Competition Weekend Begins

After many hours of travel, I’m finally in San Luis Obispo. My journey actually took a rather unfortunate turn even before I left.

As I was checking into my flight online last night, there was a message saying that my flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City (SLC) was going to be delayed by 90 minutes. Well, this was no good since my connecting flight from SLC to Santa Barbara (SBA) would be gone by then.

I called up Delta and talked to a service representative about what my options were. I basically had two options:

  1. Fly to SLC and catch the 9:30pm flight to Santa Barbara
  2. Fly to Los Angeles (LAX) and get picked up there

I decided to fly to LAX since I didn’t want to fly in so late to SBA. Unfortunately, the LAX flight left over an hour earlier then the SLC flight and I had already spent at least 45 minutes on the phone with Delta. Thus, I only ended up getting 3 hours of sleep.

Woke up and left the house at 4:50am. When I got to the airport, I took a look at the flight board and saw that there was a 6:00am flight to SLC that would allow me to make my original connection from SLC to SBA. After vigorously asking several different gate attendants, it seemed that the flight to SLC was indeed completely full (no doubt because there was a plane load of people trying to do exactly what I was doing).

So I flew into LAX on an Embraer ERJ-145, which I thought was kind of odd because usually 737-type planes fly that route. As I as getting off, I overheard a girl talking to her dad about her flight to SLC being delayed and how she was going to San Luis Obispo (SLO). This obviously piqued my interest, so I asked her how she was able to get a ticket. After talking with Delta for over an hour, she was able to get a ticket from LAX to SLO on American Eagle, who are apparently codeshare partners with Delta.

I thanked her for the information and went to find a check-in reservationist at the Delta counter. After presenting my case to the reservationist, she was baffled why the person who helped me with my arrangements last night wasn’t able to figure out that I could get all the way to Santa Barbara on American Eagle.

A short time later, I found myself on a flight to the Santa Barbara Airport on a Saab 340 turboprop, arriving only 10 minutes later then I would have if my original flight had worked as planned.

I’m now sitting in on the floor of a restaurant that’s being remodeled. The management at the local Holiday Inn Express has graciously allowed us to use the space as an impromptu work area.

The competition starts tomorrow and you can watch it live (kind of) at http://www.facilities.calpoly.edu/campusprojects/EngIV_Web_Cam.htm

You can also check back here or at the official CSM NERDS website

Canyonlands: Finalé

Sunday morning we woke up before the butt crack of dawn. Time changed to daylight savings time so we lost an hour. 5am is way to early to be awake. We packed up our stuff and headed back to Kernville. We had breakfast at Cheryl’s Diner. Then we headed up the road to go rafting. Rafting was awesome. We did some class III and IV rapids. Ate lunch then did some more rafting. We finished at 2:30pm and were on the road to Ontario by 3. I would classify the ride back to Ontario as a somber moment. People had a great time and didn’t want the feeling to away. In many ways, it was a moment of pure blissfulness.

We arrived at Ontario International Airport and unloaded the items we were taking with us. The cars left so fast that Hanway didn’t have time to get all his stuff and had to wait for the drivers to come back before he got his sleeping bag, pad, cell phone, passport, and wallet. I waited for a little while, then headed to the gate. Jeff came through a little while later. We said our goodbyes and I asked potential prom date#2. It was a no go…0 for 2. We hopped on our plane and took off for LAX, a short 11 minute 50 second flight, the shortest in the United Fleet.

After we landed, I had a short chat with the pilots. They asked about what I was doing and then inquired about the San Juan Islands. From LAX, we caught a Canadian Air Jet to San Diego, arriving at the commuter Terminal. Jeff’s cousin, Rica, and her boyfriend, Luke, were right there in the terminal waiting for us. It was a welcome surprise since, non passengers are usually not allowed in the terminal. We stopped at "In-N-Out" and then went to their apartment and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning, Monday took a short shower, had some real food and read the newspaper. Then Rica dropped is off at the San Diego International Airport.