Day One of Team WestEnders' West Coast Adventure proved quite successful, if thoroughly exhausting. Because I can barely formulate a sentence at this point...and even though I'm willing to suspend my weariness and at least try to pretend I'm already acclimated to Pacific Time, my computer stubbornly continues to remind me that it's 12:25 Eastern, rather than getting on board with the delusion and resetting itself already, for heaven's sake...where was I? California? Oh yeah, Today's Events, in abbreviated (and hopefully intelligible, although I make no promises) form:
7:45--Everyone gets up and begins preparing to vacate the premises. Mainly, this means throwing on a travel outfit and choosing a makeshift breakfast from what remains in the kitchen. (Frozen waffles...um...cheese and crackers? Whatever, I know there's a Dunkin' Donuts at the airport and I'm holding out for the java goodness, baby!)
9:30--arrive at BWI, park, take shuttle, blah blah blah, the usual routine.
11:00--board first flight, bound for Chicago Midway. Due to Southwest Airlines's Cattle Call Policy, we are forced to split into pairs, separated by several rows. As we take our seats, we wave gaily to one another one last time before taking off.
Okay, here's the first time it gets confusing: 1:00 Eastern, which has magically become 12 noon, Central, we touch down in The Windy City. Attempt to process the complicated math (which in algebraic terms would look something like this: ETD Central - A(rrival, converted) = number of minutes allowed to use facilities, purchase food, and re-plane. Rounded answers will not be accepted. Show your work. See, I'm LOOPY...) Anyway, because of a glitch that shall be called The Sad Sandwich Snafu (I ordered a veggie panini at a small cafe, waited ten minutes for it to be prepared, then was handed what turned out to be...turkey...for a vegetarian...which I discovered only after we were flying again. Aargh!) we had to hustle in late-ish fashion onto the aircraft and ended up with Husband and Riley together, but Derek and I on our own, surrounded by strangers. This was not actually a problem, as it was a 4-1/2 hour haul, and we ended up doing a combination of napping, reading, playing games...and staring dazedly out the windows.
4:00 Pacific--We arrive in the Golden State, baby! And honestly, the first thing I notice is that after finally getting used to 80/90 degrees...68 feels downright chilly! Oh, and that strong breeze can be sort of...piercing, through a cotton sweater. It became hilariously obvious who actually lives here and who's a tourist--the natives all sported jackets and jeans. Oopsie. On the major Plus Side, we're looking at palm trees and the wide, gorgeous expanse of the San Francisco Bay, and California sunshine...so it's all G-O-O-D.
After obtaining our rental car and journeying the couple of miles to our hotel, we quickly regrouped and headed toward the city in search of dinner...since we'd been cross-country without a real meal to sustain us and were all a bit woozy and tired. (Also it was now 6 p.m. here, which Husband kept helpfully translating into Maryland time for us, in case we weren't fatigued enough.) (Foolishly) braving the evening traffic to commute our way into Chinatown for some authentic cuisine, we (delightfully) were not disappointed. It was delicious, it was filling...it's time to hit the sack and rest and recuperate for tomorrow.
Because then, my friends, we storm the City by the Bay, for real. (After the free morning buffet, of course. And perhaps I'll buy a warmer jacket first...) Good night, East and West Coasts!