After an all too brief week in the area last year, we landed back in the southern San Francisco neighbourhood of Noe Valley yesterday. Well, we didn’t actually land here – that was further south still at San Francisco International Airport, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
After the frustrations of recent flight delays to both San Francisco and Las Vegas, our journey went astonishingly well. But it started ominously as, alone of all flights out of Heathrow that morning, we were delayed by an accident on the M25 motorway which halted the progress of Virgin Atlantic cabin crew. Which begs the question: why was no other airline company affected?
But never mind. We took off fifty minutes late, but with a remarkably short flight time, touched down at San Francisco International Airport fifteen minutes early. The twenty minute wait to collect our luggage afforded us ample time to contemplate, fresh from stories of friends experiencing hours in line at other American airports, the anticipated horrors of actually getting into the country through U.S. Immigration, especially, as there had been significant cuts to staffing in the service in recent months.
We needn’t have worried. The entire process – waiting in line, one last, frantic check of our customs declaration form, having our photographs and hand prints taken, and explaining what we planned to do whilst in the country – took less than ten minutes!
And the Eurasian guy who saw us was chatty, friendly and intrigued by both our love affair with SF and also the fact that we waited 30 years before getting married, and then doing it in Vegas! I think the story would have been repeated over a beer with his mates later that evening.