Travel Day, AKA hurry up and wait. Our flight time had changed, I thought to 12:30, turned out to be 12:50, either way the Airport Express only runs once an hour, so let’s see … *they* say to get there three hours before an international flight so we decided take our chances on the 9:15T arrival (T=indicates possible delays Mondays through Fridays due to commute traffic.), which is the 7:00 AM bus hey I thought we weren’t going to have to get up early from WCN (World’s Cutest Nephew) after we decided we were going to walk over to the bus stop. We’ll have plenty of sitting down time, may as well walk.
Up, a quick breakfast and away we went. Still doesn’t quite seem real. It was a high overcast, nice temperature for walking. I hadn’t managed to be quite as light a packer as perhaps I could have been, but rolly bag FTW. The googles had said 1.8 miles, but that was all the way over to (somewhere in) the Fairgrounds, so the bus stop probably wasn’t quite so far, and we kept a good pace, so arrived with plenty of time. Step 1. At the bus stop. A number of other people arrived by car as we were waiting.
The bus came, right on schedule, we got our luggage stowed and found seats. Step 2. On the bus. Still not real. There were a few other stops for more passengers, but I was surprised that we kept moving pretty well while on the road. Or maybe the time seemed to pass quickly since someone else was driving and there was free WIFI. The sun came out as we were rolling through Marin, but I couldn’t get the window shade to stay down – the stick as the bottom was only long enough to clip in on one end. For a while I got it to stay, but after the second time of it rolling up with a big thwack I left it.
There was a sticky spot on 19th Avenue with a lane shut down, but since there was nothing we could do it seemed no point in getting worked up. Traffic freed up once we got past that, and it seemed we still had plenty of time. In fact we got to the Airport right on schedule. OHHEY! there were WOW Air banners all over. That’s us!
Of course the International Terminal was the last stop, I started to get antsy but we made it through dropping everyone else off. We chatted about last time we’d each been through SFO. My sister and WCN usually fly through LAX, but have been to SFO, my last trip through SFO was in 2014, and even though the final destination was over seas, the first leg had been domestic so not through the International Terminal.
We got off the bus, collected our luggages, and set off down the sidewalk in search of WOW Air. Step 3. At the Airport. The sign for WOW was a few spaces down, and after getting through the big revolving door that reminded me of one of the stages in a video game WCN had been playing on the bus, we were at a completely empty aisle. Hmn. The sign at the door had said WOW Air – and a few others. I didn’t think we were too early for them to be open… Between poking around and asking at the info desk we figured out it was actually the next aisle over.
And good timing! We were able to walk right up and check in, when I looked as we were finishing a line had formed. Not as big as the one for United, which we went by on the way to our next stop at the restroom, but still nice not having any wait at all. Not the same for security, but all things considered that went smoothly too.
Then our gate was the first one after security. We walked down to the end of the terminal though, just to get a bit of activity. There was some nice art work to admire along the way. Then back to our gate to wait for boarding. Step 4. At the gate. Maybe this IS really happening… I had a couple of last-minute phone calls to take care of, then the suspended reality between places people watching marking time waiting to board the time machine. When it got closer to boarding time I hit the restroom, filled up my water bottle and looked at the foods selection – nothing grabbed me enough to pay airport prices though.
Boarding started about 12:20, they started at the back of the plane and did a couple of sections, which didn’t seem to be too many people, then opened it to all rows and all of a sudden there was a long line. Seems hard to believe all those people will fit in that little metal tube out there… We were in row 10 and not in any rush to add more time on the plane, so waited until the line subsided.
Even with the shorter line it was stop and go progress down the jetway and onto the plane, but eventually we all got in and settled. Step 5. On the plane. WE’RE GOING TO ICELAND! Then there was waiting at the gate, eventually the plane pushed back, some more waiting, finally moving and in the air about 14:00. The plane seemed a little reluctant, or perhaps unsure about gaining altitude, I tried to not think about how improbable the whole flying thing really is.
They had the cabin lights off, and many people closed their shades, but it never really got dark out. I was able to doze on and off, but didn’t go out for the count. I finally got to reading some of one of the Iceland guidebooks I had as well.
Finally finally return your seat backs and tray tables to the upright and locked position. A thump thump and on the tarmac at 21:40. WE’RE IN ICELAND! Temperature is 8 degrees (C) and local time is 04:40. Yes, it’s tomorrow morning from when we started.
June 13, 2016
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