Getting There is Half the Fun

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
Trip End Nov 11, 2006

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

As you all know, I am NOT a true morning person. Getting to CA by Noon means one thing... an early morning flight. My flight left Washington National (I still refuse to use the Regan title) at 7:30 AM. A 7:30 AM flight means a 6:15 AM taxi pick up.

At precisely 6:13 AM my phone rang to tell me that my cab was waiting outside. When I opened the door I found a rather scraggly looking man standing on my doorstep. He asked if I was Lisa, I said yes and that was just about the last word I got in for the next 40 minutes. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty outgoing person. But at 6:15 in the AM m not full of a lot of conversation. This guy, I think his name was Craig, was full... and I mean full of conversation. Perhaps it was the fact that the midterm elections were held the day before and it appeared that the Democrats had swept the House of Representatives and are in a good position to take the Senate. Or maybe he was two or three cups of java ahead of me, but either way, this guy was a talker. He discussed the elections, the weather, where I was going, how interesting CA was compared to the rest of the world, how United Airlines was pretty good .. if you were going to Chicago, the flooding on the GW Parkway, bad driving, his wife and kids, the economy, Iraq, cats and dogs, and I'm sure a few other things that I just couldn't keep u with. Seriously folks, this guy talked me to near death. I gave him a 25% tip for the entertainment value alone....

Once in the airport I made my way directly to the security line. I am a savvy traveler and of course printed out my boarding pass at home. I was feeling good until I made it down the excelator and saw a security line that was 5 or 6 rows deep. Where are all these people going so dang early!!! Where are the frequent traveler lines? How come that guy ahead of me hasn't taken his computer out of his bag yet... come on, lets get moving!!!!

Long story short, I made my flight, which was totally full and in a little less than 2 hours I was in Chicago. Now if anyone has traveled on United I'm sure they've been through the Chicago O'Hare airport. O'Hare is one of the busiest airports in the world and you can easily miss a flight just trying to get from one terminal to another. No matter how frustrating it might be, it has one great redeeming fact... in Terminal A near Gate 14 or so, there's this great place for breakfast called the Billy Goat. Now this may not seem very interesting but when you are hungry and running through the airport, this is one place you can still get two eggs any style, meat, hashbrowns, and toast for just over 4 bucks. That's OK in my book... but I'm getting off topic... Lets get to CA.

I caught my connection and settled myself in for a 4 hour flight. I planned on sleeping but somehow Chester Chatty had followed me and was sitting right next to me. I won't (can't) go into the whole conversation but if we had another 2 hours we might have solved world hunger.

OK, so now I've landed in Oakland and made my way to the local Thrifty car rental so I can take a 2 hour drive down to Monterey. My impression of N. CA is the same as always, how can it be so sunny and cold at the same time and dang there are a lot of cars and freeways. At the car rental I'm "upgraded"... yippee, I've gone from a midsize car to a mini van???? If I'm willing to wait for an unspecified amount of time I can get a midsize. It being close to 1PM I worry about CA's legendary traffic accept the mini van and drive off feeling like a soccer mom.

My directions are clear and my route will take me along the 808 south to the 101, and finally to the 1. It was a nice drive, nothing to special to speak about but I am impressed with the mountains that I see to the left. Ca is spacious. I guess that's why they need so many highways.

I am now at the Carmel Valley Ranch and it is pretty nice.

I'm not a golfer so I cant get excited by that but I do love my room. Its designed like a ski chalet. It has a large sitting room but the best is the large fireplace in the bedroom. I have already burned half a dozen logs.

Later I will try to get to town but for now, it's back to work.. at least until tonight when I can start burning wood again.

Talk to you soon!!!!
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