Surprise, I am in San Francisco!

Trip Start Aug 11, 2010
Trip End Sep 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
Brenda's office

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I was going to spare everyone and end my blog with the assumption that my trip had ended but I was surprised to discover that I had practically a whole day in San Francisco to spend with cs and bz.

Since I can be obsessive, to go back to the beginning.  I was annoyed that the Best Western in Sapporo did not have access to an airport shuttle service.  Now when I am willing to consider taxis, they become less of an option.  The Best Western folks told me that it was too far for a taxi and I should just take the train.  I like the train but I was not elated by the prospect of lugging my bags to the station and up and down to get to the train platform, but I did it.  The last set of stairs to get to the tracks was a killer.  This particular train's final destination is Chitose Airport. 

I had checked-in on-line which now turned out to be a problem because the ANA airline could only give me the first boarding pass to Narita (Tokyo) Airport.   I had to go all the way to the departures terminal check-in counter at Narita to get the rest of my boarding passes.   I was sent to a huge line at the United counters that hardly moved for ages.  I had been told the plane was delayed and I needed to get re-booked.  When my turn finally came up, I found out that the plane was only delayed an hour and I wouldn't be missing my connection in San Francisco even if we came in an hour later than the 9:15 am projected because my plane didn't leave until 11:10 PM.  By now I was starved so I ran into a duty-free shop looking for some food and lo and behold found a giant box of green tea KitKats for Anne.  I had been looking for them since Kyoto and had only found melon, bitter almond, regular chocolate and lemon/cola soda.  Now I finally had the green tea Kit Kats!  I found a little box of chocolates for myself to eat immediately.

I did get some sleep on the plane overnight plus an OK dinner and breakfast.  I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do when I got to SF.  I got through immigration and customs, put my bags back in checked baggage, and started walking through the terminal.  I met an airport staff person who said I should get out and see the sights.  I was a little tired and had been unsure, but she tipped the balance and I gave cs a call.  Between her and Brenda with some input from me, it was decided that I should take a shuttle to Brenda's office and hang out there until cs was done with work and would come pick us up.

While waiting at Brenda's office, I got to use her sticky server keyboard and chat with her and Katie her co-worker.  Then Brenda and I went for a walk in Pacific Heights to get a view of the city and the ocean.  We took photos of the great old Victorian houses and I got a pizza slice after passing up a bookstore.  Unbelievable - I must be tired.  Actually I had no more room in my carry-on luggage.  CS arrived and took us to a Golden Gate Bridge overlook where we all took some photos and Brenda used cs's new toy video camera to take videos of crossing the bridge.  They tossed around ideas for dinner and we ended up at a great Burmese restaurant in Richmond.  I couldn't get a mango lassi so had the tapioca coconut drink was like a dessert!   CS had Singapore noodles and bz some sizzling beef dish and I had rainbow prawns with tropical fruit.  Very nice even if we weren't allowed to take photos of our food, but our neighboring diners took tons!

After dinner, they dropped me off at the airport.  The plane boarded late.  I remember being tired and figgety during the flight to Dulles.  I don't remember getting anything to drink or eat though so I was quite thirsty by the time we arrived at Dulles....late of course.  I had less than 30 minutes to make it to my Albany flight gate and had to go through long, long corridors and wait for a shuttle train.  I had hoped to get something to eat but there wasn't time for anything extra.  As I heard the announcement for final boarding call, I ran part of the way down the last corridor and was the last one to get on the plane.  Oh, I forgot.  Since I like window seats, I was 3 seats from the aisle on the place coming into Dulles.  They announced that people should let those who had immediate connecting flights go first.  I didn't get out any sooner.  When I pulled my pack from the overhead bin, I dislodged my cell phone and heard it hit the floor, but couldn't see it.  I am due for a new phone but I still didn't want to lose this one...especially now.  So I had to give up my turn to get off the plane and crawl around between the seats to look for the phone.  This took me awhile plus I had to fight the current as people behind me were getting off.  I found the phone and grabbed all the rest of my stuff.  I walked on the escalators and the flat moving things...I walked as fast as I possibly could.

When I got into my seat, the young woman next to me introduced herself...Cameo from Hawaii...starting her first year at Scidmore.  She had been on the Dulles flight as well.  I told her all about snow in the Capital District but assured her that she would enjoy herself at Scidmore.  We chatted the whole time so the last hour of traveling passed quickly.  Kara met me in baggage pick-up but we could have skipped it because my bags were still in Dulles.  I had expected that..because I didn't see how they could have separated them and got them to the plane for Albany when I barely made it.  Maybe I should have hitched a ride with them.  In any case, when my bags were checked in at the airport near Sapporo, they could only do it as far as Dulles....I don't remember why, but I did vaguely remember someone telling me something about it.  So since my first opportunity would have been during the chaos at Narita-Tokyo, I didn't remember and the United person didn't notice either.  So I am still waited for 1:24 on Friday morning.  Hope they make it.  It was a good trip.  The End.  (They did make it.)
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