SATURDAY 26th OCTOBER
So we got up pretty early, giving us enough time to get dressed and pack. We knew we had to split the cases, but I don't think either of us could be fully bothered to do it, so we just grabbed a pile of clothes each and swapped them over. We chucked away the makeup wipes that hadn't been used but seemed to be quite bulky, as well as the shampoo and conditioner cos I didn't really like them, and we knew we could get some full sized ones once we got to California.
We grabbed some quick breakfast before we left for the airport, and we ended up there at 10am, even thoufh the car didn't need to be back til 11 - I was just too paranoid about traffic after the past few days. We checked in on another self-service machine (though I was scared it didn't have our reservation because it seemed to be taking so long to find it!), but it wouldn't accept my card to pay for the luggage. It printed our boarding passes, so then we went and stood in the queue to speak to a person, which kinda defeated the point of using self-service, but it meant that our cases weren't actually weighed, cos we ended up having it sorted out by the guy at the first class desk - I guess they get more luggage allowance than we do?
So all checked in, and it was only 10.15am, and boarding wasn't until 3.15. A whole 5 hours to spend in Austin airport, the joys! Saying that, neither of us thought it felt anywhere near that long. We sat on some of the chairs in front of the check-in desks for a few hours reading, then we decided to go through to security and find our gate to wait there. Security was well bizarre! Instead of the archway, it was more like a cylinder that you walk into, turn sideways and put your hands crossed above your head, a thing zips up the side of the cylinder, scanning you! Then on the outside the security staff look at a little outline of a person with any highlighted sections checked - like my wrists had been highlighted because of my watch and bracelet. It was like 'ooo, what's going on here!'
We found our gate and set up camp on some chairs at the side, and Tone took herself off to find some lunch; she came back with a brisket sandwich from the Saltlick, which is a famous BBQ joint in Texas, so I was quite jealous. When we then got called to board for the flight, we waited until the queue had died down and joined on towards what we thought was the end of the queue, but there were still quite a few people behind us, which we only noticed when a stewardess told everyone to get on and sit down as quickly as possible - there was a storm rolling in and we wanted to be off and in the air before the lightning hit and delayed departure. I swear, Americans have no sense of urgency about them. They all carried on ambling along in front of us, faffing with their bags before they went in the overhead lockers; I just wanted to give everyone a shake and be like "Just sit down!"
We did get off before the storm hit, and the flight was only about an hour into Dallas. We were pretty chuffed with all the leg room too - I could have practiced some high kicks if I'd wanted (and could do them - just trying to illustrate how much room there was!)! We walked through and jumped on the little monorail type system they had connecting the terminals, got off and found our gate, but then I decided I wanted something to eat cos I'd only had some Cheetos at this point, so I grabbed a wrap from Maccies. Tone had a little huffy over the fact there wasn't anywhere for her to get some Red Bull, so she had to make do with Monster instead.
Our flight took off on time from Dallas at 6.45pm, and we landed in San Diego at 7.45pm. I do feel like a bit of a time traveller with all these changing time zones, because we'd been up in the air for 3 hours, but it was only an hour from when we'd took off. We got through to the luggage carousel and waited for it to start. It wasn't long before Tone's case rolled off, but then we kept waiting. Then the carousel stopped. There was still quite a few people waiting, and then the carousel started again. More cases came through, but not mine. I started thinking 'It would have been with the other one, why would they have been separated? It must be lost somewhere at Dallas, it's been lost in transit.' But thankfully that wasn't the case, and it came rolling down. I phoned for the shuttle from the hotel, and we went to the room.