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A Trip to Italy (and maybe some runs) Part 1: Finally Leaving

Wednesday June 5.
Ready to go?
Finally, all the details have been completed. Finally, the last trip to WalMart, Marshalls, anywhere.  Really, other than the messy detail surrounding the reissuing of tickets, most of the process has been pretty smooth. I was lucky enough to sneak in a run before leaving, so that was a bonus.

We took an Uber to the airport. Our driver was a fantastic guy named James (we called him Dr. James as he is six months from getting his Doctorate in education (always something I wish I had done – I’m Masters +30). The ride was mostly due to the iffy weather we’ve had. The afternoon storms and hail the last week have made the prospect of having a car sitting out in the open for two weeks seem stupid.

Flights were easy once boarded. A few issues LIKE, if I did this again, I wouldn’t do the leg to San Francisco to meet up with everyone. We would have saved massive time and money by going straight to New York and then to Rome. But, live and learn. Flying Southwest is usually pretty easy and today was no exception. We had a stop in Phoenix and worried a bit about luggage transfer but somehow the process works more than it doesn’t. Stretch seats on both legs of the journey were also a BONUS.

Of course, then comes my pet peeve about the airline industry. Our flight is delayed (okay, it happens). They change the so-called departure time to reflect the delay. Finally our incoming 
plane lands. Everyone gets off and we stand for what seemed like just a little bit short of forever. Now, I get all of this: stuff happens. The peeve revolves around the airlines never seeming to be able to communicate what is happening. If someone just jumped on the horn and kept people informed, they (and I) would be SO much happier.

Once in to San Fran, we took a hotel shuttle to the Hotel Aura, just a few miles from the airport (and cheaper than the $350 a night places nearby. After throwing our stuff into Room 303, we crossed the street to a “Chinese Bar BQ” place that was closing at 11 pm (it was 10:20). OMG, it was great. Our waitress, I think, was hoping for an easy close to her evening and then, BOOM, in strolls a party of 18. She handled it pretty well though (and hopefully was well tipped).

Into bed by 11:10 pm with a wake up alarm set for 3:05 am. Yikes, long day.