Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Monday, October 15, 2012

California 2012, 1

In which we arrive and imbibe

At Logan, Virgin America dwells in an odd little corner of Terminal B with the glassy-eyed mobs of American Airline passengers on one side and the Massport conference room on the other. It has a single post-security coffee counter (half-decent), the waiting chairs probably taken from Terminal C during its last upgrade, and one two-holer* rest room for each gender.

At SFO, the airline has its own gate opening directly onto the posh Terminal 2, comfortable chairs (tables, if you prefer) and all the comforts possible on the dark side of TSA screening. One could live there.

So WTF Logan? It's bad enough that the airlines make bus travel look good by comparison. Airports don't have to enable this conduct.

The frequent-flyer offspring suggested we look into Virgin America, and back when we made the reservations, in March, it was also the best deal for nonstop BOS-SFO. The plus, we thought, was the bit extra of legroom that makes the difference between heaven and hell on nonstop flights. The minus (there's always a minus, eh?) is the catch on the baggage charges. It says "first bag free" right up to the time you check in, when you find out that's one free bag per reservation. Cute, Sir Richard, cute.

Trip was otherwise uneventful, on time, etc. Pick up the bags, hop the airport (rail) shuttle, then BART, then count the stops to the one change necessary to reach downtown Berkeley.

A map to a strange city that shows you how many blocks you need to walk from the subway to your room may not tell you how big those blocks are. But the Berkeley blocks aren't big. It took us maybe 15 minutes, towing luggage, to reach Em's apartment. Unpack, nap, run to the local drugstore, and gain the tolerance of the cats, then Em was home.

Mom decided to dine with the cats, so Em and I walked (that word comes up a lot in Berkeley) to the nearest of the brew pubs on the short list, Jupiter. While she didn't get the first-name greeting, she did know the back way in.

The IPA was excellent, but for seconds, I had to settle for their XHP (one reviewer calls it a "lightly hopped IPA") because their well-known Imperial, Quasar, was off (8.8% ABV, 80 IBU). Now that would be worth a trip back.

This is a Win7 reprint of a Linux publication that died here. First of several.

*If you know what the original two-holer was, you're as big a hick as I am.

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