1.19.2007

Travel

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.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

well, at some point I think you get use to the travel - plus when you do more of it there are points and upgrades and the TSA agents recognize you and give you the tequila they just confiscated from some other bum (ref. Woodchuck)

and I haven't bought bar soap or shampoo for like 3 years - and I still donate truckloads of the stuff

Mrs. Woodchuck ;)

Anonymous said...

oh, yeah - and there are seats reserved for frequent flyers - which generally are not of the kid variety

Mrs. WC

Woodchuck said...

Let us start out with 102 nights out in '06 and 130 nights out in '05.

I perfer the Holiday Inn Express because of the points the new beds that most of them have are great.

I drive about 40,000 per year and last year I had 30,000 in the air as well. I had 49,000 flight miles in '05.

I almost always get to the airport at least 2 hours in advance of my flight time. I use this time to work and make calls to everyone. I like to fly as my cell is off and I can just relax, sleep, or watch a movie. I get upgraded to 1st class about every 3rd fligt I take on Alaska and American Air and Northwest treat me pretty well. I don't fly Southwest unless I have too. Not that it's a bad airline, I just don't like the "cattle call" seating. I like my seat, 6F, on the 737 class airplane. It's really sad day when you know the seat configurations on most airplanes based on model or airlines.

Tip, when you check into the hotel, ask the person behind the counter where they go to eat, not what is in the little book behind the counter, but...."Where do you go to eat". I have found some really good food all over the country by asking this question.

I really like my little black steed as it is great to drive out on the freeways of our great country. (2005 GMC 1500 4X4) I get about 18 miles per gallon with about 1500lbs of steel in the back.

The Macek Collective said...

Travelers hint - hair conditioner or skin lotion, if they have such luxuries in a Madison Inn, are good substitutes for shaving cream.

edP said...

I always try to remember one rule when I travel.