On the Way to Kansas City

Now that I’m safely back in Thailand, let me share some highlights from my recent trip to the United States.  This first portion covers the trip from Bangkok to Los Angeles and San Francisco on my way to Kansas City.

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Self-portrait on the Flight Information Display Signage.  Thankfully, I scheduled a 12:40 pm departure which meant I didn’t have to get up too early or rush to get to the airport.  Instead, time for a leisurely breakfast before hailing a taxi.

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On the climb out of Bangkok, I could still see some lingering effects of the flooding.  While these rice paddies normally have water in them at this time of year, you can see how the vertical boundaries between many of the paddies have been erased.  The water is still high enough in this area to the northeast of the city that water flows across dikes and roads, combining multiple paddies into small lakes.

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The connection through Taipei was smooth and we landed about thirty minutes early in Los Angeles in the mid-afternoon.  Here, I snap a photo of my plane before boarding a bus at the remote parking area.  Winds were very high and were blowing offshore, the opposite of the usual direction.

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Los Angeles is a great place to see the world’s largest passenger airplane, the Airbus A380.  Qantas sends multiple planes there daily, one of which is hidden behind the other in the picture on the left.  Singapore Airlines also sends an A380 to LAX (above right) and Korean Airlines and Air France will soon join them, too.

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I connected to Southwest Airlines for a flight up to San Francisco.  Had I realized that my 6:00 departure was going to be delayed, I would have hustled over from the international terminal and tried to make the 3:30 flight instead.  While waiting for my flight, a teenager practiced his violin, playing very well for an appreciative crowd of passengers.

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A young girl gets her start as an aviation enthusiast, watching the planes as her father “flies” her through the air.

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My high school friend Ryan, pictured above with his 2-year old son, picked me up at the airport and we were able to catch up over dinner – Vietnamese noodles! – before I crashed on an air mattress at his house.  While I was only in the San Francisco area for about 12 hours, it was very nice to be able to see Ryan and his family again.

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After some coaxing, Elliot decided it would be okay to pose for a picture with Uncle Chris before heading to the airport.

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The weather on Friday morning was crisp and clear, allowing for a beautiful view of San Francisco as we took off to the north, climbing towards Oakland. 

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After buying Midwest Airlines, Frontier adopted their practice of serving fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies onboard.  A nice touch at an airline that is hard to distinguish from all the other domestic carriers.  After a tight connection in Denver, I arrived in Kansas City about 5:45 Friday evening.

 

0 thoughts on “On the Way to Kansas City

  1. That’s a spectacular shot of SF from the air, Chris.  I flew in to LAX from Hawaii on Tuesday evening after Thanksgiving — at the same time on Wednesday, they were diverting traffic from LAX due to the high winds, whih cvaused a power outage there for a couple of hours!  I hope you avoided that delay!  It’s been a little crazy here this fall!

  2. @slmret – Thankfully, no delay for me when I came into LAX although we did land from the ocean rather than from the city side of the airport, which I think I’ve only done two or three times in my life and never when the weather has been clear.@Fatcat723 – Sadly, a lot that has changed has been a gradual removal of amenities!@brooklyn2028 – Warm maple cookies, of course. LOL

  3. @christao408 – That’s actually a pretty interesting approach, although over water — you can get some really neat views of LA!  We have several inches of snow on the mountains now that weren’t there a week ago!

  4. Great view of San Fransisco. I think that teen ager playing his violin at the air port, is so going to go places I bet. If he can show his talent to just anyone like that, just imagine how good he will get when he finally graduates and auditions for bigger companies and theatres.

  5. @ZSA_MD – Thanks for the recommendation, Dr. Z.  Agreed that the young man playing for the passengers definitely has a talent for performance.  He’ll probably be a big name in the future and I’ll be able to say that I saw him when he just played for delayed Southwest Airlines customers.@Roadkill_Spatula – It sure is, isn’t it?  The only thing that irks me is that the gate areas (which at least now have restrooms and a little concession area) often don’t have drinking fountains, forcing you to buy $3 bottles of water.  That’s a scam.@slmret – Oh, that snow would have made for a pretty picture!@brooklyn2028 – Thus noted when I bake cookies or make pancakes for you.  LOL@CurryPuffy – I’m ashamed to admit it, but she did give me a second one.  And offered to wrap up a dozen more to take home.  Advantages of sitting near the back of the plane.

  6. Gosh, how exciting πŸ˜€ I’ve only been on one return international flight and seeing pictures gives me a little thrill – that you can be plonked in a totally different culture and environment after only a few hours πŸ™‚

  7. ooh, i wish i got cookies when i fly! we don’t get anything… but then again, i guess i shouldn’t expect much since i’m stuck flying united. i miss continental! i hope i get to fly international again… *crosses fingers to get funding for a conference in april*

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