Thursday, March 26, 2020

Grand Princess – Hawaii and Mexico – Back to Back – Round Trip San Francisco, CA - December 27, 2019 – January 22, 2020

December 27, 2019 - Travel Day

We are going to Hawaii again to get away from the cold.  A couple of days ago, the temperature in Chicago hit the 60s.  No matter, it got cold the next day and we are off to Paradise followed up by another wonderful itinerary, Mexico.

After the last two early morning flights, this time out, I set up a flight at 10:55 AM, which meant getting some sleep and having some time to get last minute items ready for the trip.  Besides, we are both about two-thirds of the way through infections (bronchitis for me and a sinus infection for Ellen) so we certainly don’t need to get up real early. 

Our cab was a little early and got us to the airport in under 20 minutes.  We avoided all the craziness of the bag check in process this time around as we are flying on American, where we have some status.  I checked both bags through to San Francisco – we then zipped through security in near record time and headed to Gate 9 to wait for AA2634.  We had submitted upgrade requests for this trip and, of course, didn’t get them.  No matter, we are in Cabin Extra Seats, 14C and 14D (just in front of the wing and near the center of gravity) so we are good.

There are a lot of planes lined up at the concourse and our plane was at the gate when we got there.  

Boarding was orderly with people only coming into the line when their group was called.  Our seats were comfortable – I did not have a linebacker sitting next to me. 

Our captain was the informative type (I do like to know there is someone in the left seat up there), who told us that the flight would be smooth until we reached the Rocky Mountains, where we would experience some light chop.  He said that would be in about an hour and 45 minutes.  Well, he was a little off as we didn’t reach the Rockies until about an hour after that.  The chop turned out to be nothing but probably caused some anxiety for certain people. 

We brought along our lunch of bagels and lox spread.  I had that along with an orange juice and two coffees – I usually finish my coffee pretty fast and then wait a long time for the cart to come back.  This was a way to get around that.  I watched “Ad Astra”, and I’m still not sure I liked it.  The narration by Brad Pitt just seemed to be too much but the space scenes and the mission descriptions were quite interesting.

A little chop over the mountains in Nevada spoiled a perfect flight.  We landed about ten minutes early but still got a slot.  Our bags were almost the first to come off the carousel.

I called an Uber to take us to the hotel – the ride would run about $44 (up from $38 while I was deciding what to do).  The pickup points for Uber are well organized and easy to find at SFO.  Just a few minutes walk to the parking lot across the street and we met our car.  Ken, our driver, was interesting enough to include in this log.  He plays poker and uses his Uber funds to stake his games.  He wasn’t a kid – a grown up guy.  Poker and Uber.

We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf.  This is not your typical HI Express.  The place is huge and the inside looks almost new or newly refurbed.  We are walking distance to the wharf and terminals.  We also got the last room, an accessible room, with much more room than a standard room.

We walked to Castagnolas for an early dinner – I had the Penne with Broccoli and Mushroom Alfredo and Ellen had a salmon salad.  The food was so so and expensive.

We are both really tired and not that well so we went back to the room and read for only a short time.

Lights were out at 9:30PM.

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