Friday, April 25, 2008

Planes, Planes, and more Planes - Day 1

Who would have thought taking 3 flights zigzagging across the country in the same day would be tiring? Oh, yeah, everyone. That's OK, it wasn't so bad actually, but there were some adventures.

It began with a relatively uneventful flight down to San Francisco. After being loaded into the cattle-car known as United, we made our way down in a relatively quick hour and a half (well, in the air at least). In fact, we got there so early, there was still a plane waiting at our gate to leave, so we proceeded to sit on the taxiway for about 15 minutes, negating any resemblance of being early.

Of course, I was switching to US Airways for the remaining two legs of my trip, which flies out of the complete opposite end of the airport. So out from my gate I go, walk all the way to the center of the terminal, leave security, wait for their train, and take the train to the terminal at the opposite end of the airport.

After waiting in line again to go through security. Of course, once I make it to the almighty x-ray machines, I get pulled aside. "Can we look in your bag, sir?" Of course they can, what do I have to hide? Oh yeah, that completely unopened bottle of water I bought past security at Sea-Tac figuring I wouldn't have to go through security again. "Yes, TSA goons, you can take it." I still don't see the point of liquids causing any sort of security hazard, but I suppose it's all for the safety or our country, blah blah blah. I'll take my chances.

So I make it through security, and continue to walk all the way to basically the end of the terminal, where just as I arrive at the gate it's time to board. So much for grabbing lunch, I guess I'll just get on the plane.

Five hours on the flight to Charlotte. Fortunately the US Air planes are a bit more spacious than United, so it was pretty comfortable. The time passed by pretty fast. There were what I considered an abnormally large number of kids on the flight, running up and down the aisles at times, but they were pretty well behaved, even though the flight attendants had to get them to stay out of the way a few times. The in-flight movie was actually good, and one I hadn't seen, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets. I have to admit, even though I was watching the movie on a 8-inch screen from 10 feet away, I think it was better than the first National Treasure, which I also enjoyed. The rest of the flight was relatively uneventful until during the second round of beverage service an entire bloody mary was spilled by the flight attendant on the rows right in front of me. First of all, the smell was just, uh, great. I felt bad for the one guy who had it spilled basically down his back. At some point, if it were me who got spilled on, I would have just completely started laughing. But that flight ended fine and all was well.

Spent a few hours in the Charlotte airport. Down-home Southern Hospitality at its finest. The restrooms all have attendants, and the terminals all have rocking chairs. Fortunately I had some extra time to relax and get some dinner (which was the only thing substantial I had eaten all day), then walked all the way out to the end of the airport to catch my plane to Birmingham.

The Birmingham flight was quick and smooth. The only funny part was the uncanny resemblance of the flight attendant to Mythbuster Kari Byron, but back in her shorter-hair years. She was equally as quirky and funny too. Made for a very entertaining flight.

After 12 hours in transit I finally made it to Birmingham. Andrew picked me up and after checking out his new(er) place, it was time to go to bed. I think today will require a trip to Chick-Fil-A for lunch... because that will make me happy.

Vacation is nice. No pictures yet, but I'll be sure to take the camera out today and get some shots of the scenic world that is Alabama. More to come...

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