Day Forty Four – San Francisco

We are up at 6:30 for a flight to San Francisco leaving at 9:30. On the way to the airport we are hit by a very heavy thunder storm. Our taxi driver is talking on his phone and saying to the person on the other end, ‘it’s hard to see anything!’ The last time I caught a flight out of Memphis we also got hit by a storm that shut down the airport for 3 hours. We are not flying direct to Memphis and we have to go via Dallas. Our connection time for Dallas is a very short time after we arrive so any delay will be a problem. Kate wants to know why they would fly a plane in this weather, good question and we are about to find out. As it turns out we left Memphis on time.

The flight was as they say ‘a little bumpy.’ We had to complete three big loops outside of Dallas due to the back log of planes waiting to land due to the storms. We finally got the o.k. to land in Dallas and it was more than ‘a little bumpy.’ We were on the ground just as our connecting flight was due to take off. The pilot told us a few minutes before that he thought most connecting flight would also be delayed. When we were able to ask an American airlines attendant she told us that our connecting flight has already loaded and she doubted we would make it. Bummer, not only that the airport is so big that we needed to get the Sky Train just to get to the correct terminal. To our surprise the plane was still sitting on the ground and we were the last of four passengers to board. Whew, now we can take-off. No we had to sit on the tarmac for another hour due to the back log.
Uneventful flight into San Francisco. The girls had to check their carry on luggage for the flight. We were worried that those smaller bags might have been delayed. No need to worry about that as none of our bags have arrived. Wendy completed the paper-work for lost baggage. Kate is worried that she may never see her make-up again.

We got a cab to China Town where our hotel was located (the Astoria.) We booked there due to it’s close proximity to Union Square and because everything else was so expensive. I have since learned that San Francisco has become the most expensive U.S. city to live in having just surpassed New York.
We finally arrived at the hotel after battling huge traffic jams. The hotel is very plain looking (to say the least) and when we finally got to our room there was a very audible groan from the girls. Five star it ain’t nor any number in between of one. The T.V. is so old that it does not have a remote and Kate does not know how to turn it on. We have a desk (as advertised) but no chair. Wendy said we should go somewhere else but why bother. The sheets are clean and the bathroom is o.k. The good thing about the lost baggage is that you are able to track its where about online. We have found out that our bags should arrive on the next flight and that around four hours after that they will be delivered to our hotel.

We are all pretty spent not only from today but also the last six weeks is catching up. Time to go out and have a quick look at San Francisco and get something to eat. Although our hotel is pretty s0-so we are just one road crossing from some very exclusive shops.
We found a diner (Loris) and I ordered a New York steak sandwich. The food was pretty ordinary to say the least. The bill came and they had already added on an 18% gratuity and also noted that we could leave a tip. Now I know from past experience that the norm is to add an 18% gratuity if you are in a party of six or more (not three.) Some places hear the foreign accent and see how far they can con the tourist. Wendy crossed out the 18% tip. She will have to wait to see her statement I guess.

Rob Rowe

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