2023-11-04, 04:00 UTC−7
I had crashed early last night and got a good night’s sleep, so I woke up at 4 in the morning wondering what to do with myself. I got caught up on my
07:00: the “complimentary breakfast” was a dismal affair—paper plates and plastic utensils, you’re supposed to bus your table when you’re done. They had the usual breakfast buffet stuff, but nothing special. I had scrambled eggs, potatoes and sausage which was real food; but it was cold by the time I got to it.
Hyatt House Emeryville: convenient to the Amtrak station, and the folks at the front desk are very nice and helpful; almost no food service.
12:00: check-out time. I was expecting to have to be out earlier than that, so that at least was a good surprise.
13:30: my taxi arrived. I decided not to try to use BART since my old back was complaining a bit. When I said that I was going to the Grand Hyatt at SFO, the driver asked me for an address. That surprised me: surely he knows how to get to the airport, and surely there’d be signs directing us to the hotel once we got there. That was indeed the case, but the signs pointed only to “Hotel”. I guess the Grand Hyatt is the only hotel on airport property.
The freeway was stop-and-go at least half way to the airport, maybe more. That didn’t bother me since I had all day to get to the hotel, but I was sorry that I had put the taxi driver through that. I gave him a $40 tip, which was probably too much since it was almost half the regular taxi fare; but I was very happy to get an easy (for me) ride.
All the folks at the Grand Hyatt were very nice and helpful, even lugging my luggage all the way to my room. I was even able to arrange for wheelchair assistance all the way from my room to the terminal for tomorrow morning.
The room itself is very nice, but I needed to close the drapes to keep folks from looking in: the AirTrain rolls right past my window. Also, there’s not a proper desk for setting up my computer. There’s a table with a comfortable chair, but it has a marble top which doesn’t allow my optical mouse to track well. Fortunately, I had an A-size sheet of paper left over from the Varna trip which worked OK as a mouse pad.
The restaurant opens for supper at 17:00, but I decided to let my laptop battery charge completely.
The menu should have been a warning: they handed me a tablet-like device that was much more flashy than useful. This old fart would have preferred a conventional menu.
I opted for the pork fried rice which was the only dinner entrée that I could identify. The waiter warned me that it came with kimchi which I hadn’t had since I was stationed in South Korea near the end of the Vietnam war. I was expecting a fermented cabbage salad, but what I got was just bits of rotten cabbage mixed in with the rice. There were rather large chunks of pork sitting on top of the rice. It was all more pretentious than tasty.
I don’t think I’ll bother with the restaurant for breakfast, mostly out of fear that I’ll run out of time: the restaurant opens at 06:00 and my wheelchair assistance will show up at my room at 07:00. There’s a shop that sells snacks and beverages on the fourth floor which is open 24/7. I’ll probably just stop in there for a Danish and a cup of coffee in the morning. I expect that I’ll get fed again on the airplane.
My goal for the rest of the night is to repack for flying rather than riding trains. This mostly involves moving anything that might freak out the TSA folks to my checked bag, principally my scanner, various cables, and a box that I can plug into the earphone jack on the scanner which generates a bluetooth signal that feeds my hearing aids. I’ll probably get some more blog reading done, but that’s not essential.
The good news is that the U.S. is switching from summer time to winter time in the wee hours of the morning, so I’ll get an extra hour of sleep.