Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

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Westercon, Day 0, Travel: Home to San Diego

This is a backdated entry describing my travel from Fremont to San Diego. Since it's backdated, it's not supposed to show up in people's friends-list feeds; therefore, you have nobody to blame but yourself if you're annoyed by the length, so I'm not putting cut tags on it.

I was up at 0300 after going to bed 90 minutes later. I drove to BART, took a train to Coliseum, and managed to get on an AirBART bus that was so full that other people were left behind.

Oakland Airport was a zoo, with the security queue stretched clear past Alaska Airlines baggage claim. It moved faster than I expected. I got airside early enough to have a quick breakfast at 360 Gourmet Burrito. My flight to LAX was boarding as I arrived at the gate. They let me move to an unoccupied exit row, and I had an easy flight that arrived exactly on schedule.

The transfer at LAX was a little tight, but worked out perfectly. Again, just as I arrived, they started boarding the plane for the flight to San Diego, an Brasilia EMB-120 -- twin turboprops, 1-2 seating. Again, the flight was uneventful.

After claiming my bags, I went to the curb and found the city bus stop clearly signed (unlike some other airports through which I've traveled). When the bus arrived, I asked if I could buy a day pass ($5). The driver said no, he could only sell the $2.25 cash fare; however, he asked me if I was going to light rail, and when I said yes, he told me he wouldn't charge me a fare and I could just go pay the $5 day-tripper to the ticket machines. This is a good attitude from the driver, but a poor design from the system. You should always be able to buy a day pass from the first point you contact the transit system, but unfortunately too many systems fail to do this and make you pay a cash fare (which you can't claim as credit toward the day pass cost) to go to a place where you can buy the day pass.

Anyway, I rode the bus to America Plaza station, bought a day pass, and presently boarded a light rail train. My luggage is heavy -- I had to repack to get it under the 50 pound limit by putting heavier things into a second bag -- and lugging it up the steep stairs of the old U2 LRV is difficult even for me. Transferring at Old Town to the newer low-floor equipment was much easier, once I got my bag out of the first train -- it's a cross-platform transfer.

At Rio Vista station, I exited the train and walked down the long ramp to the hotel. It is warm and muggy here. I was very early -- at least two hours earlier than expected.

Although it was early, the hotel front desk gave me a room on the fourth floor (I'd volunteered to be part of the Party Zone buffer). I took quite a while unpacking all of the stuff I'd brought. Just as I was unpacking the last of it, I got a call telling me they were sorry, but they'd given me the wrong room. My room is the one across the hall, and it wasn't ready yet. My room -- one of the few connecting rooms on the floor -- is needed by one of the parties. (I later learned this was Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley's room to which it would connect.) However, they told me that I could keep using the room, take a shower, etc. until my actual room was ready. And, since I was just moving across the hall, it wasn't quite as difficult to relocate as it would have been to totally strike the room and repack for travel.

I cleaned up and rested for a while, and prepared to relocate. Unfortunately, I was unable to take a nap the way I wanted to do so due to the room confusion. After moving across the hall, I took the old keys back to the front desk. To my surprise, Lisa was here. I didn't expect her for some time. Turns out she had arrived almost the same time I did, but she didn't hear my radio call, and wasn't expecting me until about then.

We had a bit of a confusion here, because I'd been running on nearly no sleep and needed to eat lunch, and reacted the way I often do when on low blood sugar. We got her van parked and the stuff from the van moved up to the room, then we to have lunch. I over-reacted and ate far too much, leading to a 205 blood sugar reading. Normally I would make this a cause for immediate exercise, but I desperately needed some sleep or I would have been hopeless for tonight's ball game. I lay down and got a 90 minute nap.

Overall, I consider the travel to have been about as good as could have been expected. Obviously, the hotel confusion was the payback for having had perfect connections on travel.
Tags: westercon
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