Red-eye flights are rarely much fun, but last night’s departure was, in the spirit of the season, something to be thankful for. For once, the sky was sparklingly clear, and the pilots traced a northeast curve out of SFO, exposing the left side of the plane to the entire Bay Area skyline. We headed past Twin Peaks and up Mission towards downtown San Francisco, where the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge glittered in all their glory. We hung a right and followed the bridge eastward at just the right moment to glimpse the Golden Gate’s twin red signals guarding the narrow strait between bay and sea. A slight southward turn revealed the more modest glimmers of Marin County, Sausalito, and the Richmond Bridge snaking back across the water, which eventually gave way to the bright streets of Berkeley. By way of an exit, we flew directly over the campus—the Campanile pointing up at the plane like a delighted child—and the Berkeley hills, from which the soft lights of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab waved a golden goodbye.
My eyes may be red, but at least they’re happy. Flight 1, fog 0. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!