24 Hours
Sunday, Aug 03, 2003
[all times Pacific, regardless of geographic location]

Wednesday, July 30

11pm: Finish packing for weeklong trip. Set three alarms (Alarm clock, watch, and palm) for wakeup at 12:15am (75 minutes). Rachel and I go to sleep.

Thursday, July 31

12:05am: Woken up by call on cellphone. Automated Orbitz flight status update. Flight is on schedule for 3am (6am Eastern) departure.

12:15am: Alarm clock goes off. I get up and disarm watch alarm. I pick up the palm just as it goes off. I press a button to stop the din, then go to the bathroom. While I'm occupied, the palm goes off again (I'd inadvertantly 'snoozed' it) and Rachel gets up to turn it off.

1:30am: Packed, showered, and dressed, we head out the door to Pittsburgh International Airport.

2:04am: Arrive at Extended Parking, take bags to shuttle stop and wait for terminal shuttle.

2:10am: Terminal shuttle, having picked us up, drops us off at the terminal.

2:16am: Checked in for flight, taking checked bags for security inspection. The line is a good 20 minutes long, plus unknown time for the 'regular' security screening (metal detectors, x-ray machine, etc.)

2:22am: TSA inspector inexplicably plucks us out of the middle of the line for inspection.

2:30am: Inspection done, we proceed to security checkpoint.

2:42am: Done with security checkpoint, taking Bombardier subway to gates.

2:46am: Rachel's buying a few breakfasty things for us at Seattle's Best. I run to gate to make sure everything's okay.

2:54am: All is well, we board the plane to Atlanta with minutes to spare.

3:07am: In the aircraft, we're informed that maintenance has not completed their routine work, and we'll be a little bit longer on the tarmac.

3:40am: We take off 40 minutes late. By this schedule we'll have 8 minutes to make our connecting flight to San Francisco in Atlanta, including deplaning time.

4:43am: Flight attendants read off connecting gates. Our flight connection is at gate B-4 and we're coming in at gate B-12.

5:11am: Making up a few minutes in flight, our plane pulls up to the gate with 12 minutes for us to make our connection. Flight attendants ask passengers to let those with connections off first. Atlanta is a Delta hub. Half the plane deplanes. We're in the far rear corner.

5:16am: Off the plane, we start walking to gate B-4, with time to spare. On the way we check out the departures board and discover our flight is departing from gate B-34, not B-4, and is at the other end of the 1/2 mile terminal. Luggage-jogging ensues.

5:23am: Board SF flight with two minutes to spare.

10:17am: Land in San Francisco, 11 minutes early. Quickly get bags from baggage claim, highly impressed that they made the connection in Atlanta. Go to Alaska airlines ticket counter as planned to see if we can check bags 7 hours in advance. Luckily, Alaska is in Terminal 1, same as Delta.

10:23am: No joy. Check in opens 4 hours prior to departure.

11:16am: Karen picks Rachel and me up from the airport. We drive to Mountain View.

11:50am: Arrive at first apartment complex. Manager says she already has an application in for the apartment, and won't show it until that one pans out or doesn't, by 5pm today. I explain that I'll be gone by then, and that I'd like to see it, but am fine holding off applying until the other application doesn't go through. She says look around the complex, and she'll find us in 10 minutes. Karen, Rachel and I look around. We'er unenthused, and note that loud children live on either side of the relatively drab townhouse unit. We leave and I wave to the manager on our way out.

12:14pm: Driving around Mountain View, looking at (and for) for rent signs, heading toward Palo Alto Hobee's.

12:25pm: Arrive at Palo Alto Hobee's. Meet up with Ammy, Fred, Dawn, and Christyn. A little later Paul joins us, having gone to the wrong Hobee's. Merry lunch ensues. Stanford 'Cardinal' Omlette for me. Naturally I chose the blueberry coffee cake.

1:54pm: Done eating, paing, hugging, Karen, Rachel, and I head back into the car to go to the next apartment, this one a half mile away in Menlo Park.

2:01pm: Arrive at apartment. Manager shows us around. I'm completely unenthused.

2:14pm: While we're gassing up Karen's car, the manager of the 3rd place calls to confirm our 3pm time. I ask if we can move it up since we're nearby and ready. We agree to meet a little after 2:30.

2:30pm: After a little trouble finding Laurel St., we arrive at the apartment. Shortly afterwards the manager arrives and shows us this 2br bottom unit will hardwood floors throughout. It's very nice but does'nt hit me right. Maybe it's the large windows of a front bottom unit on a wide street, but I don't feel that I could be myself there, and that theft could be a factor. Also, I'm not sure I want to live in Menlo Park, when Mountain View is also charming, and so very close to work. Clearly, more hunting needs to be done, despite the beautiful oak tree outside the unit.

2:53pm: We leave for SFO.

3:21pm: Arrive at SFO, say farewells to Karen, go in and check in for our flight to Vancouver.

3:29pm: Selected for special screening, Rachel and I submit to full-body wanding and bag checks.

3:43pm: Cheese tortellini with Alfredo sauce was the perfect thing to revitalize catatonic Kevin and Rachel.

5:36pm: Board plane for Vancouver.

5:50pm: Plane takes off on schedule. We nap a bit, then watch successively larger snow-capped mountains drift by (Shasta, Hood, Ranier, etc.).

7:58pm: Land in Vancouver, BC on schedule.

8:34pm: Complete Immigration

8:42pm: Get bags from baggage claim. Meet Ben outside.

9:13pm: Go by hotel to check bags.

9:14pm: Ben gives a personalized driving tour of the Greater Vancouver Area from his convertable.

10:39pm: Stop for extremely unusual Japanese food from an extremely unusual Japanese restaurant. Amazingly delicious.

11:21pm: Drive a bit more and get gelato. Experienced amazingly high-fidelity Grapefruit gelato.

11:48pm: Arrive back at hotel, say goodbyes to Ben, check in, get bags sent up to room.

Friday, August 1:

12:04am: Pull out powerbook and start logging last 24 hours.

12:08am: Rachel goes to sleep.

12:20am: Realize that the new month has started and I forgot to say 'Rabbit, Rabbit'

12:21am: Realize that I haven't said anything out loud in the last 21 minutes, and can still say "Rabbit, rabbit." Do so.

12:23am: Finish writing up this post.

One day, nearly 4500 miles of travel, with stops in all four quadrants of North America.

And tomorrow we start our 7 day cruise up the Alaskan coastline.

Goodnight y'all.

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Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
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