I did a quick overnight business trip this week. I'm not a fan of flying. The whole thing is a giant pain in the ass. It takes an hour to get to O'Hare, then you have to take a tram to get to the actual terminal. Then there's security and the idiotic 3oz restrictions.
I wanted to drive, but the boss put the kabosh on that idea. I think he thought it was too eccentric. So I wasn't excited when I saw two small children at the gate. I was even less excited when a new mother and her 6 month old baby sat down.
To my utter delight, I was flanked by all of the kids. The baby was directly across the aisle from me. I pulled out my poker book, which I read for about 10 minutes. I tried to watch a movie, but my 17" laptop is not built for travel.
At some point I realized that all the kids were being eerily quiet. The 90m flight was smooth. We touched down, and I saw open white fields for miles. Cold & windy, right up my alley.
I got my bag and was in a cab in like 5 minutes. This travel thing ain't so bad after all. I told the taxi the address of the hotel. 11515 such and such drive. 15515? No, 11515. 155515? No, 11 thousand, 5 hundred and 15. What? After a couple minutes, he had the number correct. "Ok, north or south."
"There is no north or south, I wrote it down from the web site." "There is always a north or south here. Let me call my guy."
He got on the phone, repeated the address and then made a lot of clicking noises. No dice.
I looked out the window at the snow covered fields, and I swear I saw Steve Buscemi holding napkins to his bleeding cheek as he buried a suitcase full of money. Finally I said (for the third time) - It's a Holiday Inn, how many of those are around here?
"OOOOH, A holiday inn. It was just the Madison inn, it changed it's name last week."
Finally we arrived at the hotel, and I was in my room in minutes. I looked at the map and decided a Holiday Inn Express Room Service meal was not in my future. So I went out and turned left - since that's where the nearby restaraunts were according to the map. It was cold, but there was no wind. Except that the map was wrong, and I had to turn around - into the now blustery wind.
I walked by a grocery store, but I saw a pizza place just down the road. I walked in, and it was a cross between Chuck E Cheese and Country Buffet. I ordered a medium pizza for $5, and waited. I have to say, it was the best $5 pizza I've had in a long long time.
It was pretty much smooth sailing the rest of the trip until we were ready to leave. The three people I was traveling with were on a different airline, so we agreed to check in and meet at the one bar in the airport. The self-check-in wouldn't allow me to check in. I had the time wrong - and I had less than 30m to departure, and couldn't check my bags.
Luckily I still made the plane, and the only loss was my shaving cream. The business aspect was pretty interesting as well, so overall it wasn't bad - considering. Still, I would much rather have been at home with my wife and kids. I do not envy those who have to travel so much.