Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Sort of Unexpected San Jose Trip

This year I planned to go to New Orleans and San Jose.  New Orleans is for fun and San Jose is to see a friend.  Plus I planned to order a Kindle to be delivered at his place so I can take it with me home without fuss.  However, that plan was derailed by hurricane Issac hitting New Orleans.  The airport closed on my arrival date therefore my flight was canceled.  Good thing I got the airline app on my phone and I checked it before leaving my house.  I spent the night scrambling to have my hotel cancel and check all my options.

Luckily, the agent contact the GM of the hotel that I booked a special non-refundable room with and the GM was nice enough to give me full refund due to special circumstances.  I also asked for refund from the airline too on the next morning.  Then come a week later, after seeing the new Kindle Paperwhite press release, I bought a ticket to San Jose for the first weekend of October.  That reduce my saving considerably since it took Delta almost 5 weeks to give me the refund.

My trip went off without too much hitch.  First, the flight attendant found an unclaimed bag on an empty seat.  Regulation dictates that the plane cannot take off with unclaimed bag.  After 25 minutes of all the staff walking up and down the plane looking for owner to no avail, the owner was finally being awake enough to claim the bag.  Luckily this didn't affect the connecting flight since we fly... with the wind?  So instead of having those 30 min. off plane, we just waste it on the ground instead.  Other than that, I was seated closed to a passenger who asked for diabetic meal.  When the planed landed I noticed that he and his family did not eat the bananas given as snack during the flight.  So I asked for them which I ate during the next flight.

We arrived at San Francisco International Airport without problem.  It was a blur as usual for international flight.  The immigration officer snark at me a little for answering his question of "Why are you here?" with my reason not my purpose.  Quote en quote "I don't want your life history, I just want to know why you are here."  I didn't snark back, for the obvious reason, plus he sniffling a bit which might explain his temper.

I finally cleared the immigration, got my suitcase and went out the exit gate.  My friend was there fiddling with his iPhone.  We greet each other and went to his car in the parking lot.  The weather was rather cool for me and soon I had to bundle up a bit in my jacket.

My first impression once we were on the road was that this is America, with wide open roads and endless landscape.  The freeway we took to drive us back to San Jose was the newer one (I think it was 280) which was landscaped to make the route looks like interstate road with trees blocking the view of the buildings and houses near by to give you the illusion of countryside.

We stopped by a small shopping area of the city.  My friend, Sean, wants to buy coffee.  And to my pleasant surprise, we went inside Peet's Coffee.  Another friend bought me a box of Assam Tea from Peet's a few of years ago and I like it very much.  I eventually bought their "Lemon Rose" and "Masala Chai" tea.

By the end of the first day in US, I was jetlagged pretty bad and crashed soon.  But not before we went to Fry's, an electronic store, to buy 3DS XL at discount price ;).  It roughly just 10% discount, not much, but it's better than nothing.  It pretty much say that the store will pay the sales tax for customer.

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