The last trip in a travel-packed October is to New Orleans where Melody is attending the American Translator’s Association conference. I tagged along since I’ve never been to the city (Melody was last there a few months after Katrina.) Monday was a travel day which started very early.
We ended up with flights with one stop, and the first flight was at 6:45am. Mind you, we’re usually not awake at that time, but we were able to drag ourselves awake enough to leave the house a bit after 3:30. We usually take a bus to the train, which goes directly to the airport, but the train starts running at 5am, too late for us. Looking at the options, we opted for a car share.
The night before, I had seen a car not far away, and it was still there when we were ready to leave, so I put a reservation on it. It ended up being parked in an apartment complex lot, which is not a sanctioned parking location. Guess the person was expecting it to be there in the morning.
Both of the car share companies have spots in an offsite airport parking lot, though it took us a few tries to find how to get in. Once we did, we parked and hopped onto the shuttle to the airport.
The non-TSA Pre line was extremely long, so we were glad we were able to bypass that one. Once through security, we got some breakfast before finding our gate.
We were flying Southwest with a quick connection, so it was fortunate that we were in the A20s, meaning we would have a good shot at getting a seat near the front; we scored row 4.
The views were great on the first leg going down to Phoenix. Good views of Mt. St. Helens (without snow) and Pyramid Lake were probably the highlights. It was also clear enough to get a good look at the greater Phoenix area.
Once we were in the terminal, we looked up our connecting flight's gate and saw it was in the next terminal over, so we started doing a brisk walk since we wanted to get into line to take advantage of our relatively good position (we were in the low A30s). We made it in plenty of time, and still ended up in row 10.
The flight to New Orleans was mostly over cloud cover, so there wasn't much to see until we got low enough on our final approach.
Once we touched down, we started looking at bus options to get to where we were staying. It looked like there was one bus that might be a possibility, but it would depend on how far we would have to walk to the stop, and how long we would have to wait for the plane occupying our arrival gate was going to take. As it ends up, we decided to do a later option anyway.
We found our way to the bus stop, and there were few people waiting. We figured that was because there was a bus that just went by. However, after looking more closely, we saw that the two bus routes didn't come very often, so we were wondering how much they were used. The bus we were waiting for didn't show up, but the later one did; we purchased tickets on our phones and the driver just looked at them rather than having us scan our day passes.
The bus was a single length (rather than articulated with a trailer) and not very full. After taking a long time getting out of the airport, we started heading east to the city. I noticed the gas prices were about $1 less than in Seattle; we have high gas prices anyway, but that's quite a difference.
After a few stops, we did our transfer, and the next bus showed up right away. A few more stops, then we walked the couple blocks to where we were staying.
The host wasn't home at the time, so we let ourselves in and settled into the room. After that, we went to the grocery store to pick up food for dinner, breakfast, and lunch the next day. Back at the house, dinner having been eaten, we briefly met the host, then settled in early for the night after a long day.