Thursday, January 3, 2008

Coast To Coast

My plan of getting a good night's sleep last night was just wishful thinking.

My room faced San Diego harbor and right on cue at midnight, I was awakened by a pretty impressive fireworks display out over the water. Man was it ever loud. My FO told me later that he heard it too and initially thought that we were having an earthquake since the walls were shaking.

It lasted exactly seven minutes and then came all the screaming and yelling from the party-goers in the hotel. I think the entire city of San Diego was celebrating in the hall's of our hotel. For well over an hour you could hear the whooping and hollering of the celebration. It would have been nice to join in the fun but our sign in was only a few hours away. I finally fell asleep for what seemed like only ten minutes (in reality it was a couple of hours) when my alarm went off at 4 AM.

Down in the lobby the only things moving were three airline crews. We all were looking pretty bleary eyed from lack of sleep I'm sure. Not a word was spoken on the shuttle to the airport. (Too tired!) Surprisingly, the airport was packed at 5 AM on New Years day. I guess maybe only half the city was at our hotel last night.

Our departure was timed for us to be on the takeoff roll at 6:30 AM, exactly the time when the Lindbergh Airport curfew cuts off. But several other airlines have the same idea...we ended up number seven for takeoff at 6:30. But we were soon airborne and on the way up to flight level 330 and watching the sunrise in the eastern sky.

Once again, the White Sands missile range in New Mexico was open and we asked for and received a nice shortcut straight to the arrival fix just southwest of Ft Worth. DFW was landing to the north today and the approach to runway 36L took us over Rangers Ballpark in Arlington...home of the Texas Rangers baseball club.

The next leg would be from DFW to Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Once again we were packed...this time we were carrying a bunch of University of Kansas football fans. They were headed to the Orange Bowl game in Miami.

Takeoff was behind this arriving AA Boeing 737. The routing took us over New Orleans and out across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Landfall was made over Sarasota and then a gradual straight in descent to an ILS approach in the rain to runway 9L at FLL. I made my best landing of the year! My FO had to ruin it and remind me that it was my "ONLY" landing of the year too!

I had hoped to get in some beach time before sunset but the rain just wouldn't let up so I ended up just grabbing a sandwich and watching the Rose Bowl game in my room. Tomorrow would be an even earlier sign-in.....Time to sleep.

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple

1 comment:


very nice layout and nice pictures.
i came to your blog thru link referral.wrote your review today. your google ads are also very relevant.
meet me at