Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The longest Day of my life...Or how to get from Fairfield toTokyo

On Tuesday morning I awoke ready to head to the SF international airport (SFO). I had buffered in a lot of time at each step of the trip, driving, traffic, bridge, rental car return, Airtrain to terminal, checking in, security. The only thing I didn't buffer for was the TCCOR 3. Turns out that the typhon that hit Japan, and caused Emily to have to move the trampoline, came to play with the bay area. I began to trip balancing between hurrying to the airport and hydroplanning. This became academic once I hit the halfway point and couldn't go much faster than a bannana slug. So I listened to liberal public radio and didn't stress since NPR kept telling me that the the average time for delays at SFO was over 2.5 hours. One 4 lane stretch of the freeway was reported to be flooded with only one lane passable. By the time I got there they had luckily drained it and the traffic began to move again. (That was about 3 miles from SFO). So I had buffered two hours for the drive and it took close to 3.

Anyway I got to the United Checkin counter and the lady asked if she could help me. It was 11am and the flight leaves at 11:30. "I'm really late for my flight to Tokyo." "Yes", she said, "come over here and lets see what we can do." Turns out that delay stuff didn't apply to my flight. She was super kind and helpful and got me on the 1:30 flight which luckily wasn't sold out and had an exit row seat available. At least this way I got to have lunch there and buy Em her Boudin sourdough bread round for her clam chowder I bought her at Boudin's at the Wharf. (She loved it.)

Made it onto the plane just fine and we taxied out. Then we sat at the runway for 2 hours!!! There was too strong a cross wind for the plane to take off. I guess the trampoline really was in danger if this mammoth 777 couldn't handle it! Luckily there was a nice Japanese stewardess (Ai) sitting near me. But the delay allowed some guy to come and sit next to me invading the little bit of heaven I had in my emergency row by myself. Due to this inconvienience the stewardess and her collegues treated me extremely nice the whole time. Offered me champagne at the end, extra snackes a whole bottle of water instead of just a cup and a little bag of comfort from 1st class. United was very kind to me that day. This long trip was fine since the people around me were nice. Thank you Ai and other ladies who helped me.

Once in Tokyo, Narita Airport, I took the 1.5 hours bus ride, on the Friendly Airport Limousine, (If you call a bus a limo does it make it more comfortable), to the Haneda Airport and spent the night in a smoking Hotel Room. Not happy about that one. The next day I flew up to Misawa with no untoward events and was reunited gleefully by my family. The boys gave me the three best hugs!

*Quick Airline Review for International Travel: Delta has the best in-flight entertainment, United was good, Northwest not too bad, American Airlines was not so nice.

No comments: