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Old 03-06-2002, 11:23 PM   #1
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Location: AUS [Austin, TX, USA]
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AUS to SAN and back, 6-Mar to 9-Mar

Off to a slow start, my travel schedule has begun to gain some momentum. A leisurely AUS-IAH-SAN-IAH-AUS set the pace as my first domestic destination of the new year. I eticketed a few weeks back and was comfortably EUA'd on three of the four segments five days prior to the trip. About the only potential hiccup I anticipated was difficulty due to my not having received my 2002 OnePass kit with new Elite card.

I had as a travelling companion a cow-orker, Paul, who hasn't done much travelling at all. In fact, he admitted that this Texas to California trip would be the biggest jump in timezones he'd ever done. In traditional dbaker fashion, I set out to completely ruin him for any future proletarian travel he might experience later.

We set out for the airport at about half past noon, with a 15:55 flight time. This is much earlier than I'd usually buffer my time, but I wanted to maximize my ability to get Paul upgraded on our flights.

We zoomed down to AUS, passing 700 miles on the odometer of my zippy new car, and proceeded to the check-in counter. I introduced Paul to the eticket machines where we were both able to receive our boarding passes for the IAH and SAN flights of the day. As I checked in, the eticket machine cheerily informed me that as an Elite member I'd be placed on standby for an upgrade on the IAH-SAN flight. How peachy.

We then scuttled through security (uneventful) and over to the P-Club. There I explained our situation and set the ever-helpful Austin P-Club staff loose on securing Paul and I better seats for the 3:05 flight to SAN.
She was able to immediatly get Paul moved from his awful seat next to the lavatory in the rear of our 737 to IAH to a bulkhead coach seat, but wasn't able to get him a spot in the woefully small first class cabin. It's always nicer when I can time my flights to catch one of IAH segments on a 757. With a promise that she'd keep at it, we ambled back to the lounge area.

Amazing surprise, I was denied when ordering my usual Sam Adams (goes great with a cheddar wedge). It seems that *very* recently the AUS P-Club broke ranks with the rest of Continental and switched from Sam Adams to serving the local favorite, Shiner. A very welcome and pleasant change of menu. It must have happened very recently, because the bartender actually spun around to prepare my Sam Adams before remembering that he couldn't. The staff at the P-Club seemed very enthused that they were the only P-Club with a regionally customized menu like this. Took a pic of the new tap, naturally.

About 45 minutes into our relaxing wait, we got the good news. 2A and 2B for the flight to SAN. Always tip your P-Club staff, they can work miracles. I was lame and accidently left the Motor Trend I'd bought for the flight sitting at the P-Club. It had a review of my new car which I was eager to read.

At the appropriate time, we strolled over to gate 18 and boarded the flight to Houston. The very same winds that were buffeting my car all over the road on the way to the airport made for an unsettling takeoff, flight, and landing. Texas was land of the high winds today. The flight was otherwise quite tame.

We spent our hour layover in IAH at the South P-Club. I got my Sam Adams (and wished it had been a Shiner). The club was very full, as you might expect from a weekday at 17:00. Chatted at length about Texas limestone with a really personable guy across the table from us. He struck up a conversation with us upon seeing Paul's ud.com shirt -- he runs the Cancer Project agent on his home computer. (that was pretty neat).

Finally we were off to gate C-39 and onto the 737 (wow, small!) that would carry us to the left coast. Takeoff was again afflicted by high winds and there was some unsettling turbulence as we climbed through to cruising altitude. It was refreshing to experience the stellar Continental first class service through Paul's eyes. My attention was drawn to many of the small details, like warm, pre-meal hand towels, to which I've grown jaded.

Movie on the flight was "Shallow Hal" which didn't lessen my opinion of Jack Black but probably should have. Meal was our choice of a Turkey and Pasta dish or something seafoody. The turkey turned out to be the better choice, but wasn't particularly memorable. We arrived on-time to a balmy (for March) San Diego and headed for the Hertz shuttle.

For the second time (in what amounts to only a handful of trips here) Hertz had managed to lose my reservation. SAN is the only place I've had this sort of difficulty from Hertz, but it doesn't seem to be uncommon here. I provided my Club Gold card to the shuttle driver and clarified that this reservation was for a full size, four door car and not for my traditional "2 door sporty" which is specified in my Hertz customer profile. I'll be chauffering this week and need the extra space.

By the time we got to the Gold car pickup location (in SAN gold and non-gold are served from seperate locations), they'd gotten my name in yellow lights and picked out a car for me. But it was a miserable, small, two-door affair and not at all what I'd asked for. Wasn't even "sporty" from the *huge* fleet of Mustangs that SAN keeps on hand. I talked the counter staff to comp me an upgrade into a Volvo S60 with NeverLost GPS. Ohhhh, yeah. I hope they screw up next time, too.

With the GPS barking out directions, we were able to quickly make our way through the unfamiliar city streets and highways to our hotel near La Jolla. Checked in to the hotel and of course immediately got busy on this trip report.

More soon as we tour the zoo and fly back on Saturday.
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Old 03-06-2002, 11:23 PM   #2
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AUS to SAN and back, 6-Mar to 9-Mar

Off to a slow start, my travel schedule has begun to gain some momentum. A leisurely AUS-IAH-SAN-IAH-AUS set the pace as my first domestic destination of the new year. I eticketed a few weeks back and was comfortably EUA'd on three of the four segments five days prior to the trip. About the only potential hiccup I anticipated was difficulty due to my not having received my 2002 OnePass kit with new Elite card.

I had as a travelling companion a cow-orker, Paul, who hasn't done much travelling at all. In fact, he admitted that this Texas to California trip would be the biggest jump in timezones he'd ever done. In traditional dbaker fashion, I set out to completely ruin him for any future proletarian travel he might experience later.

We set out for the airport at about half past noon, with a 15:55 flight time. This is much earlier than I'd usually buffer my time, but I wanted to maximize my ability to get Paul upgraded on our flights.

We zoomed down to AUS, passing 700 miles on the odometer of my zippy new car, and proceeded to the check-in counter. I introduced Paul to the eticket machines where we were both able to receive our boarding passes for the IAH and SAN flights of the day. As I checked in, the eticket machine cheerily informed me that as an Elite member I'd be placed on standby for an upgrade on the IAH-SAN flight. How peachy.

We then scuttled through security (uneventful) and over to the P-Club. There I explained our situation and set the ever-helpful Austin P-Club staff loose on securing Paul and I better seats for the 3:05 flight to SAN.
She was able to immediatly get Paul moved from his awful seat next to the lavatory in the rear of our 737 to IAH to a bulkhead coach seat, but wasn't able to get him a spot in the woefully small first class cabin. It's always nicer when I can time my flights to catch one of IAH segments on a 757. With a promise that she'd keep at it, we ambled back to the lounge area.

Amazing surprise, I was denied when ordering my usual Sam Adams (goes great with a cheddar wedge). It seems that *very* recently the AUS P-Club broke ranks with the rest of Continental and switched from Sam Adams to serving the local favorite, Shiner. A very welcome and pleasant change of menu. It must have happened very recently, because the bartender actually spun around to prepare my Sam Adams before remembering that he couldn't. The staff at the P-Club seemed very enthused that they were the only P-Club with a regionally customized menu like this. Took a pic of the new tap, naturally.

About 45 minutes into our relaxing wait, we got the good news. 2A and 2B for the flight to SAN. Always tip your P-Club staff, they can work miracles. I was lame and accidently left the Motor Trend I'd bought for the flight sitting at the P-Club. It had a review of my new car which I was eager to read.

At the appropriate time, we strolled over to gate 18 and boarded the flight to Houston. The very same winds that were buffeting my car all over the road on the way to the airport made for an unsettling takeoff, flight, and landing. Texas was land of the high winds today. The flight was otherwise quite tame.

We spent our hour layover in IAH at the South P-Club. I got my Sam Adams (and wished it had been a Shiner). The club was very full, as you might expect from a weekday at 17:00. Chatted at length about Texas limestone with a really personable guy across the table from us. He struck up a conversation with us upon seeing Paul's ud.com shirt -- he runs the Cancer Project agent on his home computer. (that was pretty neat).

Finally we were off to gate C-39 and onto the 737 (wow, small!) that would carry us to the left coast. Takeoff was again afflicted by high winds and there was some unsettling turbulence as we climbed through to cruising altitude. It was refreshing to experience the stellar Continental first class service through Paul's eyes. My attention was drawn to many of the small details, like warm, pre-meal hand towels, to which I've grown jaded.

Movie on the flight was "Shallow Hal" which didn't lessen my opinion of Jack Black but probably should have. Meal was our choice of a Turkey and Pasta dish or something seafoody. The turkey turned out to be the better choice, but wasn't particularly memorable. We arrived on-time to a balmy (for March) San Diego and headed for the Hertz shuttle.

For the second time (in what amounts to only a handful of trips here) Hertz had managed to lose my reservation. SAN is the only place I've had this sort of difficulty from Hertz, but it doesn't seem to be uncommon here. I provided my Club Gold card to the shuttle driver and clarified that this reservation was for a full size, four door car and not for my traditional "2 door sporty" which is specified in my Hertz customer profile. I'll be chauffering this week and need the extra space.

By the time we got to the Gold car pickup location (in SAN gold and non-gold are served from seperate locations), they'd gotten my name in yellow lights and picked out a car for me. But it was a miserable, small, two-door affair and not at all what I'd asked for. Wasn't even "sporty" from the *huge* fleet of Mustangs that SAN keeps on hand. I talked the counter staff to comp me an upgrade into a Volvo S60 with NeverLost GPS. Ohhhh, yeah. I hope they screw up next time, too.

With the GPS barking out directions, we were able to quickly make our way through the unfamiliar city streets and highways to our hotel near La Jolla. Checked in to the hotel and of course immediately got busy on this trip report.

More soon as we tour the zoo and fly back on Saturday.
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Old 03-10-2002, 02:37 PM   #3
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Pics are online

Still working on the second half of the trip report. Pics are online, though. As usual, split into my personal gallery and the ITYT gallery for SAN.
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Old 03-10-2002, 02:37 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: AUS [Austin, TX, USA]
Posts: 610
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Pics are online

Still working on the second half of the trip report. Pics are online, though. As usual, split into my personal gallery and the ITYT gallery for SAN.
Nugget is offline   Reply With Quote
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