Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting There

I am typing this out in Word tonight until I can figure out in the morning how to get online. I left for the airport straight from my tennis lesson (where I hit some really good volleys, BTW). After missing a flight a few years ago, I’m always nervous about getting to the airport. I was doing 60 down the highway and have often commuted through there doing 20 mph, but it felt like I was crawling. I parked at Airport Fastpark, since experience has taught me that they are much, much better than long term parking (as in I probably wouldn’t have missed the previously mentioned flight). When I checked the bags, the guy told me I had plenty of time. Since I was a little hungry and a lot thirsty I got a strawberry kiwi smoothie at Smoothie King. Highly recommend. I drank it, read some of People. We boarded the plane I felt it was a little late, but not too bad UNTIL the pilot said that a battery charger wasn’t working in the cockpit, which wasn’t a big deal but since we were still connected to the jet way, it had to be fixed before we could leave. I will give them credit they did give out water, let us use the restrooms and our cell phones. We finally left about 70 minutes late, for a 90 minute flight. I was not happy, but knew my issues were nothing like the people who had connections. I finished the “On the Way Home” portion of “Little House Traveler” and started “West from Home.” I really wish we could still go see the Tower of Jewels from the 1915 World’s Fair.
We arrived at terminal C and had to wait for awhile to pull up to the gate. I got my carryon that was gate checked and started out the concourse, then took a tram, and went down an escalator then past 8 baggage carousels. Got my bag, went down the elevator, around the corner, down the hall, to another tram, up two escalators to the long car rental line. I ended up doing self check-in. I said one person, 2 bags. I had reserves a Focus size car, as that’s what got me to the airport. It suggested the perfect fit would be a Suburban. I’m not sure why except they wanted to make an extra $55/day. I received an Impala. I dug out the GPS and tried to put the car in gear. Chevy (with yes, uncomfortable headrests) has the gearshift between the seats, but no letters those are by the speedometer. Whose freakingly stupid idea was that?
I entered rush hour traffic to find that the power point wouldn’t always feed out a charge. This renders the GPS useless. Luckily, I had Yahoo directions. Except the car took away the odometer replacing it with “Calibration Complete” I have no idea what the hell that means, except that it makes it difficult to judge how far you have gone. So as you can tell, you should by a Ford. I picked up dinner at McDonalds while driving. I do have XM stereo and was encouraged when Tobymac’s “Get back up again” started playing. I’ve wanted to adopt it as a theme song, so good sign!
I passed the KOA we stayed at in 2008, but fairly uneventful drive. I checked in and dropped my computer bag in the room. I wanted to go talk to Rebecca and meet Laura (and everyone else). I could tell my roommate had checked in, but didn’t know who she was. I went down to the ice cream social. After getting my ice cream, I sat down with Laura, her husband, Rebecca, and Rebecca’s friend Jonni. Another man came up to sit down and talk to “the other man” there. Found out he’s John Miller. Who? He wrote “Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder”, “Along Highway 14”, and “Laura’s Little Town on the Prairie” (which I have brought with the hopes of getting it autographed). Everyone chitchatted. I was noticing a man talking to one of the nearby women. I thought it looked like, but no, he’s a celebrity surely he’s not coming to the whole conference, but it was – Dean Butler!!!, Almanzo from the TV show. Even those of you who think my interest is weird, know who he is.
After a while, I went to move the car, get my suitcases, and call home to tell my Mom to quit worrying that I had died in a plane/car crash. On my way back in, I had one hand holding the phone and the other pulling the two suitcases that were latched together. The man coming out held the door for me. I tried (and I think was successful) at not giggling like a 14 year old girl because Almanzo had held the door for me!!!
I put my suitcases in the room. It’s nice, but I’d forgotten the things that hotels provide that dorms don’t. It has A/C which I’m grateful – the car told me at 6pm it was 94 degrees. There are a few other things it has that are nice, but a few things that Miami had that this doesn’t. I went back down to the social to talk to those lingering. I met some nice ladies. One woman’s son and her friend had already gone up to the room. It turns out that the friend is my roommate! They seem nice, and they got to know each other when they were adopting two boys who were friends in Calcutta, but didn’t meet for 18 years, while one was visiting Burr Oak. Stories like that are really interesting to me.
It’s now 11:30 and everyone’s asleep as I type by the light of ye olde laptop, so I think I’ll sign off for now. I’m getting up at 5:45.
Good Nite!!

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