrade my ticket to standby. There's a big sign at the counter that says, "A change from a reduced fare ticket to standby will be charged at full fare".

Thank you Southwest, that could have been the end of this little adventure.
So now we have a three hour wait for the next flight to Houston.

That results in another hefty bar tab.
So they put us on standby for a flight to Houston to connect to a flight to San Diego.

We are the last two that get on the flight and have to sit in the mini non-reclining seats at the very rear of the plane.

But, at least we're on the way.

When we get to Houston, we pass up the burger joint.
And hit a higher class joint.

What's the deal with "Pappa" here.
And another nice bar tab while we figure out our next move.

The connecting flight to San Diego looks like it's pretty full, but there's another connection through Albequerque that gets to San Diego about 20:30.

So they tell us to check back at 16:00.

I do and they give me boarding passes for the direct 17:00 flight.

Again, we're the last on the plane, so I get a middle seat and Olga gets a window seat in front of me.
The guy in the aisle seat next to me feels sorry for us and changes seats with Olga.
It's a bumpy ride to San Diego but we get in about 18:30, only 3 hours after our original time of arrival.

We take about a 20 minute shuttle ride to the Alamo facility.

I get a pretty nice car for $160 for the 8 days we're going to be here.

We head out for our friends house where we've sponged a room for the week.

We have several GPS devices to help us along and we get to her street with little trouble.

We're having a little trouble seeing the house numbers on the street.

Perhaps due to some blurryness from our long travel day and $94 bar tab.

So we think we find the right place, we pull up in the driveway and a guy comes out to greet us. I think it's our friend, so I roll down the window and say "Hi, long time." He looks at me a little quizically, but Olga gets out of the car and gives the guy a hug and says hello.

He tells her,"I think you have the wrong person".

Yep, wrong house, right house is 3 houses up the street.

We leave him shaking his head thinking, "Crazy ass East Coast white people."