Sunday, August 17, 2014

After Some "Hard Travelin'", Back Home

After turning in our rental car, and a final lunch with most of the family at the San Luis Obispo airport cafe (not bad, really), we began the journey home.

Our first stop after checking in at the airline, of course, was TSA. Usually, the TSA inspections at tiny airports like SLO are pretty easy, but when we arrived, TSA was out to lunch "calibrating their machines".  Calibrating their machines seemed to involve a lot of standing around and talking to each other. Eventually, they did open for business, and we were first in line to be checked through. After taking off shoes, belt and emptying my pockets, it turned out as the first victim "customer" through the line, I was randomly chosen by the freshly calibrated machine to be subjected to the "special inspection", which involved swabbing my cell phone for explosives. Which of course was negative. TSA must be destroyed.

We made it aboard the Brasilia bound for San Francisco, seeing the effects of the California mega-drought, and made it to San Francisco as planned. After a short walk and a medium wait we caught our Boeing 737 bound for Baltimore/Washington. The trip across country was uneventful, and given good weather and favorable winds we arrived a BWI a little after 12:30 AM.

That's when things turned sour.  Our second checked bag was nearly the last one down the ramp, just after 1 AM. Upon calling for the shuttle from the Sheraton Hotel, where we had spent the night before we left, specifically to get our car safe in their lot and use the shuttle, we were told it would be 7 minutes until they arrived.  45 minutes, and 2 additional calls later, the shuttle actually arrived, and, indeed, 7 minutes later, we arrived at our car.  The driver had no explanation for the wait, claiming he came as soon as he was notified by the dispatcher. We took the position that if he wanted a tip, he should talk to the dispatcher.

Now, at 1:45 AM, the roads are pretty clear, and most of the lights favor the big roads, so we expected a rapid trip home.  However, I hit more than half the lights red on the way down to I-97. Once down to Bowie, however, I was pulled over by a state trooper, who took another 20 minutes or so to inform me I had a headlight out (I hadn't realized it), and print out a fix-it ticket. Oh joy.

We made home around 3 AM, and after a few nominal chores, hit the bed and didn't get up until after 11 AM.

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