And so the Secret Side Trip begins! I can’t divulge too much information about the whys and wheres of this trip, but I can share a little.
With my bags checked in landside, it’s time to take the TPA shuttle airside (all of which is explained in this 1971 film).
Star Alliance Gold status has its privileges: I got myself moved to a bulkhead seat…AWWW YISSSSSS! While this flight was a mere third the length of Cathay Pacific’s Toronto-Hong Kong butt-numb-a-thon, the extra legroom was still welcome.
Let’s get this baby in the air, shall we?
Cruising altitude! I had my copy of Evangelist Marketing (a useful book, if you’re in my line of work) at the ready and had queued up a couple of new-to-me Archer episodes on the iPad, but I was still a little jet lagged from all that jaunting about the Philippines. I ended up dozing off and woke up to this:
You can’t see them in this shot or any of the other shots I took, there’s a lightning storm out there. We flew over a spectacular electrical lightshow that would’ve been great set to some Pink Floyd.
Just past the storm was my first stop.
There’s that gap between the jet and the airport — right in the jetway, by the door where passengers pick up their gate-checked luggage — where you get your first sense of the weather at your destination. At this stop-over airport, I was hit with a blast of heat and thought to myself “wow, nice sunny day”. Then it dawned on me: it was 10:30 p.m..
The sun had long since set, and it was 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) outside. The high tomorrow was expected to hit 47 C (117 F), but I’d miss it — I boarded the flight to my final destination an hour later.
Once I got my luggage (again, hooray for Star Alliance Gold powers — mine came was on the carousel first), it was time to take a cab to my hotel. Judging by the price on the meter, I took the photo above about a third of the way there.
That’s my hotel lobby pictured above.
And here’s what I saw just before I turned out the lights. The funny apparatus with the hose is my CPAP. Although it’s a pain in the ass to bring along on trips, I still function much better when I use it.