Saturday, June 12, 2010
Vacation Update - Friday
Up early, cleaned everyone up, loaded up the Crown Victoria rental and took one more pass at San Diego Stuff. No sun again today - giving us a total of 4 hours of sun for our entire visit. People say this is normal; I say it should be something that I read about in the fine print of the San Diego Tourist Contract To Leave All Your Money In California.
We went onto Coronado Island and drove down to the Silver Strand State Beach for a walk-around. $10 to park, but I did it happily. Why happy? Because there wasn't a single remaining thing there to cost any money. No gift shops, hamburger slappers or take-a-photo-you-don't-really-want crap. Just a really, really long beach. Graham had fallen asleep in the car, so K stayed with him while I went for a stroll with the two older boys. What a hoot! Chasing the surf, examining kelp piles and finding little shell bits were all part of the hard work of fun, and we ended up soaked, freezing, and happy as all get-out.
We changed in the car, then headed for a second day at the SD Zoo. We had a purpose this time: to see the cats and the polar stuff - both things we'd missed the first time around. The boys were a little goofy and tired, but we still had a good time. Took the Skyline back to the exit, then headed back to the airport for the flight out.
Dropped off the Way Huge-mobile at the Dollar Rental place (one of the scuttier rental holes I've been through), then shuttled to the airport. The Frontier person was really nice, and helped us get prepped for a flight that was going to be delayed. We spend some time in the food court, then went through security for our area. Since we knew we were going to have a long delay, we set up all our iCrap (iPhone, iPod Touch x2, iPad) with power connections and began the long wait. After a few hours, Kristin noticed that there was nobody left in the terminal. At all. That's gotta be a bad sign...
I went out toward the ticketing area, and was stunned to see security completely shut down. Headed out the gate area to see our bags sitting on a pile in the middle of the terminal. That can't be good, right? I grab them and head up to the ticketing area, only to see a huge line. I ask the guy at the back of the line about the situation, and get the bad news - everything to Denver is cancelled.
The guy let me use his cellphone to call K, and she hustled the boys (and our stuff) back to the ticket area. We waited for about an hour before we got the good news: no flight until Sunday, and even then the family would be split between two flights. This was Not Good. So I asked about flights out of LAX, and was told I could get a Saturday booking out of there. So we did that while I searched for a one-way rental car to LA. The answer? No such thing: while we were sitting like a bunch of dumb-asses in the gate area, everyone else in San Diego rented cars for the wagon train to a different flight. Not a single rental car in all of SD.
I was at wits end, so I pulled a tough one out of the hat: I called my friend Andrew, who has had my back so many times in the past, to see if he'd be able to help. Within a few minutes, the plan was hatched, and we took the "distress rate" hotel booking at the Sheraton Resort and Marina (a really, really nice hotel) for the evening, with renewed travel plans for Saturday.