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Topic: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-18 04:59:56 and read 17130 times.

California Dreamin': Virgin to SFO

I'd never flown in the month of October. Ever. That seemed pretty odd to me, and was a pretty good reason to fly out somewhere during that time. The question was, “where to?”.

Well, it's about the destination but also about the aircraft type. After all, I'm pretty crazy! So, after a bit of searching, I reached my conclusion. I'd go to San Francisco. This offered me the perfect chance to fly Virgin America, supposedly the best airline in the US, service-wise and image-wise. Also, I got another perfect chance: to fly the 762 before they're retired. American to JFK was the second segment I chose. That was easy. What to fly from New York back to Chicago? A tough choice... There was Southwest's new 738... Delta, since they're my frequent-flyer airline as a FB member... JetBlue since they're a good airline in my view. The 738 with Sky Interior offered by WN won out; the competitive fare also helped. Then again, NYC-CHI have prices that are massively reduced, given the massive competition on the route.

Full itinerary:
05OCT, VX201, ORD-SFO, A320 (Part 1)
06OCT, AA18, SFO-JFK, B762 (Part 2)
07OCT, WN2272, LGA-MDW, B738 (Part 2)

Seems pretty good to me. The catch was that the flight departing Chicago would leave at 07:00... I live quite far away from O'Hare, the journey taking about 1h40' or so. This meant I should leave at 04:20 by public transport. That's also when the first bus was to Chicago downtown. Well, I decided against that in the end, and M and I took a cab to O'Hare. At this early hour it took about 30 minutes or so, but cost $60. Oh well, the flights cost 500$ or so per person. No big deal, just 6% extra or so.

At about 5:30, therefore, we were in the airport. No reason to dilly-dally about, off to security. The queue was nor short nor long. In about 15' or so, we were through. Luckily, we avoided the big, ugly, Nude-o-Scope as the agent directed us towards the walk-through metal detector. We collected our bags and headed towards the L concourse, home of jetBlue, Alaska, Spirit, Air Choice One and Virgin America. Basically, most of the non-aligned airlines at ORD operate from here. Some charter operators fly out of T5.

Our A320, California Dreaming:


An Alaska B739, N302AS:


Spirit A319:


The food choices here aren't great. There's a McDonalds, a Windy City Carvers and a couple of other amenities whose names escape me. I believe in the end we shared a sandwich, looking forward to the food on-board VX.

Well, at 6:30, the boarding call occurred. Nevertheless, we waited for a few more minutes and we boarded among the last on this flight to SFO.

Flight: VX201
Standard Times: 0700-0955
Takeoff/Landing:0657-0944
Registration: N622VA, California Dreaming
Seats: 11E and 11F

Route map, thanks to FlightAware, a great tool:


The purplish light effused through the front door of our flying machine. I remember thinking, “of all the colors, they chose pink?” But, no, it wasn't pink; it was more intense: purple. Thinking back, that's really an excellent idea. It provides an eerie yet calm light. Obviously a red light would be misconstrued (and not at all in keeping with the Virgin name... quite the opposite, and Whore America doesn't have a nice ring to it), yellow too natural, green and blue too intense, while orange would be too ugly. I guess it's the right choice.

Seat back, with mood lighting on:


Alaska 737-900 again:


Inside a Virgin:


We sat down in the comfortable black leather seats (classy), and looked around to see what Virgin offered us in terms of entertainment. Well, a flight map was there—sold! Although it's not the best map I've ever seen, it would do. I haven't really done much with the system, really. Not in the mood for a movie or a TV show. However, it was a touch-screen, which makes Virgin seem like a very tech-friendly airline. I guess it can bother you if the guy behind you taps the screen too hard or if the touchscreen is poorly synchronized with your finger (I forget the term for this), but I haven't suffered any of these indignities myself. A plus, you order food and drink through this system and the F/A delivers them to your seat—now that's simply a great feature.

Touch anywhere to begin:


Flight Map:


Another thing I really liked is the safety-video. I guess it's now popular to have wacky safety videos, like those NZ and DL brag about, but VX's was the first I've seen live. Hey, it even included a guy in black metal corpse paint! (For those wanting specifics, it was Abbath's make-up job IIRC).

Anyway, soon after the safety video, we departed, 3 minutes ahead of schedule, at 06:57. Good first impression, Virgin America! Soon after take-off I predictably crashed. Whoops, maybe that's the wrong word for a trip report. “I fell asleep” is what I meant.

Post takeoff shot, dawn over IL:


When I woke up, we were about halfway through the flight; I suppose, somewhere over Colorado. M had already sampled a couple of things from VX's menu. It was up to me to order myself a drink and some food, as the half a wrap from earlier was just about gone. I found a Roast Beef on a Pretzel Roll (on the menu, not on the floor). Sure, why not... let's try it. I also ordered myself an apple juice. Pretty good food for an airplane in Y. I really can't complain about the quality... and you know I'd like to complain about something 

Here it is, the food:


Sorry for the crappy quality of the above picture.

Some of the food came with these “Cacao Nibs”.


We overflew Nevada. I was really looking forward to overflying Groom Lake and other “natural” features nearby (like the salt flats and what appear to be runways, but are just a strange phenomenon according to the government), but it wasn't to be so this morning! Awww, what a surprise that didn't overfly something that doesn't officially exist yet still has restricted airspace  

Even so, here are some views from when we overflew the Sinful State of Nevada. What a strange state to overfly on Virgin!

Over Nevada:


Wing View:


Details:


Red engine:


Here's the legroom shot—again, sorry it's not good:


Safety card, not in the best shape:


Hmm; what else to do other than enjoy the flight? Well, M had bought access to the in-flight Wi-Fi so we could decide what to do in SFO before we checked-in to the hotel. So that's what we did, with me taking the occasional picture every once in a while. After we set our itinerary (which, incidentally, changed while in San Francisco), and the 3 hours of internet expired, I continued more of my picture-taking way... well, below you'll find a selection while we descended towards SFO, starting over central California. We flew over the bay, and landed on one of the 28s, though I'm not sure which one.

Low-lying clouds as we approach San Francisco:


Central California:


In the SF metro area; suburbs:


Strain your eyes and you might see some skyscrapers:


Brakes:


A 721! Sure, it doesn't fly anymore, but still!


After landing, we taxied to our gate at the Virgin terminal at SFO, Terminal 2. We used gate 51B that day in October. The temperature was a rather pleasant one, somewhere in the vicinity of 18 degrees Celsius. It was also quite sunny. Yup, that's California. After disembarkation we proceeded to the AirTrain (no bags to pick up... yes!) to the BART station at SFO. I was a bit surprised when I found out about the roughly $8 fare to downtown SFO. I'd imagined BART was more of a subway than a train, but I was wrong. I guess the long distances travelled means this makes sense.

Reaching our parking position soon:


Interior pic of SFO:


Well, we got on the BART and soon enough we were on our way to San Francisco. The train seemed pretty ancient, actually. It smelled of old. No, not old people; just old. No hobos, not yet... That would have to wait until we got to the city itself  

As we disembarked at the Powell stop, we finally saw the oft-mentioned San Francisco hobos. They didn't seem all that threatening, though. At the Powell station, there was a San Francisco tourist info store, where we bought CityPass, offering free public transport as well as access to a few sights around the City. Then, we waited for one of the antique trams, to go to Fisherman's Wharf, the most touristy place in a touristy city. We decided the first step in San Francisco would be a cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. The tram, a tourist attraction in itself, was rather crowded. Not a big surprise overall. Then, we saw the whole place was pretty crowded—it was Fleet Week; there was even an airshow going on, as we found out towards the end of the cruise!

At Powell:


An antique street car:


No, we didn't take the street car, unfortunately... The wait was way too long to be worth it! You can see part of the queue in the picture... and I hate queues. We gave up when we saw how little it had moved in 5 minutes.

Market Street:


As we arrived at Fisherman's Wharf, we exchanged the CityPass voucher for a cruise voucher and we got on the boat—a few minutes later, we departed. Unfortunately there was no live narration as on my trip to Seattle a few weeks earlier. This seemed much more impersonal. Anyway, there were some nice views, being a nice day and all. However, we were accompanied by a couple of coast guard (?) naval vehicles for a while. Something to do with the airshow or with the regatta? The latter makes more sense. Soon, we got to the Golden Gate Bridge, spun around under it while the loudspeaker spewed recorded information regarding the bridge. Afterwards we headed back, towards Alcatraz (being constantly reminded every 5 seconds that the name comes from the Spanish word “alcatraces”, the Spanish name for a species of marine birds that I probably can't distinguish from other species of marine birds. Anyway, roughly 10 minutes later, we saw planes training for the airshow the next day... We saw a bunch of planes, including an F-18, and later an UA 777 doing low passes. Meanwhile, we explored the small aquarium which was included in the CityPass, also at Fisherman's Wharf.

Alcatraz:


Nice-looking skyline:


Another view of the San Francisco skyline:


There it is, one of the most famous bridges in America:


Under the bridge:


As are we:


People stood up in awe:


Bye:


Alcatraz:


Main prison building:


My, my, that's a lot of inmates waiting to be processed:


Back on land... “Blue Angels” meet and greet:


Two birds exercising. One's marginally faster than the other:


Three birds:


My favorite picture, 777 doing a low-pass at Fisherman's Wharf:


Apparently United's also toilet company... “1-800-TOILETS”. Well, according to some (won't name who), “both Uniteds are toilet companies”... and I tend to agree  But, of course, the low passes were due to the pilot's skills, where I have no preference for any airline. They're all trained very well.

After seeing the 777 we searched for a place to eat. M wanted seafood, while I don't eat such things (with, maybe, the exception of calamari—we gotta kill those intelligent buggers before they take over the world). Soon we found a place where we both have to something to eat. I got a chicken parmiggiana, I believe. I think M got some “cockroaches of the sea”, shrimps. Fish I sorta understand, even if I don't like... But shrimp? Ew.

Following, we climbed the steep hill to Lombard Street, one of San Francisco's most unique sights. The Crookedest Street in the World.

North Point:


San Francisco's Bay:


Alcatraz:


Ah, and after a steep climb that made me winded and not feeling too good, here we were. And, no, still, I'd rather walk uphill than wait for hours for the tram!

Lombard St... one of the most famous streets in the world?


Bay Bridge:


Wait, people actually drive on Lombard St (yeah, I knew that):


Nice place. Would hate to live here, though:


Masses gawking at Lombard St:


Afterwards, we walked downhill till Columbus Avenue, and turned right. We took a bus from Washington Square to Union Square (no. 30). Then we proceeded to our hotel, the Park Hotel. The customer service wasn't great--well, not bad either, just not American-standard; the Lithuanian or Latvian young woman at the front desk had to deal with an elevator complaint before dealing with us—not the best welcome, but then she showed us to our room and explained to us the quirks of the hotel, so can't fault her. Nor was the room great (but certainly bigger than any room in Rome or Paris   ). At least we had a private bathroom. Due to Fleet Week, the prices were artificially inflated... I had no idea why hotels were so expensive... I had just attributed that to the expensive nature of hotels in the USA in general.

After I got a bit of well-deserved rest, we went and walked around Union Square, then Chinatown and Little Italy (or whatever they're called in SF). Nice atmosphere; really nice for American standards. Little Italy felt a bit like the old-continent, with people outside, eating (probably) good food. Not a bad atmosphere at all. We were, however, tired by a 4 am wake-up (and it was 10pm in Chicago by this time), so after an hour or so we headed back towards the hotel, stopping by a convenience store beforehand. M crashed while I watched an episode of Fringe... probably the best show on the big 4 American TV stations. Of course, it's ending this season, but I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

Union Square:


Union Square 2:


Entrance to Chinatown:


On the next day, we decided to go to Golden Gate Park and see a few attractions over there. We would take a trolleybus to Golden Gate Park and go to the Academy of Science... which sounds more interesting than it is. Although, they had a nice Albino Alligator, alongside baby ostriches that didn't want to exercise...

Next day... Market Street again:


Waiting for the trolleybus:


DeYoung Art Museum at Golden Gate Park:


Ad-hoc Arts Exhibition in the Park:


Academy of Sciences (free with the CityPass):


Albino Alligator:


Cute little buggers, baby ostriches (maybe emus or nandus, who knows!) that weren't excited by being outside and having to exercise:


This fish really, really liked us:


Afterwards we headed west towards the Japanese Garden. We spent a while there, before proceeding to the 28 bus stop, heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

Japanese Garden at GGP:


Inside:


Young and old on weird traditional bridge:


Rock garden:


Replica:


Looks really nice:


Koi (let's just say that [koi] means something else in Romanian):


At the bus stop, well... we waited and waited (but in the nice California Sun). By the time the first bus came, there were tens of people there, most of whom got on this first bus... So we waited for the second one, which was also full, but not overcrowded full. The traffic was pretty bad and it took us a while to reach the bridge. We didn't get off however, fearing we'd be left stranded. We proceeded towards downtown SF. We stopped at the bus terminus and got some drinks from a nearby store. Then, we proceeded along the bayside, via Fort Mason Green (lots of people there, many probably smoking weed, unphased by the mounted police... it is California, after all). Some regatta was going on and some people were really excited about it.

Regatta:


Lots of people doing nothing in particular:


We walked along the bay, via overcrowded Fisherman's Wharf, continuing down all the way to
the Ferry Building via the Embarcadero. Then we headed down Market Street until either the Powell Street or Montgomery Street stations. I honestly forget which. We then took the BART to the airport. That's coming up in the second part.

Special antique tram:


Bay view and Bay bridge:


“Port of San Francisco”:


To be featured in the 2nd part: an interesting experience on AA before even boarding the flight, uncomfortable seats, NY being NY, a LGA spotter, LGA being a horrible overcrowded place and a quiet flight back to Chicago. Also, conclusions about the trip.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Comments and questions appreciated. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Previous Trip Reports:
Moldovan Adventure: Chisinau And 9U From VCE To OT (by dc9northwest Aug 27 2012 in Trip Reports)
AZ, MLA-FCO-BLQ, And San Marino (by dc9northwest Aug 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
To Malta On Emirates' A330-200 (LCA-MLA) (by dc9northwest Aug 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
TAROM, OTP-LCA, B737-300, And Nicosia (by dc9northwest Aug 23 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part V: LYR-OTP, SK/OS, 73G/100 (by dc9northwest Aug 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part IV: Tromsø Og Svalbard (by dc9northwest Aug 4 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part III: Bodø, And A Widerøe Dash 8 To Tromsø (by dc9northwest Jul 29 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part II: Bergen/Trondheim (by dc9northwest Jul 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
Norway, Part I: OTP-FRA-OSL, LH, A320 (by dc9northwest Jul 22 2012 in Trip Reports)
Delta's 757-300, FLL-ATL, 22MAY12 (by dc9northwest Jun 20 2012 in Trip Reports)
ORD-JFK-FCO-OTP, B6/DL/AZ, June 2012 (by dc9northwest Jun 16 2012 in Trip Reports)
Bahamasair's 737-200, UP205, 21MAY12 (by dc9northwest May 24 2012 in Trip Reports)
March 2012, ORD-CDG, Delta, 763 (by dc9northwest Apr 8 2012 in Trip Reports)
March 2012, FCO-JFK-ORD, Delta, 333/CR7 (by dc9northwest Apr 1 2012 in Trip Reports)
March 2012, OTP-FCO, Alitalia, A319 (by dc9northwest Mar 28 2012 in Trip Reports)
MCI-OTP: Three Upgrades And A380 Flight Deck Visit (by dc9northwest Feb 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
The Baltic States In 6 Easy Flights (by dc9northwest Dec 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Romanian TR: Bucuresti-Suceava Via Timisoara (by dc9northwest Dec 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
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MCI-ATL-AMS-OTP With DL And KL (60+pics And Vids) (by Dc9northwest Jun 14 2007 in Trip Reports)


[Edited 2012-12-18 05:03:35]

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: cambridgeflyer1
Posted 2012-12-18 07:47:47 and read 16676 times.

Fantastic report, I was in San Fran for fleet week this year. It was a really good event, especially the air show!

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: mikeology
Posted 2012-12-18 09:15:36 and read 16301 times.

Great pics and write up. I always like to see an out-of-towners experience of my hometown. I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
My favorite picture, 777 doing a low-pass at Fisherman's Wharf:

Awesome pic

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Academy of Sciences (free with the CityPass):

Pretty fun on Thursday nights each week. They have a DJ and serve alcohol til about 10am. For the 21+ only

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Bay view and Bay bridge:

I hope you had a chance to eat along the embarcadero. Lots of good eateries. And not too touristy imo

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-12-18 09:23:54 and read 16275 times.

Hi dc9northwest,

great report with good pictures from San Francisco, one of my favorite cities. You visited many nice places. That brings back memories of my last year's visit.

San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco (by PlaneHunter Jun 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

And yes, Virgin America is a great carrier. Hopefully it will survive. I liked my VX experience some years ago, I was just a bit disappointed by the FA serving us.

Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class (by PlaneHunter Oct 30 2009 in Trip Reports)

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
JetBlue since they're a good airline in my view. The 738 with Sky Interior offered by WN won out;

I also like B6, but I would have made the same decision.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Our A320, California Dreaming

The planes names are so cool - VX even beats B6 in this regard.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Thinking back, that's really an excellent idea. It provides an eerie yet calm light. Obviously a red light would be misconstrued (and not at all in keeping with the Virgin name... quite the opposite, and Whore America doesn't have a nice ring to it), yellow too natural, green and blue too intense, while orange would be too ugly. I guess it's the right choice.

That sums it up nicely.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):

My favorite picture, 777 doing a low-pass at Fisherman's Wharf:

Yes, great picture!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):

Cute little buggers, baby ostriches (maybe emus or nandus, who knows!) that weren't excited by being outside and having to exercise:

Nice!


PH

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: roberts87
Posted 2012-12-18 10:39:46 and read 16079 times.

Nice report and a great story, thanks for posting. I have flown VX once, decent airline I'd say. Thanks also for sharing the pictures of San Francisco, brings back some very fond memories of the few months I lived there. Looking forward to the report about the trip back!

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-18 11:06:42 and read 15990 times.

Hi everyone, and thanks for your comments.

One thing: I forgot to mention the VX safety video was a cartoon. A rather important omission.

M wants me to mention the bat rays we saw and touched at the aquarium... So, if you're ever in SF, give the bat-rays and sharks a call!

Quoting cambridgeflyer1 (Reply 1):
Fantastic report, I was in San Fran for fleet week this year. It was a really good event, especially the air show!

Hi Cambridgeflyer1! Thanks very much for reading and leaving a comment. Hope you enjoyed the TR and good to know you enjoyed SF/Fleet Week.

Quoting mikeology (Reply 2):
Great pics and write up. I always like to see an out-of-towners experience of my hometown. I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Hi mikeology, thanks very much for reading! I did enjoy SF; it's one of most fascinating places in the US, for sure  
Quoting mikeology (Reply 2):
Awesome pic

Thanks!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):

Hi dc9northwest,

great report with good pictures from San Francisco, one of my favorite cities. You visited many nice places. That brings back memories of my last year's visit.

Hi PlaneHunter!

First off, thanks for reading and leaving some comments!

Good to know. I like SF a fair amount too.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
And yes, Virgin America is a great carrier. Hopefully it will survive. I liked my VX experience some years ago, I was just a bit disappointed by the FA serving us.

I think... no, I'm sure... it's the best carrier in the US for domestic flights. The F/As on this flight were ok... nothing too special (they seemed confused about a couple of our orders...), but not bad either.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
I also like B6, but I would have made the same decision.

Good to know. WN is fine with their "early bird check-in", sure. I'll always get it from now on--makes a big difference...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
The planes names are so cool - VX even beats B6 in this regard.

I agree with this--glad someone carries on this tradition... B6 is a bit restricted as to what they name their planes it seems.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Yes, great picture!

Thanks very much! And thanks for the links; I'll give them a read  
Quoting roberts87 (Reply 4):
Nice report and a great story, thanks for posting. I have flown VX once, decent airline I'd say. Thanks also for sharing the pictures of San Francisco, brings back some very fond memories of the few months I lived there. Looking forward to the report about the trip back!

Thanks Robert!

I'd say they're more than decent (and you know I don't have a high opinion of US aviation in general). Ah, good to know about your SF experience.

Hopefully the next report will be up by the week-end!

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Sultanils
Posted 2012-12-18 12:06:48 and read 15825 times.

Hello Alex,

Nice one my friend. Virgin America looks like eh... something special! But that purple interior: no thanks! Nice destination pics of San Fran as well, lot's to see and do apparently.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I'd never flown in the month of October. Ever. That seemed pretty odd to me, and was a pretty good reason to fly out somewhere during that time.

Ha ha, that's certainly a good excuse to book a flight!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Spirit A319

What a nice and modern livery, love it!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Inside a Virgin

Sure it must look better in real than on the pic. Otherwise: horrific...

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
A plus, you order food and drink through this system and the F/A delivers them to your seat—now that's simply a great feature.

You ordered something through this system? Did it work well?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Under the bridge

Reminds me of the excellent RHCP song...

Sultanils

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2012-12-18 12:10:17 and read 15806 times.

Hey Alex. Finally you now have some free time in your hands to catch up with your TR-writing. Nice to see a SFO report again. Lots of familiar images from my July visit there. Glad you got to fly with Virgin America, an airline I wanted to also try but couldn't make it work.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I'd never flown in the month of October. Ever. That seemed pretty odd to me,

Yeah, I guess there are no major holidays in October so it is hard to find time to fly. October is my 3rd least flown month. April and May (for some reason) are the only ones with fewer flights.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Seems pretty good to me. The catch was that the flight departing Chicago would leave at 07:00... I live quite far away from O'Hare, the journey taking about 1h40' or so.

Yeah, I used to live where you live now and I had the same problem whenever I had to fly early out of ORD.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Spirit A319:

Man, their old livery was pretty decent. Their new one screams of "look at me, I'm a cheap LCC".

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Hey, it even included a guy in black metal corpse paint! (For those wanting specifics, it was Abbath's make-up job IIRC).

For real?

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I was a bit surprised when I found out about the roughly $8 fare to downtown SFO. I'd imagined BART was more of a subway than a train, but I was wrong. I guess the long distances travelled means this makes sense.

Yeah, a rather nice welcome to the Bay Area. I was equally surprised when I found out about the price.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Afterwards we headed back, towards Alcatraz (being constantly reminded every 5 seconds that the name comes from the Spanish word “alcatraces”, the Spanish name for a species of marine birds that I probably can't distinguish from other species of marine birds.

From what I read it's Spanish for gannet. I used to think it meant "pelican" but I was obviously wrong..

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
My, my, that's a lot of inmates waiting to be processed:

As you know I did some time in The Rock . The reason they are all gathered up there is because all visitors are subject to a compulsory introductory talk by one of the park rangers. When I visited Alcatraz in July I managed to sneak out and skip this talk .

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Well, according to some (won't name who), “both Uniteds are toilet companies”... and I tend to agree

Whoever said this was a wise guy indeed!

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
After seeing the 777 we searched for a place to eat. M wanted seafood, while I don't eat such things (with, maybe, the exception of calamari—we gotta kill those intelligent buggers before they take over the world). Soon we found a place where we both have to something to eat. I got a chicken parmiggiana, I believe. I think M got some “cockroaches of the sea”, shrimps. Fish I sorta understand, even if I don't like... But shrimp? Ew.

You're one of them seafoodphobics too? Come on man, I thought you were cooler than that  .

Looking forward to the next few segment. In the meanwhile, have fun back home!

Widebodyroga

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-12-18 14:15:25 and read 15480 times.

Hey Alex  

Great report. Nice to see a Virgin America one. Always wanted to try them. Lovely pics of San Fransisco brings back memories from my trips there .

Thanks for the pleasant read.

Regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-12-18 15:35:31 and read 15259 times.

Hi Alex

Great report on SFO! I enjoyed the pics.
VS looks to be above any other US carrier's standard.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: 767747
Posted 2012-12-18 19:11:49 and read 14824 times.

Really nice photos and a good report on your trip to San Francisco! I will possibly be going back there in March 2013 for a few days, and I haven't been there since March of 1998!

Virgin America looks also to be a good airline. I've seen them at a few airports; LAX, SEA, ORD, but I've never tried them yet.

Thanks for sharing! Good to see another report from you.

Best,

Matthew

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-19 02:35:13 and read 14279 times.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Hello Alex,

Nice one my friend. Virgin America looks like eh... something special! But that purple interior: no thanks! Nice destination pics of San Fran as well, lot's to see and do apparently.

Hey Nils, and thanks for your comments!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Ha ha, that's certainly a good excuse to book a flight!

Yep! Then again, any excuse will do 
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
What a nice and modern livery, love it!
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Man, their old livery was pretty decent. Their new one screams of "look at me, I'm a cheap LCC".

Care to fight it out, guys?  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
You ordered something through this system? Did it work well?

Yes, M ordered about 3 times and I once or twice (1 drink and 1 meal). It seemed to work fine... provided the F/As were paying attention where they were taking the meals to.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Reminds me of the excellent RHCP song...

Well, at least we weren't over the bridge. That would remind people of the Notorious BIG song about kidnapping, raping and killing kids... Yeah... rap music.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Sure it must look better in real than on the pic. Otherwise: horrific...

It did. Purple never works well in pictures...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Hey Alex. Finally you now have some free time in your hands to catch up with your TR-writing. Nice to see a SFO report again. Lots of familiar images from my July visit there. Glad you got to fly with Virgin America, an airline I wanted to also try but couldn't make it work.

Hey, Stojan! Yeah, finally some time to write up stuff... And I have a fair amount to write, in fact. It's a shame you had to take UA/US there and back, rather than VX. Such a stark difference!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Yeah, I guess there are no major holidays in October so it is hard to find time to fly. October is my 3rd least flown month. April and May (for some reason) are the only ones with fewer flights.

Well, I suppose that's it. And it always comes after summer, when I fly most...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Yeah, I used to live where you live now and I had the same problem whenever I had to fly early out of ORD.

It is rather bothersome...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
For real?

Yes, but it was a cartoon. Mentioned that in my first reply since I didn't realize I didn't write about that at first. I don't proof-read well. Anyway, I really liked that.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Yeah, a rather nice welcome to the Bay Area. I was equally surprised when I found out about the price.

Everything's more expensive in California...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
From what I read it's Spanish for gannet. I used to think it meant "pelican" but I was obviously wrong..

What's a gannet? First time I hear about that! That's how well I know my birds 
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
As you know I did some time in The Rock . The reason they are all gathered up there is because all visitors are subject to a compulsory introductory talk by one of the park rangers. When I visited Alcatraz in July I managed to sneak out and skip this talk .

Haha, I thought they went back to the communist time and they were selling meat, looking at that huge queue. Good to know you got out of it back in July. Nice little counter-culture action in counter-culture San Francisco 
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
Whoever said this was a wise guy indeed!

Definitely!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 7):
You're one of them seafoodphobics too? Come on man, I thought you were cooler than that  .

Looking forward to the next few segment. In the meanwhile, have fun back home!

Me cool? Come on, Stojan, I go to UChicago and I don't party. I'm one of the least cool people in the country! LOL.

Thanks Stojan... It's great to be back. It's currently -7C, with 40km/h+ wind gusts and snowing. Russia is sending us their best, it seems  Wind chill of -40 a few km to the east...

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):

Hey Alex  

Great report. Nice to see a Virgin America one. Always wanted to try them. Lovely pics of San Fransisco brings back memories from my trips there .

Hey Philip, thanks for reading!

Good to know... Yeah, VX is very good IMO. San Francisco is a nice city  
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Hi Alex

Great report on SFO! I enjoyed the pics.
VS looks to be above any other US carrier's standard.

Hi Marc,

Thanks very much for your comments--yes, that's my conclusion exactly  
Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):
Really nice photos and a good report on your trip to San Francisco! I will possibly be going back there in March 2013 for a few days, and I haven't been there since March of 1998!

Hi Matthew,

Thanks very much!

Good to know you're going back to SF; any way to take VX there?  
Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):
Thanks for sharing! Good to see another report from you.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Matthew! Yeah, they'll be coming up more frequently from now on, hopefully  

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-19 12:43:18 and read 13636 times.

Virgin America is the proper way to fly to SFO.  
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
I was a bit surprised when I found out about the roughly $8 fare to downtown SFO.

BART is very expensive and probably the most over-priced metro rail line in the US.
Even driving a gas-guzzling sports car or SUV is cheaper than taking BART.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
A 721! Sure, it doesn't fly anymore, but still!

That is used for safety training exercises.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
The train seemed pretty ancient, actually. It smelled of old. No, not old people; just old. No hobos, not yet...
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
At Powell:

I have a friend that used to work at that coffee stand.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
No, we didn't take the street car, unfortunately... The wait was way too long to be worth it!

The wait times are shorter on the California street line.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Chinatown and Little Italy (or whatever they're called in SF). Nice atmosphere; really nice for American standards. Little Italy felt a bit like the old-continent, with people outside, eating (probably) good food. Not a bad atmosphere at all.

That was my old stopping grounds in San Francisco. Yes the food is very good at most of the restaurants in North Beach.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
DeYoung Art Museum at Golden Gate Park:

That is a very new building. I went to the grand opening in 2005. Sadly it replaced a much more interesting and historical building. There was a big uproar in the community about the construction of the 'new' museum.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
(lots of people there, many probably smoking weed, unphased by the mounted police... it is California, after all).

One of the great things about San Francisco.  
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Special antique tram:

Those old PCC trams are the sacred cows of the MUNI fleet. The F-Market street line almost never breaks down unlike the rest of the horribly unreliable and slow MUNI system.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: groobster
Posted 2012-12-19 13:01:26 and read 13607 times.

Great TR and loved the extra pics of San Fransisco. It's a place I've always wanted to visit and your report has made me want that even more.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-12-19 19:55:23 and read 13296 times.

Hi Alex !

Very nice report with nice pictures!

It looks like you had a nice flight on VX and a great time in San Francisco. You did a lot there in the time you were there.

You really lucked out that you were there during Fleet Week. Must be really nice to see the 777 doing a fly by!

San Francisco's price level is very high on a lot of things so probably that's why your hotel wasn't cheap.

You were very lucky with the weather; it's often overcast and foggy. I was there in August a few years ago and it was not more than about 55F....

Very appropriate name for the aircraft for this flight.

Looking forward to your next report1

The777Man

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-19 20:46:29 and read 13250 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):

Virgin America is the proper way to fly to SFO.  

Hey 'Fly!

Yup, I gotta agree. On any route where VX operates, they're the proper way to fly!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
BART is very expensive and probably the most over-priced metro rail line in the US.
Even driving a gas-guzzling sports car or SUV is cheaper than taking BART.

Hmm... Well, it's definitely the most expensive metro line I've seen! But I don't know about the latter  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
The wait times are shorter on the California street line.

I think they're usually a bit shorter than when I was there... Would've been a fun thing to do...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
That was my old stopping grounds in San Francisco. Yes the food is very good at most of the restaurants in North Beach.

North Beach, yeah, that's it... Hah, I'd forgotten the name... Too bad I was there on a Friday night and everything was quite full! The restaurants there generally looked really good.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
That is a very new building. I went to the grand opening in 2005. Sadly it replaced a much more interesting and historical building. There was a big uproar in the community about the construction of the 'new' museum.

It's not the most inspiring looking building in the city...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
One of the great things about San Francisco.  

So do you think Seattle and Denver will take over now? Haha.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 12):
Those old PCC trams are the sacred cows of the MUNI fleet. The F-Market street line almost never breaks down unlike the rest of the horribly unreliable and slow MUNI system.

Speaking of that... I did wait 45 minutes for the 28... So, is that "normal", or did Fleet Week have anything to do with it? Shame if it's so unreliable.

Anyway, thanks for your perspective as an (ex-)resident of San Francisco  
Quoting groobster (Reply 13):
Great TR and loved the extra pics of San Fransisco. It's a place I've always wanted to visit and your report has made me want that even more.

Thanks Groobster--and go for it when you have the chance... it's one of the nicer places in the US. I try to include destination pics when doing TRs.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):

Hi Alex !

Very nice report with nice pictures!

Hi L.! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
It looks like you had a nice flight on VX and a great time in San Francisco. You did a lot there in the time you were there.

Everything went pretty well, yeah.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
You really lucked out that you were there during Fleet Week. Must be really nice to see the 777 doing a fly by!

Let's just say that I literally ran towards it when I saw it, to get a better look. M had no idea what was going on.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
San Francisco's price level is very high on a lot of things so probably that's why your hotel wasn't cheap.

Definitely true; however, this was more than I expected. It made Norway look cheap!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
You were very lucky with the weather; it's often overcast and foggy. I was there in August a few years ago and it was not more than about 55F....

I hear it is--still doesn't mix with my preconceived notion of Cali weather, though  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Very appropriate name for the aircraft for this flight.

Indeed--can't think of a better one! Hence the title...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Looking forward to your next report1

Already out! I'll put the link here, for later reference:
SFO-JFK On AA, 762, And LGA-MDW On WN, 738 (by dc9northwest Dec 19 2012 in Trip Reports)

Thanks again for your comments, The777Man! It's much appreciated.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-19 22:21:40 and read 13165 times.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 15):
But I don't know about the latter  

It's certainly true for those that work at SFO. The BART system charges an airport tax to enter & exit at the SFO stop, thus encouraging people to drive to work instead of use the BART. The BART system is only cost effective if you have a short distance to travel and you don't use the SFO stop. BART is reliable but it is way over-priced.
My car get's about 10-12 MPG and when I made trips to visit friends in Walnut Creek and Hayward, it was still cheaper and more convenient to drive.




Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 15):
I think they're usually a bit shorter than when I was there... Would've been a fun thing to do...

The California street line just goes up & down California street and doesn't go through the more interesting neighborhoods. It also just drops you off at California & Van Ness. Nothing really to see there but get back on the cable car.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 15):
North Beach, yeah, that's it... Hah, I'd forgotten the name... Too bad I was there on a Friday night and everything was quite full!

North Beach is always congested. It's quite fun when it's full. That is part of the excitement.



Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 15):
It's not the most inspiring looking building in the city...

I absolutely hate it!
For a city that prides it's self for it's older styled architecture, I was surprised to see the old Roman Empire styled museum torn down in favor of that ugly building that looks like a piece of cheap Ikea furniture.
I was at the town hall meetings in the late 1990s and early 2000s bitching and gripping along with all the other long-time residences about the proposed new museum.   





Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 15):
So do you think Seattle and Denver will take over now? Haha.

For pot smoking? Seattle possibly but not Denver.
Denver's overall feel is still rather conservative and artificial but Seattle has the old grungy element to it.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 15):
I did wait 45 minutes for the 28... So, is that "normal",

Yep, that is about normal and I bet once the bus came, there was another one right behind it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
San Francisco's price level is very high on a lot of things so probably that's why your hotel wasn't cheap.

Believe it or not, wine & cheese is rather cheap in San Francisco.
Same for Asian restaurants. Chinese food, sushi, Thai food and Korean food in San Francisco is among the cheapest I've ever seen.
Just don't even think about buying a house in that city unless you are part of the wealthiest 1%.   

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-20 10:19:23 and read 12811 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
It's certainly true for those that work at SFO. The BART system charges an airport tax to enter & exit at the SFO stop, thus encouraging people to drive to work instead of use the BART.

You know, my main gripe about the USA is nothing else than the state of public transit. Everyone else is trying to build/improve public transit options, while the US seems to be cutting back. Driving, for me, is the most stressful thing. I'd rather take exams... I won't be doing either of that during the holidays, that's for sure.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
The California street line just goes up & down California street and doesn't go through the more interesting neighborhoods. It also just drops you off at California & Van Ness. Nothing really to see there but get back on the cable car.

Makes sense why it's less crowded!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
I absolutely hate it!
For a city that prides it's self for it's older styled architecture, I was surprised to see the old Roman Empire styled museum torn down in favor of that ugly building that looks like a piece of cheap Ikea furniture.
I was at the town hall meetings in the late 1990s and early 2000s bitching and gripping along with all the other long-time residences about the proposed new museum.   

Does anyone ever listen to what the community has to say?.. It's always about the money...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
Yep, that is about normal and I bet once the bus came, there was another one right behind it.

Well, about 5 minutes or so after... not immediately. I don't know when you left Chicago, but once i saw 4 (yes, four!) buses one after the other on CTA's no. 6 route. I saw the same thing in Boston, but just with 2 buses... You know, this goes back to my first point. US public transit, in general, sucks.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
Just don't even think about buying a house in that city unless you are part of the wealthiest 1%.  

How about Berkeley?

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-20 10:54:51 and read 12769 times.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
You know, my main gripe about the USA is nothing else than the state of public transit. Everyone else is trying to build/improve public transit options, while the US seems to be cutting back.

Well that happened in the 1950s but a lot of cities are trying to go back to public transit. It's a little too late for most cities.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Driving, for me, is the most stressful thing. I'd rather take exams... I won't be doing either of that during the holidays, that's for sure.

I love driving myself and hate relying on others to get from A to B. Only when there is intense traffic and it's raining do I prefer to use a taxi or subway.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Does anyone ever listen to what the community has to say?.. It's always about the money...

Some in the community supported it simply because Da Mayor at that time (Willie Brown) wanted it. I forgot the full story but there was a lot of money behind it to grease the pockets of our local elected officials to push that through.
San Francisco and Chicago machine politics are very similar.

This is what was there before. Granted this photo dates back to 1920s.


http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/DeYoungMus.jpg

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
I don't know when you left Chicago, but once i saw 4 (yes, four!) buses one after the other on CTA's no. 6 route.

I moved from Chicago in 1984 but I go back every year because I have a lot of family there. The only bus I ever use there is the 14 Jefferey Express which goes up Lake Shore Drive and then of course the Blue Line.
Most of the time I just borrow my Grandmother's Buick and drive. She is in a rough area and I don't like standing on bus corners waiting for a bus in rough neighborhoods.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
How about Berkeley?

Same thing but at least you get a small front yard.  
Unless you never leave Berkeley and only rely on the 1 BART line, you will certainly need a car there too. AC Transit buses are joke and they no longer have night service. Their tickets are more expensive than MUNI.
Berkeley is a city in denial. They want to maintain a small town atmosphere and won't accept that they're in one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas. I think it's funny how Berkeley's restrictive laws have ended up creating Emeryville right next to it which is the complete opposite - huge big-box chain stores, large parking lots and everything Berkeley hates.  Silly

[Edited 2012-12-20 10:59:32]

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2012-12-20 13:04:03 and read 12681 times.

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

VX look good as always, need to find an excuse to pop across the pond and try them out.

Loved the pix of 'frisco' flown in and out of SFO but never visited the city, high on the list of things to do.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-21 13:17:21 and read 12285 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
Well that happened in the 1950s but a lot of cities are trying to go back to public transit. It's a little too late for most cities.

Yeah, suburbia... What boredom. I never understood--what happens if you have a (say) migraine but no medicine? Do you have to endanger everyone and drive to the store? It's just not what I want.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
I love driving myself and hate relying on others to get from A to B. Only when there is intense traffic and it's raining do I prefer to use a taxi or subway.

Well if you love driving and cars, that's one thing. In most of the US, it doesn't matter. You have to drive. Not very fair for the rest of us. Not to mention people generally can't drive well...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
This is what was there before. Granted this photo dates back to 1920s.

Looks much more suitable for an arts museum...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
The only bus I ever use there is the 14 Jefferey Express which goes up Lake Shore Drive and then of course the Blue Line.

Ah, the Jeffery Jump as they call it nowadays. It just got rebranded I think!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
Most of the time I just borrow my Grandmother's Buick and drive. She is in a rough area and I don't like standing on bus corners waiting for a bus in rough neighborhoods.

Gotcha. I don't like taking the Red Line and then waiting for the 55 coming back to Hyde Park...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
Unless you never leave Berkeley and only rely on the 1 BART line, you will certainly need a car there too. AC Transit buses are joke and they no longer have night service. Their tickets are more expensive than MUNI.

Hmmm... well, I'm not exactly a night owl. Anyway, good to know--thanks for the info!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Thanks very much for reading and commenting, Mark!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
VX look good as always, need to find an excuse to pop across the pond and try them out.

Yes--great little airline. Hope they make it...

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
Loved the pix of 'frisco' flown in and out of SFO but never visited the city, high on the list of things to do.

Thanks--yeah, it's one of the most interesting cities in the US!

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-22 05:36:23 and read 11910 times.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
Yeah, suburbia... What boredom.


I'm not much of a fan of suburbia either but I understand why people move there. It's more affordable for those that have families and can't afford a nice home in the city that is safe and has good public schools. Some people may like the space such as large front yards and backyards. Although it's not my thing, I wont knock people who do chose to live there.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
what happens if you have a (say) migraine but no medicine? Do you have to endanger everyone and drive to the store?


The drowsiness is caused by the medication after they already purchased the medicine. Not sure how a headache makes it dangerous to drive to the store.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
Not very fair for the rest of us.


Nah, those people move to New York and Chicago if they want to ride a subway that bad.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
Looks much more suitable for an arts museum...


Agreed. The new museum is an abomination. It's San Francisco's version of what happened to Soldier Field.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
Ah, the Jeffery Jump as they call it nowadays. It just got rebranded I think!


Back in my day it was the 6.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
Gotcha. I don't like taking the Red Line and then waiting for the 55 coming back to Hyde Park..


Go further south, beyond 75th street and tell us all about it.  



As far as Virgin America goes, I've never had problems with them. They are terrific and I love their service. I remember buying one of their First Class tickets for a short hop from San Francisco to Los Angeles for an A.net meet back in 2007.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-22 13:06:58 and read 11666 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
I'm not much of a fan of suburbia either but I understand why people move there. It's more affordable for those that have families and can't afford a nice home in the city that is safe and has good public schools. Some people may like the space such as large front yards and backyards. Although it's not my thing, I wont knock people who do chose to live there.

Well, I won't knock them either. But from my perspective, it is quite boring!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
The drowsiness is caused by the medication after they already purchased the medicine. Not sure how a headache makes it dangerous to drive to the store.

Well, when I used to have migraines, I couldn't see properly--not the best condition to drive in.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Nah, those people move to New York and Chicago if they want to ride a subway that bad.

Well, there's a reason I live in Chicago...   In many other places, I wouldn't be travelling around the globe right now, having to pay for my car!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Agreed. The new museum is an abomination. It's San Francisco's version of what happened to Soldier Field.

Hah, good point. The styles just don't match there...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Go further south, beyond 75th street and tell us all about it.  

I'm aware it gets worse than 55th... But, there still was a shooting a few blocks away, the last time I was waiting for the 55 there. And I was wondering why 5 CPD cars went "racing" right by me...

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
As far as Virgin America goes, I've never had problems with them. They are terrific and I love their service. I remember buying one of their First Class tickets for a short hop from San Francisco to Los Angeles for an A.net meet back in 2007.

Yeah, I have to agree. Haven't done First Class with them, but it looked quite nice.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-23 01:14:35 and read 11359 times.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 22):
Yeah, I have to agree. Haven't done First Class with them, but it looked quite nice.



I have photos of that trip. It was the very last trip I've done using exclusively my Canon 35mm film camera. The photos are on my old computer and I didn't bother typing up a trip report. There were like 20 other trip reports of the same trip. Virgin America was giving away first class tickets for $79 on the SFO-LAX route and $309 for the SFO-JFK route.
Before we even pushed back from the gate, I had already finished off a bottle of wine.  

The coolest thing they've done was a promotion in honor of me - Superfly back in 2008.

Superfly Wednesdays At Virgin America (by Superfly May 21 2008 in Civil Aviation)

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 22):
Well, when I used to have migraines, I couldn't see properly--not the best condition to drive in.
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 22):
In many other places, I wouldn't be travelling around the globe right now, having to pay for my car!


You wouldn't have money to do anything if you had a car in Hyde Park. Parking fines are steep and an apartment with a garage is expensive as well.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 22):
Hah, good point. The styles just don't match there...


I wasn't there to hear any public discussions about the proposed add-on to Soldier Field. I'm sure dissent was silenced and Daley got his way.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 22):
the last time I was waiting for the 55 there. And I was wondering why 5 CPD cars went "racing" right by me...



That is a sign of improvement. 20 years ago, the police would have just took their time and showed up hours later.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-23 04:10:43 and read 11254 times.

I forgot to mention in my last post;

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 20):
Yeah, suburbia... What boredom


Berkeley is a suburb too. They just wont admit it.  
Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
Safety card, not in the best shape:


I think Virgin America was the first to have cool looking hipster cartoons in their safety cards.
Check out the chick with the dreadlocks and the dude with the baseball cap.
Before, airline safety cards had androgynous non-descript drawings of humans.

Virgin America Has The Coolest Safety Cards (by Superfly Mar 30 2009 in Aviation Hobby)
...



http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/VXCard1.jpg

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/VXCard2.jpg


Sir Richard Branson's airline is too cool for school.  
I wish more US airlines were ran like Virgin America.

Quoting dc9northwest (Thread starter):
But shrimp? Ew.


Bad call my friend. I can live on shrimp the rest of my life.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-24 09:50:16 and read 10692 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
I have photos of that trip. It was the very last trip I've done using exclusively my Canon 35mm film camera. The photos are on my old computer and I didn't bother typing up a trip report. There were like 20 other trip reports of the same trip.

Ah, was it one of that A.net "let's all take that flight" occasions?  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
The coolest thing they've done was a promotion in honor of me - Superfly back in 2008.

Haha, nice thing to do--guess SRB really appreciates you 
Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
You wouldn't have money to do anything if you had a car in Hyde Park. Parking fines are steep and an apartment with a garage is expensive as well.

Yes--that's true everywhere; nevertheless, I don't feel like I need a car in HP. I can get anywhere easily enough (if not quickly).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
That is a sign of improvement. 20 years ago, the police would have just took their time and showed up hours later.

Hmmm... That sounds familiar, actually. I guess they had more "important" things to do earlier on...  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
Berkeley is a suburb too. They just wont admit it.  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
I think Virgin America was the first to have cool looking hipster cartoons in their safety cards.
Check out the chick with the dreadlocks and the dude with the baseball cap.
Before, airline safety cards had androgynous non-descript drawings of humans.

Well, everyone travels nowadays, it's only fair to include them all! I agree--and their safety video is pretty awesome, too. Had I known, I'd've taken a video and posted it here.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
Sir Richard Branson's airline is too cool for school.  
I wish more US airlines were ran like Virgin America.

Indeed, Larry. I think that's exactly what SRB was going for. Certainly it'd be much more fun place if other airlines were like it. Wonder how they'd take it in the Midwest or Deep South, though.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
Bad call my friend. I can live on shrimp the rest of my life.

You should be happy I don't eat shrimp... More for you  

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: Superfly
Posted 2012-12-25 19:45:48 and read 10267 times.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 25):
Ah, was it one of that A.net "let's all take that flight" occasions?

Probably. There were like trip reports for every flight and there could have very well been several other A.net members on the flight.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 25):
Haha, nice thing to do--guess SRB really appreciates you

Now if he can reward me with First class seats on his 747s and A340s everywhere they go, then I'll be happy.  
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 25):
Wonder how they'd take it in the Midwest or Deep South, though.

Well from your own experience, they do well. Chicago is a Mid-western city.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-12-26 11:10:10 and read 10024 times.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
Now if he can reward me with First class seats on his 747s and A340s everywhere they go, then I'll be happy.

Haha. Sounds good--maybe you could ask him... Oh, and if so, can you ask him on my behalf too? 
Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
Well from your own experience, they do well. Chicago is a Mid-western city.

Of course, but I was referring to a more "typical" Midwestern town (not a cosmopolitan one like Chicago)--like Kansas City, for instance.

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-12-26 11:35:06 and read 10008 times.

Hi, A.,

great story and super great pictures.
Showed me the feeling that I should also go for SFO some days.

Looking for the next part to follow.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2013-01-08 18:05:28 and read 8816 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 28):
Hi, A.,

great story and super great pictures.
Showed me the feeling that I should also go for SFO some days.

Hi Markus,

And thanks very much for reading and commenting. SFO is nice for a visit!

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: jwhite9185
Posted 2013-01-09 04:53:47 and read 8561 times.

Hi there,

Great report, every time I see Virgin America featured they look pretty impressive. Be interesting to see if Virgin's UK domestic can compare to it - although from what I've heard I doubt it!

Great pics of San Francisco too. Yet another city that I must get back to and explore on my terms rather than being dragged round by my parents as a child!

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2013-01-09 09:18:53 and read 8407 times.

Hi Alex,

Finally got to reading your report here.
Great report with many nice pictures!
As you know I will be flying Virgin America in 2 weeks time and after reading this report I am looking forward to it even more!
Love your pictures of San Francisco, should really get there some time!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: California Dreamin': Virgin To SFO
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2013-01-09 20:57:02 and read 8052 times.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 31):

Hi Alex,

Finally got to reading your report here.
Great report with many nice pictures!

Hey Brendan,

Thanks very much for reading and commenting!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 31):
As you know I will be flying Virgin America in 2 weeks time and after reading this report I am looking forward to it even more!

Yup, I'm sure they'll treat you well. Great little airline. No wonder the best airline in the US is "foreign"  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 31):
Love your pictures of San Francisco, should really get there some time!

Thanks again, Mr. A'dam Spotter, and yes, I suggest it--you're in the US all the time it seems, so I'm sure you could squeeze it in!


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