Woke up early and got our packing out of the way.
Headed to the airport about 9 a.m., more than two hours before our flight, but a good idea, as it turned out, as the lines for check-in started in Arizona. Got everything checked in, went through security, and then waited for our flight with a bit of trepidation given our earlier flight problems. We left on time and waved a fond farewell to Las Vegas. We hope to be back in December for a short visit to join David’s nephews and see A7X – one of the groups Andy O handles for Warner. It will be nice to see Andy, Matt, and Tim again and spend some “quality time” in Sin City with them.
By the time they got to us to order our in-flight meals, all that was left were chicken sandwiches or chewing on our armrests. It was a tough choice (pun intended) but we went with the chicken, which was just edible. Our flight attendant was nice – asked if we had gotten drunk while in Vegas, and, when we answered no, said “then I’ll keep pouring wine for you, it’s not too late.” Our kind of flight. Just to keep the string of mechanical problems intact, the restroom up front quickly developed a problem causing long waits for the remaining ones. Fortunately, our chicken sandwiches being indigestible, we had little use for one.
We hit Atlanta on time, took the tram to our departure gate and left exactly on time. Getting into Ft. Lauderdale right on the mark was the good news. The bad news was that one of our bags didn’t make the flight and would be coming in later. The helpful baggage service folks said they would have it delivered at 4 a.m., but we told them a little later would be better, say after 9 a.m.
One bag lighter, we headed for home. Lucy was waiting for us by the back door, a gift ‘baby’ in her mouth and her tail a blur. After an hour or so hugging and kissing her, we decided to turn in.
The trip was wonderful. The weather was unbeatable the whole time, and every stop and stay a delight. San Francisco was delightful, with some great Dungeness crab and the friendly welcome and spectacular views of the Mandarin Oriental. It was wonderful to see David’s sister and his nephews in Modesto, which turned out to be a nicer place than we remembered. Her birthday party was enjoyable, and the brunch and relaxing day at her home the next day even better.
Carmel was idyllic. David always talks about how cold and foggy it was when he spent summers there growing up, but, during our stay, it was perfect. Great food and wine, and spectacular scenery, made for a wonderful stay and the desire to return. Our meal at Aubergine was about as good as dining gets, and the fresh seafood everywhere easy to enjoy.
Las Vegas was – Las Vegas: crowded, loud, bustling, energetic. By turns appealing and appalling, exhibiting the best and worst taste imaginable. Jersey Boys was terrific – fast paced and crammed with great music. We agreed we would see it again. The casinos dispensed justice, with me leaving about $120 to the good and David… well, he’s just not lucky at gaming. Except for another Batali disappointment, the food was terrific, from our at-bar sandwiches at Aria to the indescribable cuisine of Pierre Gagnaire.
Best of all, we have our blog and Flickr photos to record the whole thing and give us the chance to revisit the trip over and over.