To see my tribute to Flo, go here

See about helping Flo's Haitian artist friends at Jakmel Ekspresyon

Monday, March 15, 2010

San Diego, March 14-15 and return

The gathering ended Sunday with a brunch at the Island Palms. Afterwards I joined leader Shannon and others of the group with wine around the pool. OK, this was a nice friendly gathering, less of a production in terms of speeches, videos, etc. than the one in Savannah two years ago. It's nice to see so many people of the group, even though I don't fit in in the best way in social situations. It was an important step to get many expressions of sympathy for Flo without it being overwhelming.

For the practical travel matters that I discuss most easily: we had the Daylight Saving Time change on Sunday (and during planning, I think I was the first to bring it to the organizers' attention on the board) and I had the time right to check in online at the 24-hour mark. Maybe fumbling with the netbook's touchpad delayed me by a few seconds, but I was surprised to see boarding number B14. With San Diego being in the corner of Southwest's network, one wouldn't expect it to be much of a connecting place, but it is. People connecting to this flight (including, oddly, from Tucson), had a head start on me at 24 hours before their first flight.

On Monday morning, I returned the rental car and got to Southwest's terminal. I know from previous experience that their main gate area is cramped, not much fun. Today I found that my flight is from gate 2: gates 1-2 are in a separate area, to the right of check-in at ground area (the jetway slopes up), facing the roadway. Security had no wait, compared to the long line for the main gates. There's a good amount of seating and some concessions. That's where I'm composing this, and I'll go ahead and publish this, reserving the option to add to it if much of interest happens in the flight.

Adding: Pictures

Sunday, March 14, 2010

San Diego, March 13

Saturday morning: I researched a creperie, went there for breakfast and looked around the nearby North Park area. For lunch, I drove Doru and Josette to the project that Shannon had planned: In 'n Out Burger with wine. We all had big and tasty Double Double Burgers with several wines to go around, and see how the wines and burgers affected each other every few bites.

Then my cousin Maria and her husband Steve met me at the Island Palms, and we spent some time in Old Town. They are fun people and it was nice. Then we got to the Gathering activity of the Mexican fiesta, a very authentic meal. Closing out for now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

San Diego, March 12

I have arrived in San Diego and I will start posting about travel again. This site is on record for my tribute to Flo, who will remain very much in my thoughts, and I hope it works to have the link to that tribute prominent under the title of this blog.

I'll see how it works to report on activities day-by-day, and report on big trips this way rather than spend a lot of time afterwards on trip reports. I'll start with my flight: leaving midday from Kansas City, my practice is to stop at Subway on the way, rather than pay high airport concession prices, and have a sandwich onboard with a coupon-bought beer if flying Southwest. We didn't have the snow that was possible, just chill and drizzle. As it's the start of Spring Break for many, there were crowds at the airport; this flight also had several people getting a cruise. It's been showing as sold out for a while; they were looking for one volunteer to bump, and it hasn't been too clear to me how that works on Southwest, and I couldn't arrive much later.

When I checked in right at the 24-hour mark, I got boarding pass A41. I took an aisle seat at the front of the rear flight attendant's section, the seatmates were fine, I had my sandwich with a beer, and dozed a bit on this, one of the longest possible flights from Kansas City. Although we were a few minutes late taking off, we arrived 30 minutes early. Although I won't be driving much, there was such a good deal for a rental car from Alamo that I took that, and got to the hotel, the Island Palms on Shelter Island.

Here things were nice in that they upgraded me to a Junior Suite, with a living area and two TVs, but the remote was completely haywire. Also wi-fi wasn't connecting, so I'm writing this first part offline. The key cards needed to be replaced a couple of times.

Then I got help from SlowTrav leader Kim in getting wi-fi to work. I’m back now from the evening event: went to Jane’s house, riding with Roz, and Nico visiting from Italy. So many people showed their support, and it’s an important step in things at this stage. There was a great assortment of small things (antipasti) to eat. Although the temperature was nice from what I came from, it was chilly for an outdoor event, but people were well prepared and bundled. At this late hour, I’ll stop there on this report.