Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mineta San Jose International Airport - SJC

I spent a weekend in Santa Clara and had to fly through San Jose (SJC). Since I flew Southwest Airlines I flew into the newer part of the terminal. I arrived on a Thursday afternoon and went promptly to the rental car desk which is located directly across the street from the arrivals area. I had a bit of moment with the agent at the Alamo desk because she couldn't add my employer to my rental agreement. Needless to say I was not a happy camper, but I had to get on my way. San Jose is such a nice and easy airport to navigate.

On Sunday it was time to come back home. I arrived about 2 hours early and had a lot of time to kill. Just like all new-ish airline terminals that were built after 2001 the security set up is not a nightmare and relatively efficient. I was looking through the terminal for electrical outlets to plug in a laptop. I couldn't find one and then I looked down at the seats and found that there were USB and electrical outlets in the seat itself. How cool is that?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend in the Golden State's Capital

A few weeks ago I took a long weekend to visit family in Sacramento. I had a really late flight out of LAX to SMF. In fact I landed well after midnight. Thank the maker for TSA Precheck because it saved me a ton of time and I walked right through security at LAX. I spent some time in the United Club in Terminal 7 before heading to my gate in Terminal 8.
Unfortunately, my flight was a United Express flight on a CRJ-200. I really don't like these planes because they feel so cramped and the windows are too low to see out of comfortably. The larger CRJ versions are much nicer and are slightly roomier. 
I arrived at SMF to a completely empty terminal. I quickly grabbed my bag and took the shuttle to the rental car location. Avis upgraded me to a large SUV Dodge Journey or something like that. It was all tricked out and it took me a while to figure out how to work the radio and everything else. I made my way to the Hilton Sacramento Arden West. The hotel is slightly dated, but the rooms are nice enough. 
There was a nice "gift" waiting for me in my room on the executive floor. I soon went to sleep because I was exhausted from my one hour trip up the state. Actually it was so much past my bedtime, I couldn't keep my eyes open.
I awoke to this view from my room. Sacramento is so flat compared to Southern California.
I had to change hotels to be in Folsom which is closer to my family. I stayed at the Hampton Inn in Folsom right off the freeway and it's a pretty nice hotel. It looks relatively new and they gave me a huge room on the top floor that had a wet bar and sitting area. It's a really affordable option in Folsom and it's very close to a Costco and some other shopping. 

The Hampton Inn is right off the freeway, so it is conveniently located for my needs. There were a lot of people with boats and trailers so there must have been an event or it is the usual weekend crowd.

I booked my return flight to SNA, which meant that I needed to connect in SFO because there is no nonstop flight between SMF and SNA. The flight from SMF to SFO is super short and it is on a tiny prop job. I was eager to take a picture of the propellor with my iphone because of the cool effects that it makes. Just google iphone propeller. However, Apple fixed the bug so the pictures turned out normally.

The flight from SMF to SFO is less than 30 minutes and you follow the highways the entire time. It was a really windy day, so the flight was bumpy but not too bad. I'm glad it was as short as it was though.
United Express flights now use Terminal 1 in SFO, so it requires a shuttle bus to change flights and everything. When I deplaned I was treated to a nice view of this Emirates 777-300ER. I love seeing that airline.

They have different shuttle buses depending on where you need to go. This is the one that I needed to take.

Back on the United side of the airport my plane to SNA was right next to the gate where the shuttle drops off, so that was convenient. On this flight I had the pleasure of having a mom with 3 or 4 sons with her and they were shouting the entire time. I was over it and it took all of my strength not to lose it with that woman who had no control over her kids and who had absolutely no awareness of her surroundings.