Monday, August 31, 2009

Clippy's log - page 42

27/8 7:15pm. Pushback, last leg for today, to San Antonio. We're on an E-175 Jungle Jet, in the first row behind business class. For some reason we have heaps of leg room - the boys can stretch their legs right out without kicking the seat in front! And the windows are quite a bit bigger than on most of the other planes too, nice touch. That AA article about these things was right.

7:36pm. Takeoff. It takes a while before we get to rotate, but considering we have the same engines as an A-10 or most big bizjets that's not bad. Composite fuselage does that, less weight to carry.

8:33pm. Might as well change to Central time - it's 7:33pm. No IFE on these short haul planes.

9:22pm. Landed. We went past or through several thunderstorms and approach was quite bumpy, but the landing was fine. Boeing and Cessna have buildings near the runway - Texas is the place to find them!

9:56pm. We have our baggage and Anthson has found us. He's arranged for us and his parents to go to a Tex-Mex restaurant and then go on a pub crawl.

11pm. After a few navigational difficulties due to back streets being insufficiently signposted, we're here. Anthson's parents are completely charming, and lots of fun to chat randomly with.

12:30am. We find an Irish pub and go in for a drink. Rosuav never drinks, but even Midga doesn't trust himself when he's been awake for over 24 hours and is in a poor state of digestive health. The atmosphere is fun, with an Irish singer and piano player who includes the audience in the act.

1:30am. Time to head off. Anthson's Mum had insisted on finding a hotel room for us, but had no luck. So Anthson takes us to find a motel nearer his place. First choice has no vacancy so we find another, the caretaker of which is asleep in one of the cabins instead of in the office. But we have a room. The boys both hit the sack pretty quickly.

28/8 7:30am. 5 hours and 22 minutes of sleep, that's your lot.

8am. Anthson comes and we're ready to go. In daylight the countryside looks very much like western Victoria! Apparently there's been a severe drought here too.

8:30am. Anthson takes us to his place and we meet his wife and two kids. The boys love being around toddlers again, playing with blocks and decoding baby talk.

1:30pm. Farewell! Must get to our plane. Anthson drives us to the airport. On the way they talk about ideas for a new MUD. It's mostly too technical for me, but there's obviously some good structured thinking going on here.

2:45pm. And here we are at the airport again. Farewell Anthson, great to meet you! The familiar routine of x-rays, check-in, boarding and finding power and wifi (not always in that order). Oh no, another Airbus! I thought we finished with them when we left Europe!

4:12pm. Pushback. The staff object to Traal being on a lap for takeoff, same as the Northwest people did yesterday. They're nicer about it though, maybe they're parents with laptops of their own. The PA annoucements and safety demo are played bored though, and one of the FAs is chewing gum! In the next door gate was a Southwest 737... pity they weren't cheaper.

4:25pm. The crew are serving refreshments. Soft drinks are free but bottled water, energy drinks and alcohol cost. Also unlocking the IFE costs!!! The plane is cashless, credit/debit cards only. I guess the fuss of making change and the complications of handling physical cash are more trouble than the merchant fee on a $3 transaction.

6:20pm. Arrived Denver. The staff ask everyone to give us (and other connecting pax) a chance to get off first.

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