Thursday, 22 January 2015

DAY 42 - We Haven't The Foggiest Idea When We Are Departing

Hi y'all and welcome to the Day 42 Blog coming to you from Los Angeles, Californ-I-A.

Today's Blog involves yet another transit day, this time between Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles. Our original plan had us driving this leg, but we deliberately did not make any definite bookings for the second phase of our holiday, in case we changed our minds. Given the amount of driving we did in phase one, flying was a far more attractive option. Besides, we are talking about a 966 mile drive!

Our flight was with United Airlines, flying two legs; Portland - San Francisco and San Francisco to Los Angeles. Our first leg flight (which was actually operated by Skywest) was due to depart at 1020 h, so we got to the airport early (around 0845 h). Unfortunately; however, Portland was fogged in, so our intended first leg aircraft (a Canadair CRJ-200) had to divert to Seattle, wait for the fog to clear before flying to Portland to take us to our destination. The end result was a departure from Portland that was getting close to 1300 h. Of course, this blew away any chance of us meeting our planned connecting flight, but the good staff at United Airlines had us booked for the next two later flights from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Welcome to the foggy Portland International Airport

Still foggy

A beautiful sky, nonetheless

Kyle takes the opportunity for a power-nap...on the floor
... and from Kyle's perspective

The fog is lifting

Getting clearer...but still waiting for our Seattle-diverted aircraft to arrive to take us to San Francisco

Mt. Hood being its usual attractive self

A departing Southwest Boeing B737 demonstrating that the airport is back open

Some motion-blur practice whilst still waiting for our aircraft to arrive

Our aircraft (a CRJ-200)...yay!

Varying levels of impressed for the boarding Plekkers
 The flight to San Francisco was pretty smooth and a little over two hours in duration. When loading, they wanted to put some of our larger carry-on bags into the cargo-hold and have them available for us when we landed at San Francisco.

The departure out of Portland gave us stunning views of Mt. Hood (Photo taken by Joshua)

We even flew over McMinnville

You know you are landing at San Francisco when you see this big ol' bridge (Photo taken by Joshua)

 When we landed in San Francisco, we realised that our next aircraft was leaving, well let's just say...immediately. The problem was, that through some crazy internal miscommunication, no one was collecting our carry-on luggage for us to take on the next flight, so we (and about 25 other passengers) were waiting in the aerobridge for our hand luggage to be brought to us. Amazingly, our two bags were the first to arrive and we all sprinted to the next gate to catch our joining flight. I think the next gate was about half-a-mile away (or so it seemed). Miraculously, we managed to make our next flight, although we had to endure the walk of shame down the airplane aisle as everyone else had already boarded. Our aircraft for this leg was a Boeing B737-800.

On the ground at San Francisco International Airport. Those winglets look different?

Crossing the coastline towards inland south of San Francisco

You know you are landing at LAX when you see the smog :)

No, seriously, you know you are landing at LAX when you see the In-N-Out Burger Restaurant out of the RH side of the aircraft.
When we landed at LAX, after our delays and issues so far, we were further thwarted  by a baggage conveyor that broke, leading to a delay in getting our checked in luggage. Thankfully, getting the Rental Car was the smoothest experience to date. By the time we had got into our Rental Car, it was 1635 h.

The day ended on a very big positive with us catching up with Sal and his lovely wife Carmen for dinner. We went to the Olive Garden Restaurant in Burbank and the food, company and table service was just perfect. Our Waiter, Anthony was very funny and deserving of a good tip. It's always great to see Sal and Carmen, two of the nicest people that we know in San Fernando...LOL. They are just lovely people...period (or full-stop to my Australian friends)We also collected our gear that Sal and Carmen had graciously stored for us whilst we headed north and headed in for the night.

Sal, Carmen, Maureen and I at the Olive Garden Restaurant in Burbank

Well that's it for the Day 42 Blog. Next we will be catching up with my friend Ted in San Pedro.