Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Washington D.C. Trip Part One: Welcome to Your Nation's Capital!

I woke up on Thursday, September 12 at 3:30 AM.  I had to leave for the Concord BART station at 4:45 AM to make the 4:57 train.  So instead of getting up at 4:25 and quickly throwing comfortable travel clothes on like a normal person, I got up an hour and fifteen minutes before my mom was to pick me up.  I showered, shaved my legs, dried and straightened my hair, and methodically picked out a nice outfit because, really, who wants to show up to the nation's capital looking subpar?  Not this girl.  So I got to the BART station on time, looking refined and far too polished for so early in the morning.

My Virgin America flight was to depart from SFO at 8:00.  Let me just say that I don't even remember the last time I flew out of SFO (if I ever have) and that I had never flown Virgin America before.  Once I arrived at the airport, I had absolutely no idea where I needed to go.  After looking at a few signs, I gleaned that I needed to ride a train around the airport to get to my terminal but, of course, I got on the wrong one and ended up going all the way out to parking lots and car garages before finally circling back to the terminals.  Luckily, the security line wasn't that long and I was able to make my flight despite my stupidity.

So we started off on our non-stop, five-hour flight to the Reagan Airport.  Just as we were flying over Colorado or so, I realized that Virgin doesn't give out complimentary food and drink and, being the cheapskate that I am, I refused to buy myself anything.  So I rationed out the small bag of cereal I had packed for myself that morning and survived on that until about 3:30 ET.  I checked Google Maps on the TV screen in front of me and saw that we were almost there.  But, as fate would have it, Washington, D.C. was experiencing a touch of bad weather.  The pilot, who had an awesome British accent, got on the intercom and told us that we were being diverted to Richmond.  However awesome the guy's accent was, I was none too happy about that announcement.  About 30 minutes later, he told us we were being diverted to the Dulles airport but that we would have to circle around for a while until we got more information.  I sat there looking at Google Maps and watched the tiny red plane on the screen turn around and around until, finally, we were told that we were cleared to land at the Dulles airport.  I still wasn't too excited about it but at least Dulles was closer to our final destination.  But after we touched down on the rain-soaked runway, the pilot announced that we had actually landed at the Ronald Reagan Airport.  Thanks for all the unnecessary anxiety, man.

View of the Washington Monument from my plane window!
I texted Hannah, went down to the Baggage Claim to grab my luggage, and made my way to the airport Metro station to meet Hannah on the platform.  I made my way through the doors and stepped out into the most humid air I have ever felt.  My hair immediately became frizzy, and I wondered why the heck I had spent the time drying and straightening it that morning.  Despite the instant bad hair day, I found Hannah, got on the Metro, and started to wind my way through the city I had always dreamed of visiting.  My awesome vacation had begun!


Shelley said...

You do know you have technically been there before, right? Yeah, yeah,I know you were two.... Just kidding. :) I'm glad you were able to go and actually remember it this time! Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

lisa c. said...

Airport experiences are so fun and yet teach you a lot...always read the signs or ask questions :) I didn't know that about Virgin America, so good to know for the future!