Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm finally back at home... ahhh... good old home with broken A/C. Those hotels are starting to look mighty nice, lol. Seriously, it's always good to be home. Now if I could only get my husband here, we'd be fantastic.

So since I have nothing to report on this last leg of the trip, I thought I would tell one of my favorite travel stories. I was in Lubbock, TX and it had to have been late winter, because it felt really nice outside. We landed late, probably about 11 and they ended up putting all the gate checked bags in with regular checked baggage. I hate waiting for baggage. Unless I'm leaving for 2 weeks, there really is no point to it (and even then, it is a stretch). Since my rep is in town, I know I don't need to get a car. I'll just catch a cab to the hotel. So, we wait and wait and wait and wait and finally get our bags. So, I head outside to catch any one of the cabs in the long line of them. I mean, surely if Madison, WI has cabs outside, so will Lubbock. Nary a cab to be found. So I walk back inside and find a yellow phone and a red phone... one to each of the two cab companies in Lubbock. I just shake my head. Right about that time, an Indian gentlemen starts asking me about cabs. So, I tell him what I know and offer to call one for him too. He says sure. So we are now waiting the 20 minutes that dispatch says it will take to get our cabs to the airport. We make small talk to pass the time and watch as all the airport employees leave and lock the doors behind them. That's not a terribly comfortable feeling. Anyway, turns out that this guy is local cardiologist and has just returned from France for a conference/vacation. That's pretty neat. He seems like an upstanding guy. Well, as time passes and our 20 minutes approach, he asks if I'll wait for him after the first cab comes. He says he's afraid to be left alone. Wait... grown man, just came from another country on his own, and is afraid to be left alone in the town he now lives in?? After I finally understood what he was saying, I told him that he could just have the first cab and I would wait. So the first cab came and he happily took it... leaving me alone, at night, in a strange place, with the doors locked behind me, while tumbleweeds passed by. Really?? Who does that? It didn't bother me at all, but I had to laugh at the irony of the whole thing. My cab came 5 minutes later, so it really wasn't a big deal. The insult to injury part was that when I got to my hotel, the only room left was a smoking room. Gotta love travelin.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All of my work stuff went as well as it could have gone. I was supposed to meet with two customers today, but they both fell through. So, I went to the airport trying to get on an earlier flight (original is 8:20pm). I missed the 1:20 by 5 minutes. The next one is at 4:20, but I'm supposed to be in the middle of a conference call that is too important to postpone. Ok... I'll stick with my original. I buy a book and head to the airport club. I have enough work (and now a book) to keep me occupied. I'm still not feeling all that bad...


People... others belong to airport clubs to get away from you... to have a nice, quiet place to work, relax, and get away from the riff-raff.... what would possess you to bring your screaming kids into my quiet place?!?! Seriously!!! It's not cute that your kid is begging for pretzels or wants to throw ice. It's not cool that they want to use the furniture here as a play toy. It's bad enough I have to put up with it on the airplane, but I paid a lot of money to be here to get away from you! If you can't control them, don't come in or check them at the door.

That was the beginning of the end. I go to check on my flight... 8:20, now departing at 10:28. Oh boy. They gave me a $10 voucher for dinner. Here's what I did with it, lol:
Notice the pretty airport manicure too. At least they were nice to converse with. Off to read... or work... or jump out of the window.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finally made it to my destination. The flight crew was slightly funny. I guess they had little time left to go before they timed out. It's funny the difference between domestic and international flights. Domestic crews time out about 4 hours before international ones do. I guess it must be the caffeine in the air on an international flight. Hmmmm... anyway...

So when you finally reach your destination, you're really happy to be there... until you realize the 2 miles you have to walk to baggage claim, car rental, ground transportation, etc. I'm all for exercise, but not after being delayed for 5 hours at an airport and wanting nothing more than to go to bed. I made it to the tram, only to see the doors close before I could get to them. So, I set out on my hike. It's like when you're stopped by a train and you go 8 miles out of your way to go around it, just so you can keep moving. Yeah, the tram got there before I did. Then I watched the rental car bus pull out just as I was running out the door and yelling. Nothing like being a chick stuck in a deserted airport late at night. I've got a really good story for that, but it'll have to wait.

My night got incredibly better when we arrived at the rental car place and this was my car.

Yeah, I was ok with that. So now I'm in my hotel, with less than 8 hours til I meet my rep and I still have work to do. Gotta love travelin.

Rants from my new travel week

So I decided, for convenience sake, to not fly out of my home airport and drive two hours to a major one instead. It was a direct flight, and it sure beat driving 7 hours. Well, halfway down, I find out my flight is cancelled. Really? This does not bode well for the rest of the week. No worries though... I'm rebooked on one two hours later and I'm in first class. Ok, that makes it a bit better. When I do check in though, we are delayed an additional hour. Man, I am start to hate wasting my life in an airport. So now it's on to TSA and security. Now I admit, I do bend the rules a bit. I carry 3 bags... my purse, my backpack, and my carry-on. However, my purse and backpack will both fit under the seat and my carry-on goes overhead. I don't take anyone else's room, so mostly no one says anything. Not today. Of course not today. The TSA guy isn't even going to let me go through security unless I shove my purse into my backpack. Seriously?? Doesn't he realize I'm just going to take it out after I get through? Sure, everyone has a job to do, but sometimes you just need to think a little bit. But no, thinking would be bad... we might all grow into distinct individuals instead of melding into the conglomerate of mediocraty that we've become.

Now I'm really going to digress... I understand that some people on vacation like to stroll through airports and take in all the scenery. Not sure how you view overpriced fastfood and tourist trap trinkets fun, but whatever floats you boat. However, most people would rather pull their own teeth out than spend a minute more than they have to in an airport. I'm one of them. I got stuck behind so many slow walkers that I wanted to scream. So the next time your strolling in an airport, you have to forgive me if I run you over. Move to the right people... it's like driving... left lane for passing.

I'm headed to the airport club now... at least there is free booze and food there.