Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Somebody asked me once if it wasn't a nuisance to spend so many nights in a hotel over the course of a year. And while I agree that being away from home can sometimes have it's disadvantages (you can't get at or use your stuff), there are certain perks to being in a hotel that I don't get in my house. Like somebody to make my bed, vacuum the floor, and clean the bathroom every day. Sure, I can do all those things. But when I stay in a hotel, SOMEBODY ELSE does them. See how that is better? I don't have to worry about replacing the toilet tissue roll, or the box of Kleenex. There is no toothpaste in the sink - not because somebody else cleans it up, but rather because it turns out it wasn't ME doing it at home and the guilty culprits are not traveling with me. When I walk in the front door, there is somebody to greet me and they HAVE to smile and look happy to see me. And I have as of yet to walk into the lobby of a hotel and be immediately pointed to a hairball to clean up, or a mess the dog made, or be assuaged by a chorus of "What's for dinner?. Traveling by myself means that I can eat foods my family would never let in the house (Indian curry anyone?), go to restaurants they wouldn't set foot into (like the salad bar buffet called Sweet Tomatoes) or shop in stores that would normally make their eyes roll back in their head (I spent two hours in Target last night. All I bought was pantyhose). Dinner can be a container of yogurt (pilfered from the breakfast bar and stashed in the fridge) eaten in bed while watching the Antiques Roadshow on hotel cable. *Cough*. Not that I have ever done that. *Cough*. Now for sure there are disadvantages, and a long list really. I miss my daughter. I miss my dog. I miss the cats. I miss my husband. I miss talking to my sister every day on the phone. I miss going out to check the garden for lurking vegetables. I miss my car and being able to jump into it and go whenever I want. Not necessarily in that order, you understand LOL. I am glad I am not a snail or a hermit crab, because carrying everything with you all the time is a bit of a drag (literally). This time I got brave and brought two bags - a small suitcase and my rolling briefcase. For shorter trips, I just pack my outfits in a separate part of the briefcase. But sitting in a meeting knowing so many strangers are literally "this far" from your dirty underwear is a bit disconcerting. I live in fear of somebody wanting to borrow a pen when I am out of the room and discovering my stash of knee highs where my laptop cord should go. Or seeing my prescription bottles and wondering if I am running a "second business" during my trip as a drug mule. I get enough odd glances as it is. Another plug for hotels, is many include some sort of breakfast now. It was nice, getting up and taking a shower in a clean bathroom with plenty of hot water (and no six year old barging in to use the toilet, then scalding you to death when she flushes). Then going downstairs for a breakfast prepared for me, and best part yet…NO DISHES TO DO. This morning it was so nice to have a nice hot coffee, and a plate full of biscuits and gravy. Best I have ever tasted! Although, I am not exactly a biscuits and gravy connoisseur. In fact, I don't think I have eaten them before (although I have seen them, just always left the gravy part and ate the biscuit with butter and jam). So in all reality, it might have been the worst biscuits and gravy ever. But I liked it LOL. There was also French toast, sausage, and make your own waffles along with the typical bagel-y muffin-y and cereal-y sort of things. Maybe not fancy enough for vacation (I like eggs in the morning on vacation), but perfectly fine for a business trip. I wonder if DH will consider wearing suit, tie, and apron, and making me breakfast in the mornings from now on, while DD wears a little tunic and makes my bed. Nah.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Well, here I go again, on my own. Going down the only road I've ever known. Like a drifter I was born to walk alone. Oh wait, that is not me. I am not cool enough to be a White Snake song LOLOL. So DD has been packed away for the week, DH has the house to himself, and I am in Chicago. For some reason, I always think the drive will be too long. I mean, the flight is less than an hour! In that little world in my mind (that does not really exist but never mind that), that one hour flight takes one hour. You can be HERE at five o'clock, and THERE at six o'clock. In fact, with the time change, you can get there around the same time that you left. Pretty nifty. However, real life and flights don't really work that way. I always neglect to remember the hours spent on the way to and from the airport, checking in, security, waiting at the gate. Then waiting to take off, waiting on the plane after landing, waiting for bags at luggage claim. I know I know, smart people don't check luggage. Well, smart people don't have a suitcase AND briefcase and a bad back either. For that 47 minute flight, I had to leave the house 3 hours early (to make sure I could cross the border and get through airport security on time). Then it took the better part of an hour to deplane and wait for the luggage. Another 20 minutes waiting for transportation, and a good 30 minutes driving around because the driver had no idea where to go. He wanted me to give him directions. I can't give directions to my own house and I've lived in that city pretty much all my life. How can get him to a building I have never been to before in a city I have never driven in? Sure, I have been here before. But our branch moved, and I wasn't exactly paying attention as I was being chauffeured around. My cell phone was dead (he wanted me to call and ask directions), and he forgot to pay his bill so he couldn’t use his GPS thingy on it. It was like a circus, I tell you. But I finally made it here. And it only took about 6 hours. FOR A ONE HOUR FLIGHT. It wasn't a total waste though. I managed to get breakfast and knit the entire back of a baby sweater while I was waiting in the terminal. And we got to see security take down a guy that had been drinking all morning then got belligerent. Why do they open the bars so early in the airport? I'll never understand that. Did you know that when people get tackled, they have the most interesting look of surprise on their face? Just a note. If you ever get drunk early in the morning at the airport, don't make trouble. They don't kid around in airports any more. I also don't understand how I can be the first person in the airport practically, and still end up in a MIDDLE seat at the back of the plane. I have a sneaking suspicion that my company made that deal on purpose to save a few bucks on travel. The woman next to me bumped my arm so many times I feel bruised, and kept popping her gum. Hey. I think I may just have figured out why they open the bars so early in the airports…..to make it easier to take sitting in the middle seat at the back of the plane being bumped by 'blondie-gum-popper' the whole way. I was the last seating as well, and of course there was no space in the overhead bins by the time we boarded. My case fits under the seat usually, but the spot ahead of me had a pop can wedged at the front, so my case wouldn't go all the way under. Just in case you were wondering, it is not the most comfortable thing to be in the middle seat at the back of the plane being bumped constantly by 'blondie-gum-popper' while doing a demi-plié in first position (that there is a ballet reference. Impressed? Don't be. I had to look it up). No pictures today, just haven't had a chance to take any. But I do have the camera, so I might take some pics of the room and stuff. We'll see.