Five Highlights

  1. Showing up at La Guardia instead of Newark airport in New York
  2. The cliffs, Pacific ocean and the sunset
  3. Highway 101
  4. Mexican food in San Diego Old Town
  5. The usual suspects of Los Angeles and San Diego

Day 0 - The Many Airports of New York

It was the long weekend and I rubbed it a little bit too much onto my friends that I would be enjoying it on the bright and sunny West Coast - away from the cold and gray February of New York City. I finished my work on Friday and dashed straight to the La Guardia airport from my midtown office. I stood through the queues and reached the check-in counter when the lady across the desk gave me a shocked smile.

"Your flight departs from Newark airport, Sir"

"Excuse me?"

"Your flight departs from Newark. In roughly one hour. And this is the La Guardia"

Newark was atleast 90 minutes away from La Guardia. Within a few seconds, my hopes of a nice warm bright sunny break came crashing down. This was the long weekend and it seemed like the entire US was traveling. From east-coast to west, from west-coast to east, and sometimes to the middle of nowhere.

"When is your next flight to San Diego?"

"I am afraid, Sir, all our flights are full for today and tomorrow. I can put you on the waiting list for tomorrow morning's flight."

So I dragged my drooping shoulders and bags back to my downtown apartment. I checked the train connections to Newark and figured that I would have to leave at 4.30 am to make it to the airport by 6.00 am. And since there was pretty much nothing I could do to improve the situation, Ritin and I went out to the village for the night.

Day 1 - New York to San Diego. Sun, ocean and cliffs of San Diego. Driving from San Diego to Los Angeles
Overnight: Friends place in LA

The next morning, I shuffled through three trains to reach the Newark airport. I checked in at 6.00 am for a 0800 hrs flight and was told I was passenger #1 on the waiting list.

"Can I request you to wait near the boarding gate? In case there is a no-show, we would give you the seat."

7.45 am and still no confirmation. The suspense wasn't over yet. So moral of the story, ladies and gentlemen, is that humility may or may not pay off, but boasting surely never does. Never rub it in your friends when you have half-decent travel plans. Finally lady luck smiled at me and 5 minutes before the flight took off, the crew called my name and I jumped onto the plane. I crashed through the next 6 hours to wake up in San Diego at about 11 am (the PCT is 3 hours behind EST).

When I walked out of the terminal, the bright sun was such a welcome change from New York's gloomy winter. Parul and Niket picked me up at the airport in Niket's green Mini Cooper (this was not the first time I went ooh-aah at a Mini Cooper!).

Day 2 - The usual suspects of Los Angeles
Overnight: Parul's pad in SD

Day 3 - The usual suspects of San Diego
Overnight: Red-eye to New York

(To be completed...)

Tags: Drive, North America

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