The Long Way Home

Trip Start May 03, 2013
Trip End May 22, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday May 22 Day 20/5 Istanbul to SFO
Turkish  9 (TK) Depart 12:45PM arriving 4:30PM at LAX,
Delta 4610 7:10PM arriving 8:31PM at SFO

Our van picks us up from hotel at 10am. It's a hot, sunny morning. There's some traffic at first, but it's still a fairly quick trip. We grab our luggage and head into the airport terminal, totally unprepared for the Big Security Process:

1. X-ray inside the door. This is for everyone who enters the airport.
2. Personal check of passports
3. Airline check-in
4. Passport Control
5. X-ray to reach the gates
6. Passport and boarding pass check at the gate
7. Boarding pass and passport check boarding the plane.

Do we feel secure!

The flight is delayed, but we're still scheduled to arrive early at 4pm local in LAX. It's not quite a full plane, again there's an empty seat between me and window seat occupant. We're fed and watered. I watch 2 throw away movies, listen to jazz on the service, and read my iPad Kindle app until the battery gets low. I can't sleep. We've all been given these little tin boxes with socks plus eye shades and slippers. I try everything out, but can't get comfortable. It's a LOOOOONG flight!

We finally arrive at LAX, but the gate's not ready for us. While we're waiting, everybody gets up and at it- opening luggage compartments and hauling things out. Requests to sit down and wait are ignored. Exiting a plane is a competition in Turkey. 

We finally exit and the trip through passport/customs is quick, but there's a longish wait for luggage. Then we have the challenge of finding where we recheck our bags. I ask the agent if it's 'back there' pointing back toward the line. "You don't want to go back there", she says. Very dry humor. "Definitely not", I say.

We recheck the bags,but then have to walk outside 2 terminals down for Delta. There's drywall barriers everywhere- is LAX ALWAYS under construction?- We have to walk back out again to find an elevator to schlep the carry-ons. And then go through the security checks to get our boarding pass on Delta. Luckily, the machines are easy to use and we don't have to wait in line for a person.  We finally reach our gate and are really feeling the jet lag. I stop to get a Big Mac and notice my Visa card is missing. Great! Where's Mustafa? I need help again! We're exhausted when we board our small plane just a little late. I have to gate check the carry-on- the plane is that small. I nearly doze off before takeoff. Then a quick soda and peanuts with a little reading and we're landing. It's a lovely sunset over SF, but cool and windy- what's new? My roller bag is the last one dug out. We stop at the WC and on to the luggage area where we happily find it's waiting for us. Then it's 'goodbyes' with JCD- which is funny since we'll be meeting for lunch at a baseball game on Monday. I pull out the faithful fleece and head out. I have to schlep up the elevator and out to request the shuttle van to the East Bay. Then it's sit and wait. But not too long! I'm the only pickup and it's a quick ride directly home.

So the ugly stats: left Istanbul hotel at 10am local Wednesday 5/22- or 8pm Tues 5/21 SF. Arrive home at 9:30pm local Wednesday 5/22- or 7:30 am Thurs 5/23 in Turkey. That equals 21.5 hours in transit.

Final notes:
How easy is it to get there?
1. It's just 2 doors down.
2. It's just a 20 minute walk away.
3. It's the second left then right (or right then the second left- insert variations as needed).

What floor is it? -3 (I've never seen negative numbers on an elevator before.)

How to ... ( turn on the air conditioner, turn on the TV, lock the safe)
 "The directions are not quite so correct"


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