This will take you to.......A Week Out West, Part One
Our original plan was to rent the car at SFO and drive to MRY, dump it there and take a taxi to the hotel they fly from MRY-LAX-IAH as we didn't need the car in MRY. Surprise, no shuttle from the hotel to Pebble Beach for practice rounds so we had to keep the car until leaving on Thursday morning. Oh well, such is life.
We headed to MRY for the flight to LAX then on to IAH. A first happened, when we go to the Security Area it was closed. Yes, closed so I headed to the UA ticket counter and asked what was up. I was told "oh they open around 9 AM or 9:30 AM" which was fine since we didn't leave until 10:17 AM, but welcome to MRY!!!
I very much dislike the CRJ2 as the windows are so low in relation to the seat you have to bend down to see out almost (CRJ7 and CRJ9 do not have this problem), but the connecting flight will make up for this issue and more. Found an old friend from our first day in MRY behind the SkyWest CRJ2 being operated as a UA Express flight.
The California coast is just beautiful. A very smooth flight on the noisy little 50 seat plane and then all of a sudden you see LAX as you turn to the east to come back around to land westbound toward the ocean.
We landed early and after a short taxi stopped at Terminal 8, Gate 80, picked up our roll-a-boards and we were off to Terminal 7, Gate 76 for the flight to IAH. Although my buddy retired from CO/UA as a B772 Captain he had yet to fly on a B788 which was our plane to IAH and the reason we decided to go through LAX rather than SFO. We would be on Ship 913 which was the newest and last B788 delivered to UA as they have converted the remaining orders to the B789 and possibly B787-10's. Flight 1186 was equipped with the new AVOD system as well as a fine pre-merger Continental crew.
I love the Dreamliner with it's big windows with high eye levels (unlike the CRJ2), awesome window shades that allow you to increase and lower the shade of the window while still being able to see out the window, lower cabin pressure, higher level of humidity, LED lighting, very quiet ride, huge wings and motors as well as a composite fuselage that provides for a much smoother ride.
This was my view upon getting settled into seat 1L, not a small window at all. Gotta love new airplanes and clear windows.
One of the last E120's SkyWest has still in service as they are rumored to be parking them at the end of February 2015. Great fast little "Lawn Dart".
Almost time to push back and get on the road home. Check out the window comparisons with the shade up and down as we taxi for departure on Runway 25R.
Here we go.
We're gettin closer Houston!!
Nice crisp clear big AVOD display.
Lunch time and UA has certainly upped their food in the Premium Class Cabins. I selected the Asian Chicken Noodle Salad with Gluten Free Tomato Basil Soup that was not only really good but also filling as there amount of noodles in the Salad was crazy. The other selection was a Turkey Pita of some sort that I did not want nor see. A nice view to dine with out the back of the three windows I had which was slightly behind my shoulders with the shade still closed.
At 41,000' there are not too many planes flying above us as we approach ELP. I waived to my Sister, but I doubt she saw me as the clouds appeared below.
Time to start down for IAH. The B788 like most other modern airplanes does not like to come down and slow down so they had to use the speed brakes (I call them rumble strips as they make the plane rumble) to get in the conga line for traffic arriving from the southwest before turning a left base to Runway 27 as the sun sets behind on a hazy winter evening in north Houston.
If you ever get a chance to take a ride on a Dreamliner you will love it. Currently only UA and Air Canada are flying passengers on B788/B789 with American soon to be on that list.
After a safe and on-time arrival it's off to the house to get ready for ELP.
A Week Out West, Part Three coming. A Week Out West, Part Three