San Francisco Travel Blog› entry 2 of 14 › view all entries
My flight from Amsterdam was at 11AM on a Friday. Last time I had a flight at 11AM on a Friday and I drove up from Eindhoven, I left at 6:30AM and missed the flight (by 5 minutes...technically was there 55 minutes in advance, but needed to be checked in 1 hour before so I had to be moved to a 1PM flight to Cincy instead of the direct to JFK flight!) Anyway, decided to give myself the extra five minutes and left a little earlier...wasn't necessary!
Got to the airport and was sitting in the KLM lounge by 9AM. Chatted some with Erin before she went to bed (only midnight in Ca!) then ran some errands (some Speculoos cookies, running to the Continental transfer desk to get exit row seats for the one flight home and a row to myself for the other, etc.
No problem, no worries. Couple minutes later, there it is. We cattle get processed through security and onto the plane we go! I have seat 7J on a KLM MD-11...which according to Seatguru is one of the two best coach seats on the entire plane! I wanted 7H, but was the 23rd person to check in on the flight and someone had already snagged it. Sat in the seat and soon found there was a slight problem with the seat. Well, not the seat, but the air vent over the seat. It was open full, and would not close! Air was rushing out at full force and would not stop. Technically, it was over 7H...but it was LOUD! Ugh...I didn't want to have to find another seat.
But wait! Don't I have earplugs in my bag? Yes...an old pair of ear plugs from a Delta flight a few months back. Let me pop them in. No help! That air is LOUD! Let's try the iPod. Yikes...almost drowned out the music! Hm...guess I need to move. No! Wait...ear plugs...small hole where aiir rushing out. No...I'm sure the air will just shoot it out like a bullet. Well...let's give it a shot. Hm...fits fine. Seems effective. How long will it hold? Explain situation to flight attendant, she gets ok from pursor to allow us to keep it in and let's hope it works. I get a new pair of ear plugs to replace the one I am sacrificing, now let's see how long it lasts...
11 hours, 4 movies, 2 meals and almost 7 hours later.
I'm one of the first off the plane, only have carry-on luggage, and am a US citizen, so I walked as fast as I could to immigration, actually wound up in the fastest line through passport control, passed right by baggage claim to customs, and after an incident with a gentleman in a very fancy wheelchair/bike type aparatus was finally sorted out, I was back on US Soil...at least 30 minutes before expected I think. First person I see when I walk out? ERIN! She's sitting just outside the exit, and boy was she surprised to see me so quickly! Apparently she wanted to have time to take a photo and such as I walked out...but I was too fast for her :-( Sorry honey, couldn't wait to see you!
We said our hellos and popped into the car for our journey up to Napa.
The original plan, I think, was to view the bridge from the San Francisco side of the bridge, but we missed the exit and wound up crossing the bridge, which allowed us to view the bridge from Golden Gate National Recreation Area with incredibly amazing and spectacular views of the GG Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, and downtown. Breathtaking. And the views only got better when we headed up into the Marin Headlands a little for a view looking down on the bridge and the Pacific. What a way to start the visit!