Early flights ar not a good thing. But but… Bus transfer to the terminal. Some discussions t the checkin counter becuse my confirmation states clearly, that I do not have to pay for my first checked in bag. The woman wanted me to pay $25. I the end I won and the supervisor said she should give me the luggage for free – maybe I took to long discussing.
Happy TSA officer. She was all to positive for so early in the morning. I read a lot of complaints, but did not have one problem until now (even with the forgotten sun spray). Getting some breakfast and sitting at the gate. Then there is an anouncement that they need volunteers because the flight is overbooked. They offer 300$ as a gift card. It goes up to 400$ and I contact the counter. The flight is boarding and one minute before the doors close I get the message, that they need me. My new flight is 2 hours later nd I get the vouvher for 400$ sd¨änd 20$ woth of food vouchers. YIPPIEH… until I check the small text and see, that you of course only can use the money on United Airlines. And that is a problem in Europe. Argh… what now?
An idea is born. I have two free days in San Francisco at the end of the holiday. Where can I go on a day trip early in the morning to late in the afternoon for 400$? One city pops up on the homeage. Las Vegas. Even if I am there in three days, there is a lot around the city that is worth seeing. I think abut the Hoover dam and some nature areas that I read are nice. And so it is done. Booked an very early flight on friday the 1st of April (6:20 am) and return from LV 8:20 pm. No costs (just no sleep). The only think I have to pay is a rental car. 50$ for one day trip is very acceptable.
From the airport in Phoenix I take an Uber to the hostel. Did take a little to find it. It is small. Two dormitories with 20 beds total. Early arrival. The office is closed but I get the code to leave my luggage and come back later. It is warm here. 28 degrees, but luckyly not humid. I take a stoll downtown, getting some lunch. Then I decide to try to take the bus to the big outlet center in the south of the city. At the busstop a guy asks me where I did get may hat (the australian one) and as americans are, we start talking. Happens that he takes the same bus to the end station like me. But that it is a 6 km walk from there to the place I want to go. So he calls his wife to get him at the bus and drive me over there… never heard of. He has a lot of tips what to do in Phoenix, where to eat, where to hear live music. Arriving at the bausstop, he insists on showing me Rawhide – a tourist Western town (artificial) only 3 km from the outlet center. With showing me arround and stopping for photos. That is the way you travel. Carpe diem and take opportunities.
Only thing I had to do – tell his wife that it is totaly safe for him to travel alone to Amsterdam. I did that. They left me at the outlet and wish me a phantastic stay. Cool stuff.
Find some stuff at he outlet, but not the trousers I wanted/needed. Have to check in SF. But then the next thing. How to get back to Phoenix? No bus service. Nothing. Where to get food for the Grand Canyon tour tomorrow, and drinks for the warm weather… Google maps reveal a Walmart not to far away and there is Uber no. 2 for today. Fast shoppig an d again, no public transport. It is getting dark and not to take any risks, I order Uber no. 3 that gets me to the hostel.
Check in. Totally friendly, warm welcome. People are sitting and talking with each other, not only looking at their phones (at least not all the time), Instruments that can be used, lots of tips what to do. Not a hotel like hostel as you know it. More the out-there-far-away type. Like it.
Ending the day with writing postcards, packing my stuff for the tour tomorrow (pick up at 6:55) and recharging my camera – important! Tired. Long day and thee warmth is not helping.
PS: Will check the writing later, Simon!!