Road trip to Long Beach

What started as six people meeting at the Oakland airport to take a short flight down to Long Beach turned into a delay of 45 minutes, then to 60 minutes, then to total cancellation on Thursday. As we, and the rest of the passengers, voiced our dissatisfaction, it became clear we only had one option since the next day flights were all booked. We were going to rent a Chrysler minivan and drive the seven quick hours to Long Beach. The unnamed airline was going to refund our money and give us each a credit vouch for another flight.

After getting our luggage back and into the minivan, the journey began for Scott, Janet, Jenny, Albert, Cecilia and I. I started the first leg of the drive until we saw a sign that said “Food” at Livermore. That was about a 30 minute drive and a 60 minute dinner. The sun is setting and Albert drives the long boring Highway I-5. He relinquished the minivan to Cecilia just before the grapevine. Night driving is more difficult than day driving as Cecilia will acknowledge.

It is midnight before we hit Long Beach. I took over the driving due to my familiarity to the streets. My son is attending school at Long Beach State. Jenny and Janet were supposed to pick up a rental car at the Long Beach Airport. We thought maybe it would be open 24 hours like Oakland airport. We were wrong. We had to come back in the morning for rental car pick up. What are a few more minutes in a 36 hour day?

As I head to our hotel at 12:30AM we took a spin around the large 2 lane roundabout along Pacific Coast Highway on our way to the hotel. The hotel office was dark. We had to find the back of hotel and ring a bell at 1 AM. The sleepy clerk takes all of our names. Our captain informed us to check in and provide our own credit card for billing as all the rooms were billed to her credit card. The clerk asked if we wanted to keep the charges on the existing credit card. We were tooooo tired to say no. Sorry Kathy.

We made it to Long Beach! The weekend brought us more excitement.

On a footnote: Cyn, Will and his girlfriend also went to the Oakland Airport. They did not have to drive. They only had their flight delayed by six hours (same unnamed airline)!