Thursday, February 7, 2013

On the road again: Silicon Valley, day 6

Early morning wake-ups are my kryptonite.  When I know I have to wake up in the sixes, I sleep poorly, awaken many times throughout the night, and am always tired when I finally have to hit the shower.  The fact that I go to bed late doesn't help, of course, but the fact remains that single-digit wake-up calls ruin sleep for me.  I clearly need to work on this area.

Despite that, and despite the joy of hitting the 101 in the morning, everything went smoothly in my journey from hotel room to checkout to rental car to airport to check-in to gate.  Amazing.  I was so pleased by my steady and uneventful progress that when the woman in front of me in security blocked all passengers for several minutes while she fiddled with her just-screened belongings, I didn't say a word.

No upgrades were available for me today, but I was lucky enough to get an exit-row seat on the first leg, so I could work the whole flight.

After that flight, my connection time was long enough that I was able to stop into a nearby Red Mango and enjoy their delicious berry parfait.  I'm very lucky I don't have one of these franchises anywhere near my house. 

A lot of walking and a ride on the tram later, and I was at my gate.  We boarded only ten minutes late, fastened our seat belts, closed the door...and sat.  And sat.  And sat some more, as the pilot had maintenance investigate a potential problem.  The issue proved to be a flaw in the rudder, which I am quite pleased they found before we took off.  After an hour on the plane, though, we got off, sat around, and eventually headed to another gate where a new plane awaited us.  I was happy to have a new plane, of course, but the long delays were no fun. 

Eventually, though, they told us to board this sold-out plane, a process that had previously taken 40 minutes, and they told us that we had only 17 minutes to do it or the crew would "go illegal" and we'd lose this plane.  I wasn't at all sure we could do it, but we did, with two minutes to spare. 

We landed in RDU more than two hours later than the original schedule, but at least we made it.  I'm happy to be home for a whole three days.

Monday, I head to Austin. 

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