The San Diego Power Outage

(image source)

As you may know, I was just in San Diego again for a job interview. (And YAY! I got the job!!!)

I was so excited to go down to San Diego for my interview. Not only do I love San Diego, but also I really loved the job and company for which I was applying. Plus, my sister lives in San Diego – which makes it all so much more amazing.

So I flew into San Diego Thursday evening, arriving just before 5pm. We were told shortly after we landed that the airport was out of power and there would be a slight delay. I thought it was odd that the airport would be out of power – it was sunny and warm outside – not stormy in any way. But, I figured that something was wrong with the airport and the power would be up in no time.

Nope. I was wrong.

I turned on my phone to text my good friend who I was meeting for dinner to tell her about my delay. When I turned on my phone, I got a text from my friend telling me that yes, there was a power outage. In the entire San Diego county. And Orange County. And Arizona.

Oh, no.

Well, let’s just say that I did not meet up with my friend for dinner. I barely found anything to eat after leaving the airport. As oppose to tell you the rest of the story in paragraphs, I’m going to give you a play-by-play. Enjoy.

4:55pm – Landed safely in the San Diego Airport.

5:00pm – Informed of the power outage.

5:05pm – Told we were going to deplane using the “air stairs” and we were behind two planes, but it should be no longer then 10 minutes.

5:20pm – Made a friend who learned about my job interview and was wishing me good luck.

5:25pm – Wondered when I would eat again and kicked myself for not eating in the airport before my flight. New friend gave me a bag of pretzels. LOVED new friend.

5:26pm – Wondered where I could buy water. Kicking myself for sleeping through the beverage service and declining a beverage when I did wake up.

5:45pm – Deplaned using the “air stairs”.

5:55pm – Walked into a pitch-black airport.

5:58pm – Walked to the pitch-black baggage claim and found multiple areas sectioned off with luggage and signs with the flight numbers.

6:02pm – After not being able to find my bag (or my flight), asked kind airport employee to help me find my bag.

6:05pm – Kind airport employee found my bag (and verified it matched with my luggage claim tag).

6:10pm – Stand at the rental car shuttle area.

6:16pm – Received a text from my brother, “GOOD LUCK TOMORROW! YOU WILL DO GREAT. WHO NEEDS ELECTRICITY??” Well. I did. For hot water and such.

6:21pm – Thankful it’s still light outside and not raining.

6:30pm – Picked up by the rental car shuttle.

6:31pm – Thankful for air conditioning. Wondered how much longer I would be in an air conditioned area.

6:40pm: Arrived at rental car lot.

6:42pm: Got in the very long line almost out to the door.

6:43pm: Wishing I was still in the air conditioned shuttle.

6:44pm: Thankful I was not elderly (like a couple near me) and thankful I was not traveling with small children. (Like another couple near me).

7:00pm: Wondering if I really can find any food or water for sale.

7:00:30pm: Kicking myself for only having $2 in cash and wondering if I can find food or water for sale at a place that excepts plastic payment.

7:40pm: Signed my rental car agreement and walked to find my car. In the near – dark.

8:10pm: Arrived at my hotel.

8:15pm: Begged hotel staff for food or water.

8:16pm: Raided the candy/snack/ice cream stand.

8:17pm: Ensured the staff that whatever I got they could charge me for – I WOULD PAY DOUBLE.

8:18pm: Ensured that it would all be free – no worries.

8:18:30pm: Took two more bottles of water (I was super thirsty. Don’t judge. I totally would have paid $10 for each).

8:20pm: With armfuls of Luna bars and bags of ChexMix, I was escorted to my room by the staff.

8:25pm: Left in my pitch black room with no flash light or candle.

8:26pm: Opened my computer for light.

8:27pm: Devoured 2 bags of ChexMix and two 32-oz bottles of water.

9:00pm: Since I didn’t have light to read or a lot of battery left on my computer, hit the sack.


5:36am: Woke up with a hunger rumble in my stomach. Rolled over to look at my cell phone to see the time. SAW THE BEDSIDE CLOCK ON.

5:36:30am: JUMPED out of bed and tested the lights. POWER!

5:37am: Joyfully went back to sleep.

Although I arrived to a power outage, waited for a long time, and did not have any food or water I cannot complain about my experience. I was not stuck in a flood. Nothing of mine was damaged. I had no tragedy. And, as mentioned previously I was not traveling with children or elderly people. It was more of a big inconvenience.

However, I did learn a few lessons from the power outage:

1)    When traveling, always carry cash. You’ll never know when you’ll need it. (READ: buying food and water).

2)    Always take the peanuts and pretzels on the plane. And, your free beverage.

3)    EAT before going on the plane. Even if you’re nervous about your job interview tomorrow and don’t really have an appetite.

4)    At home, have a freaking emergency kit. Water, canned food, candles, flashlights, the works. I always thought it was pretty dramatic when people talked about them, but I cannot tell you how much I would have appreciated one if I had one.

5)    Carry snacks with you when traveling. (Yes, I was really hungry. Clearly).

6)    Keep your luggage tags! You’ll never know when you have to show them.

And, some Honorable Mentions:

1)    Southwest staff: they worked hard to help us in any way they could. They created a path from the plane to the airport with a bunch of staff guiding the way. They worked effortlessly to get everyone their bag as quickly as possible.

2)    San Diego Airport staff: they were calm, informed, and gave clear directions. Their work was critical in keeping the thousands of people calm.

3)    Alamo Car Rental Staff: Using the headlights of rental cars to light their office when the sunset was one of the many resources they thought of to keep everything going. They worked as quickly as they could and did not leave until everyone got a car.

4)    Hilton Garden Inn Staff in Del Mar: they kindly gave me lots of FREE snacks and were adamant about my physical safety my comfort in the dark. (Plus they really are the best hotel staff in San Diego).

5)    SDG&E: for working throughout the night and getting our power back on. I was so grateful to have hot water in the morning to take a shower before my interview.



Filed under Things I've learned, Travel

2 responses to “The San Diego Power Outage

  1. First of all, this whole situation sounds crazy!! And frustrating. Not really the warmest welcome to SD….or what you want to go through the night before an interview! But you have such a positive attitude about it all, which is great! I’m glad the people at the Hilton took such good care of you. 🙂

    Secondly (and more importantly) – CONGRATULATIONS on the new job!!! I’m so excited for you! And admittedly a little bit jealous, since I love San Diego and think it would be so cool to live there! When are you moving?? And what is the new job (if you don’t mind telling me)?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s