When people ask about my trips, I usually most well known for my 48-hour adventures to different cities. Firstly, because I usually make them very last minute and those people that I visit are usually surprised with a “what are you doing for dinner tonight?” text message. Secondly, because a majority of people need at least four or more days to take a trip before they think it’s enough time. I clearly think otherwise.
This trip was no different for me this December. It all started on Wednesday morning when I awoke to an e-mail from Kayak reminding me to check in for my flight.
Yes, in all my crazy booking back during the Southwest fare sale in October, wrote down the wrong dates in my calendar for my Seattle trip. Instead of leaving Saturday morning (what my calendar said), I actually had tickets fro Thursday morning.
I logged on to their website, saw that it was only $32 more if I changed my flights to the weekend instead, clicked submit, and crawled back under the covers. Problem solved.
I awoke Friday morning. Time to check in for your flight! Grumble. I wasn’t sold on visiting Seattle anymore. This is why I usually don’t book trips too far in advance. Travel doesn’t excite me, the place I am visiting does.
Instead of checking in for my flight I opened my bookmarks for my flight searches. Web fares. Travel matrixes. Top destination maps. And began to search.
That is when I noticed a interesting trend while looking through flights. As long as I left on the Saturday 530am US Airways flight from Denver to Phoenix, I could connect to nearly anywhere else in the country for about the same price. Score!
A few random text messages of “what are you doing for lunch tomorrow” and “where are you living again” and I had booked a trip from Denver to Sacramento (via Phoenix) for just over $120. The only down side: 530am departure to Phoenix, and 130am arrival back into Denver. Oh well. Seattle trip, cancelled.
After an early bed time of 1am, I awoke just over two hours later to head to the airport for my early morning flight. I was a zombie until I got on my second flight out of Phoenix, even forgetting to take my shoes off at security.
Landing in Sacramento, an airport I got to know well when my little brother was living in Northern California, I made my way to the rental cars and got ready to head towards the Bay Area. That was until I was leaving the rental car park and noticed the low air tyre sensor on. Back into the rental lot, I had to convince them I didn’t do the damage in the 5 minutes and 10 seconds I had the rental car. Not a problem.
New keys in hand, I went back to get my new car. Holy shit. The guy had told me that they were sorry and that they would upgrade me, but didn’t expect this. Brand new car. 47 miles. Touch screen navigation with GPS. USB plug. XM radio. Drool.
Let’s just say, of the fly and drive trip, the drive part just got a lot more cozy.
After getting in the car, I headed the 90 minutes into the Bay Area to get lunch with a friend and then headed shopping around downtown San Francisco. I went to all my favourite locations, Scharffen Berger Chocolate, H&M, Red Blossom Tea Company, and others.
By this point, I was beyond exhausted. So I headed back to the Mission district with my friend, got a quick dinner and some ice cream. And then passed out on the sofa for the night. Probably my earliest bed time in months.
The next morning I headed back inland to Davis, California to meet up with another friend who I have seen all over the world. There, she took me to a delicious coffee shop/diner called the Delta of Venus for coffee and brunch. After chomping down some potatoes and hot sauce, we headed on a long walk through the Davis Arboretum. This arboretum was up there with the gardens at Cambridge University in the UK as some of the prettiest public gardens I have ever been.
After exchanging stories, petting the horses, and lots of hugs goodbye, I continued eastward back towards Sacramento. Following a quick stop at In-n-Out Burger and Ikea, I was back to the airport and headed towards Phoenix for my late night connection to Denver.
Finally 46 hours later, I landed in Denver at 1am in the morning. Dragged myself to my car. Back up US 36 to Boulder. And collapsed in bed exhausted from another amazing trip.
I know a lot of people tell me to take longer vacations. However, when I get back from 48 hour whirlwinds like this, I can only lay back and smile at how much I can do and see in such a short amount of time and money.