Wild Life

This weekend proved to be filled with ups and downs… a lost train ticket, flying with rock stars, a wedding, meeting up with college friends, riding a high wire unicycle, bad weather, tornados, delayed flights, missed connections… what a ride!Friday I found I had misplaced my monthly Caltrain pass for May. With half of the month still left, I fretted about how expensive it was going to be to buy tickets for the rest of the month. Fortunately, I received my June pass in the mail on Monday and the conductors have been kind enough to let me use it. I’ve bought a 10-ride pass anyway just in case. Perhaps I’ll sell it on Craig’s List at the end of the month if I never need to use it.Jennifer and I flew to Columbus, OH Friday night for our college friend Scott Pence’s wedding. While we were waiting to board our flight at the San Jose airport, Jennifer mentioned to me that a few musician-type guys had just walked into the seating area. Sure enough, three guys sat down a few seats away from us that had an older, rock star look to them, as if they could have been big in the 70’s or 80’s. One of the guys kind of reminded me of pictures I have seen of Tommy Shaw, a guitarist for Styx and the Damn Yankees. Then I realized that Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon were performing at the Shoreline Ampitheater that night. I guess Styx had probably just finished their set and the guys were on their way (home?) to Atlanta. They flew coach, all in different parts of the plane. I guess they didn’t want to draw too much attention to themselves or probably just needed their own space since they’re around each other so much. I didn’t bother them for an autograph. I felt kind of awkward about it and I still wasn’t certain it was them. I never know what to say when I’m face to face with a famous person. Surprisingly enough, I don’t think many people on the flight knew who they were. Though as we were changing gates in Atlanta, I saw another guy ask Tommy and James Young for autographs. I asked the guy if they were part of Styx and he confirmed that they indeed were.We had booked the red-eye flight to Columbus and I was hoping I would be able to fall asleep en route. Usually I’m okay as long as I fall asleep before the plane takes off. I didn’t. I did, however, catch about an hour and a half of sleep on the floor of the Atlanta airport and another on our connection from Atlanta to Columbus. Needless to say, we took a number of naps on Saturday before the wedding.The wedding was held at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. The weather wasn’t very cooperative so it had to be moved indoors. The ceremony was short and sweet and the reception was a lot of fun. A few of us decided to brave the weather and took a walk around the Zoo after dinner – only to be caught in a downpour while we were checking out the rhinos. A slide show of pictures of Scott and his wife Bronwen as kids and as a couple kept many entertained while others hit the dance floor.The weekend was like a small reunion for many of my housemates from 514 Monroe, as Scott was a friend of all in the house. It was great to catch up with everyone, share the news about our anticipated November arrival, find out who else was pregnant, getting married, buying a home, fixing up their home, etc. Everyone pretty much looked the same as the last time we saw each other. We are now just in a very different stage of our lives.Sunday morning was nice. We had brunch at the hotel with everyone, including the newlyweds. And then we swung by the Columbus COSI hands-on science center on our way to the airport. I got to ride a unicycle on a high wire and Amy, Jennifer and I participated in a treasure hunt.Sunday afternoon was awful, though. Our flight to Atlanta was delayed by an hour and a half due to tornados along the flight path. Our connecting flight was not delayed, however, and since we only had a 50 minute layover scheduled, we missed the connection. There were no more flights to San Jose that night and the flight to San Francisco was totally full. We had to find lodging at the Double Tree near the airport. Fortunately enough Delta provided a voucher for a reduced rate, though it would have been nicer if they had covered the cost totally. It was better than nothing.The airport itself was a zoo due to the delayed flights and missed connections. There were hundreds of people waiting for hotel shuttles outside. We got sick of waiting for the Double Tree shuttle so we asked around and found that one of the shuttles went to the AmeriSuites that was just down the road from our hotel. So we hopped aboard and tipped our driver for his help. I would be missing a half a day of work the next day so I called my boss and co-worker and left voice mails describing the situation.Monday morning we woke around 5:30am EDT… 2:30am PDT. I had to wear my nice pants, shirt, and tie as they were the only clean clothes that I had left. We just barely caught the hotel’s airport shuttle in time at 6:00am. Jennifer was nice enough to let me sleep on the ground at the airport while she watched over our luggage and read a book until boarding at 8:00am. We arrived at SFO at 11:00am PDT and hopped aboard the Caltrain-SFO shuttle. We arrived at the station just as the northbound Caltrain was closing its doors) so I ended up waiting another half an hour or so for the next train. Jennifer was a little luckier. Her southbound train pulled into the Milbrae station just 10 minutes later. My coworkers were a little surprised to see me dressed up wearing a tie… thought I might be starting out on the managerial track!We went to sleep at about 11pm PDT after being awake for 21 1/2 hours. I have to say, we slept pretty well last night.

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