03 August 2012

A beautiful day for a wedding, not a good weekend for flying

As I mentioned in my previous post, it's been a busy week!  This past weekend, T and I flew out to San Diego to see my good friend get married!  As seems to be the (growing?) trend, Wendy had multiple events planned across three days.  We had already planned to miss the first events because of T's work schedule, so we planned to arrive Saturday morning; in time for the afternoon and evening events before the actual wedding ceremony and reception Sunday evening.

As luck would have it, Wendy's wedding happened to be on the same weekend my high school class had chosen for our 10 year reunion.  TEN years!  Oh boy.  Anyway, T and I went to the first reunion event, which was just a gathering at a bar downtown.  Of course, I hadn't seen many/most of these people since graduation, so there was lots to catch up on!  Not being the young, let's just stay up all night types we used to be, we admittedly stayed out longer than we should have.  Getting home around 2am, knowing we needed to be at the airport for an 8:30am flight wasn't the best thing.

Long story short, we missed our flight.  It wasn't entirely our fault though!  Turns out that our flight ended up taking off at least 5 minutes early; without the full passenger list!  At 8:30am, as we ran up to the United Customer Service area, we found it packed with people who'd also 'missed flights.'  After two failed calls to United's customer service, we managed to get a sentient human who was able to re-book us for the 5:21pm flight I'd already found and vetted online (not sure why the first two guys weren't able to do it!).

On our way back to the airport at 3:30pm, I received an email informing us that our flight was now cancelled and we were re-booked to arrive in San Diego at 2:45pm SUNDAY!  Our driver, my sister Flea, took us to my parents' house to regroup and try to rebook yet again.  A short while later, I had us "protected" on a flight at 5:30pm, so we hightailed it back to the airport.

Indicators of United's continued bad day were everywhere; hugely long lines, more especially snippy and downright mean or rude United agents, hordes of angry would-be passengers and general confusion.  Through the chaos, we waited patiently in line after being repeatedly directed to a non-existent agent at a cattle class podium.  Finally, as we reached the front of the line, I was able to snag another sentient and therefore useful and kind enough human agent.  After some more waiting, becoming more and more nervous about not making the flight, he handed us boarding passes at 4:55pm for a flight at 5:20pm to San Francisco.  He wasn't able to print boarding passes for the second leg, so we would have to deal with that in SF.  At least we would get to the left coast that day!

Turns out that fewer people fly in the wee hours of the morning in California, so getting our boarding passes to San Diego wasn't too hard.  We were even able to get exit row seats and stretch out (or fall asleep immediately) after being squashed crossing the country.

Luckily, once we were in California, things were going much better.  We picked up our rental car without incident and our (sold out) hotel had held our room (I'd notified them of our potentially super late arrival online).  Plus, I was reminded that our room rate included breakfast!  I'm a fan of Marriott's breakfast buffet, so this was especially good news.

Sunday, we had the whole morning and afternoon to do some exploring.  We checked out some Japanese stores, spent like we were back in Japan and then decided it was actually warm enough that we'd like to sit by the pool.  So we relaxed at the pool; somehow even though it was only in the upper 70s, it felt very hot!  I managed to even out my strap tan and we evaded sunburn!

The wedding was lovely.  It was very much in my friend Wendy's style; with lots of handmade and personalized touches throughout the night.  I don't have many photos, because we were too busy enjoying the moments.  Here's one of their kiss:

The next day, our trip home looked to be a repeat of Saturday, but we managed to make it with just a 3.5 hour delay.

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