Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

And We're Off

It is about 300 miles from our home to the hotel where we are staying tonight, the Millbrae El Rancho Inn & Suites (where we've stayed before when we're flying out of SFO for a long trip, on account of their park-stay-fly offers). I know there are people who claim that this is only a four hour drive, but that doesn't work for us at all, and today I'd be astounded if anyone could have made that trip in only four hours.

We did not hurry today, and after finishing our packing and securing the house, we left around 10 AM. We stopped at Starbucks in west Reno to grab breakfast sandwiches and a coffee for me, and Lisa drove.

I checked on my phone, and, as I feared, traffic on I-80 from Truckee to Sacramento was full of slowdowns and heavy traffic. I think that a large chunk of that was the "go-home" traffic coming from Hot August Nights. We decided to avoid as much of it as we could by taking Donner Pass Road and the other segments of old US-40 that we could. This is also slow, but it was nowhere near as irritating as creeping along the freeway at a walking pace.

We stopped in Sacramento and visited with my sister for a short time. I went over our trip plans again and told Kelli we'd come back through again on our way home. She said she'd leave a message on my number if her son's child arrives while we're gone, as seems rather likely.

Traffic wasn't quite as bad down I-5 to Lodi Junction, where after refueling, we had an early dinner at Denny's. Unfortunately, we suspect that the fish they served Lisa had problems, as we had to make an urgent restroom stop in Tracy for her. She's better now. Bad food is unfortunately a risk of travel.

I-580 over Altamont Pass was as bad as the morning commute, so we took the old highway. Surprisingly few vehicles were trying that route. Things were jammed as usual as we went through Pleasanton. Of course, we did make the amused observation that we'd made it to Dublin (albeit the one in California) much sooner than we expected.

We got to Millbrae around 7 PM or so, which is roughly nine hours after we left Fernley. This is about right for us. I guess other people drive 100 mph and get away with it. We drive the speed limit or slower and make lots of stops.

We got checked into the room, hauled our luggage upstairs, and walked to Walgreen's and Safeway down the street, the former to pick up spare batteries for some of our gear, the latter to get things to drink and eat tonight and tomorrow morning. Fortunately, the hotel room has a mini-fridge.

Lisa took a bath while I got the computer set up and caught up on messages. Kuma did what he often does in our hotel rooms.

King Kuma

Kuma is King of the Pillows in our room.

Although we did not get the Saga class upgrade for the long leg from SFO-KEF tomorrow, if I'm reading the seat map correctly, a large portion of the back of the plane (where we're seated) is empty, and I may be able to move across the aisle to give both Lisa and me lots of space tomorrow. I hope so. Traveling by air is rarely a pleasure, but being jammed in cheek-by-jowl with no elbow room for 8 1/2 hours is worse. I really hope I manage to get some sleep tomorrow. Our departure time out of SFO is around 1 AM IST, and sleeping on the flight will help some.

Bye Bye Birdies

Before we left Fernley, I dumped the last of our bird seed into the feeder and tossed the rest on the ground. The birds being the way they are, however, I expect they will have eaten it all by the time we got to Millbrae. Oh, well, they and the chipmunks will have to fend for themselves until we get back.

The mail is stopped. The vacation-patrol form (with the note that Doug & Kirsten Berry have a set of keys to Fernley House and will be stopping by for a day during the vacation period as we've told them it's okay for them to spend the night on their way to Burning Man) is filed. We're on the road. Tomorrow we fly to Europe!
Tags: hotels, kuma bear, travel
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