America 2023 – Day Two

You could hear the wind howling across the ocean
And the taste of the wine and the buzzed feel in my head
And the only wifi was burning right beside me
And we had us a night I’ll never forget
She was a 1960’s Beach Boys song
And we’re living that dream all night long

In that California sunrise
In that California sunrise
She took me to heaven and so much more
Like nothing I’ve ever seen before
In that California sunrise

– Jon Pardi

Friday 19 May 2023

Good night’s sleep. Woke up to something very rare: a cloudy Los Angeles day, with the occasional drops of rain. Rolling over when my alarm went off, I figured my bag would be in California already, and headed towards Boise – like me – in a few hours. Our Southwest flight to Boise via Las Vegas was also on-time, so life was good.

A smooth run to the airport after returning the rental car. The way these big companies manage the whole process is amazing: like a well-oiled machine, you drive in, drop the car in a long line, grab your luggage, and head over to the shuttle bus that’s always waiting for a ride to the airport terminal of your choice.

Boise from the Boise Depot

It was a weird thing, watching everyone else check in bags, whilst all I had was my backpack and a small bag full of Tim Tams. I guess at least I didn’t have to worry about sticking the baggage tag on properly – something I continue to struggle with to this day, and probably always will. Security was a breeze, too, and we had plenty of time for a decent breakfast at California Pizza Kitchen inside the terminal, at airport terminal prices, of course. It’s somewhat reassuring to know that wherever you are in the world, airport price gouging is a thing.

Our Southwest flight to Boise via Las Vegas was crammed with people. Just as well we had upgraded to be in the first boarding group, so we could all sit together – on Southwest, it’s first in best dressed for seating, so being in an early boarding group is very important – and so that we could have our luggage overhead, rather than twenty rows away. It was thirty-eight minutes to Vegas, and it was a pretty rowdy flight…as is to be expected, on a Friday morning hop to Sin City.

There were only six of us on a full flight of at least a hundred who didn’t get off in Vegas. We sat on the plane and waited for the passengers flying out of Vegas to Boise (or on to Denver, Colorado) to join us. There were a few issues with the plane that needed to be resolved – I’ll never complain about a flight that’s delayed due to some mechanical issue – and some morons standing up out of their seats as we were taxiing to the runway before we could take off for Boise, about an hour later than expected.

We arrived in Boise just on four o’clock, and I figured I’d call United to check on my bag whilst the others waited for their luggage because I hadn’t been updated by text or email, despite assurances yesterday that I would be.

Imagine my surprise – and frustration tending to anger – when the baggage agent told me that my bag was sitting waiting in Los Angeles, when I’d been told yesterday it would be coming via San Francisco and on to Boise. I’d even given my address and phone number, but the lady I spoke to said they weren’t in the system, which I guess at least explains the lack of updates. Anyway, I had to go through the process again of explaining that I wasn’t in Los Angeles and that I had been advised it would go to Boise, on a flight arriving at about 8:00pm tonight. I still wasn’t completely convinced.

After a stop at the best view in Treasure Valley – the Boise Depot – and a shopping mission to Albertsons down near the Boise State Campus, I called United on the way to dinner…and was told that, finally, my bag was on the correct flight headed to me. We had dinner at BBQ 4 Life, an amazing BBQ joint, as the name suggests, that was recommended by friends last August when I was here. It was as good as I remembered, though probably highly (almost certainly?) unhealthy.

We closed the day out by driving out to the airport again. Just as we were pulling up to the arrivals area, I got a call from the United baggage manager who said they had my bag – hallelujah! Only about thirty-six hours late, but better late than never! Glad it’s back with me, and intact. A good way to end the day.

A big Saturday on deck tomorrow. We’ll go downtown to the impressive Capitol building and probably for a walk at one of Boise’s many beautiful parks before dinner and a few breweries with friends tomorrow night.

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