Usually when we travel as a family, we pick up our rental car right away.
This time I thought it might be more convenient to just hop into the hotel shuttle and get to sleep immediately.
So I loaded my bags onto a cart and wheeled it to the platform that was marked like this:
So far so good.
You do know me by now, though, don't you? You can smell a travel fail coming up?
Actually I just saw a Holiday Inn bus pulling in, and I waved.
Good thing the guy asked if I had a reservation.
As a matter of fact I did, and I showed him the confirmation on my phone.
"You do have a reservation, but it's at Holiday Inn Express. You need to take their shuttle! Shouldn't take long."
Duh. Of course.
Marriott Courtyard, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Sheraton, Crown Plaza, Hyatt, Travelodge, Double Tree, La Quinta, Westin, you name the hotel - its shuttle arrived...
And of course they would all arrive at the same time and had a hard time stopping.
There! Holiday Inn Express, double parking! It barely stopped, let a guy hop out and drove off!!! I shouted and waived, and the passenger who got off tried to stop the shuttle, but it was gone.
No biggie. At the rate they were making an appearance, it'd be back soon.
Marriott Courtyard, Embassy Suites, Hilton, Sheraton, Crown Plaza, Hyatt, Travelodge, Double Tree, La Quinta, Westin, even Motel 6 and some adventure backpacker hotel - their shuttles arrived... and left.
The Holiday Inn bus showed up again. The driver recognized me and made signs saying
"WTH are you still doing here?"
"WTH are you still doing here?"
I made signs like "IKR???"
He made signs saying "you probably should call them!"
I had been considering this. Only it was so darn loud out here, so I probably wouldn't understand a word, and I was afraid that if I was going back inside - the very moment I would turn my back on what was going on outside, my shuttle would arrive and leave without me.
So I told myself, I was gonna wait for 10 more minutes and then make the call.
By the time I did, I was pretty exhausted, impatient, and generally not at my best.
I did try to be nice at first.
"Ma'm I can't hear you!"
"I am at the airport, of course it's loud!!! And I've been waiting here for an awfully long time for your shuttle to pick me up!"
"Ma'm you should have called! We only drive every half hour unless somebody calls in-between. What terminal are you at?"
He kept asking questions that I really couldn't understand, but I heard him saying I should go back inside.
That's when I kind of lost it.
"Don't make me go back in there! I am right here, where it says HOTEL SHUTTLES, and ALL THE OTHER HOTEL SHUTTLES PICK UP THEIR GUESTS. JUST SEND ME MY BUS, WILL YOU NOW?!?!"
"Ma'm, I can't understand you, would you mind calling back?"
"I AM CALLING FROM MY INTERNATIONAL PHONE. THIS #$@&%*! CALL IS GOING TO COST ME A FORTUNE, JUST SEND ME YOUR SHUTTLE!!!"
"Ma'm if you go inside to ground transportation there is a courtesy phone. You can call free of charge!"
I had heard enough.
No more Ma'm. This lady is taking a cab. Should have done that in the first place.
Grabbed my cart, wheeled over to where they were conveniently located, probably just waiting for people who got tired of waiting for their bus.
The taxi driver put my bags in the trunk, let me take a seat, and I showed him the address I wanted to be taken to.
"Ma'm just so you're not surprised, there is a basic fee of USD 19, regardless of where you're going."
Geez, you've got to be kidding me? I COULD PROBABLY WALK THERE IF I WASN'T SO DARN TIRED!
I couldn't believe I had to have him take out my bags, but hey, I was not going to spend over 20 bucks to get to my hotel. Just not.
Back on the cart my bags went, and I wheeled inside, looking for this courtesy phone.
I saw a coffee shop, I saw a newsstand, I saw a million people picking up a million of other people, chauffeurs holding up signs with the names of their passengers, I even saw a driver with a sign simply saying SAN DIEGO. I was THIS CLOSE to ask him for a ride!!
Finally, at the very end of the hall, there it was:
Yeah, welcome, my a**!
After that, my shuttle arrived promptly and took me to the hotel. The driver was very nice and told me that there was a McD, a Sizzler and a 7/11 within walking distance, which was very valuable information.
You see, I wanted a bottle of water...