After packing up her van, I waited until she cleared the security gate on the parking lot, then wheeled my way over to the light rail station. In the first of what would be a series of strokes of luck, a train came along right after I'd bought my ticket, and I climbed aboard for the trip downtown, with the change of trains at Old Town.
By my reckoning, my bag was just under 50 pounds, which can be a bit of a strain even for me getting it on to the older light rail vehicles, but I managed. At the San Diego Airport Commuter Terminal, I checked in with United Express for the short hop to LAX, and the bag weighed 48 pounds.
Clearing security, I heard them announce that there were plenty of seats available for the next United Express/Skywest departure. I was so early that there were actually two flights before mine. I figured that if I was going to hang around, I'd be better off doing so at LAX than inside the San Diego Commuter Terminal, so I took the earlier flight and got an exit row to myself.
The flight to LAX was uneventful, and unlike the trip down when I had to go from Terminal 7 to 8 rather quickly to make my connection, my connecting flight to Oakland was scheduled to be almost adjacent to my inbound 8x gate. Then I noticed another Oakland flight leaving in about 35 minutes only a couple more gates down. I went down to that gate, where I listened to the agent tell the person in front of my how many people were on the waiting list and how poor his chances were. I put my name in for standby anyway, and somewhat to my surprise, found myself on that flight, in an exit window on the CRJ-200. I didn't have the row to myself this time, but it's a pretty short flight and no big deal. I buried myself in my book and that was that.
The net result of this was that I arrived at Oakland Airport before my originally-scheduled flight from LAX was even scheduled to depart. Wonder of wonders, my checked luggage had made the trip as well, and I did not have to hang around OAK waiting for it to catch up to me. And since that originally-scheduled flight ended up getting delayed -- United paged me to tell me so -- I got home via BART before my original flight left LAX.
Now I just have to unpack, have something to eat, and fall into bed. I can see by the e-mails that my co-workers are chomping at the bit for me to be back in the office to dig into the vast amount of analysis they wish was already finished.