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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2007
     
    Uncomplete and not edited at all:

    6/12/07

    2 pm – Leave for airport

    2:40 pm – Approaching airport, skies look threatening. Uh oh.

    3 pm – Finally find fucking parking space after 15 minutes of traversing the entire fucking lot. I’m parked about as far away as possible. It’s in section J-21. In order to remember where I’m parked, I come up with a little story that incorporates J-21. You see, when Jesus turned 21 years old, he did 21 shots, as was traditional. Stupid, but effective. While waiting for shuttle, it starts to rain.

    3:05 – Fuck, look at all that lightning.

    3:30 – Make my way through the security checkpoint, find that my flight is cancelled. Shit.

    4:00 – Call travel agent, book first available flight to Austin, which happens to be tomorrow morning at 6:59 am. Fuck, shit, and other obscenities.

    4:05 – Ironically, it has stopped raining. WTF?

    4:08 – Nevermind – I get soaked walking to my car.

    6/13/07

    4:30 am – Hop in the shower.

    4:40 am – Wake up.

    5:00 am – Check flight status. Delayed. How long? Who knows? I have a connecting flight in Memphis, TN, but I might still be able to make it.

    5:30 am – Arrive at airport. Flight status still just says “Delayed.”

    5:35 am – Holy fuck! I get at the end of the longest fucking line I’ve ever been in at an airport.

    6:15 am – I get up to the security checkpoint, hop through all the appropriate hoops, get stopped anyway and asked if I have any liquids in my carry on bag. Not that I know of. The TSA guy searches through my bag, unsuccessfully finding any liquids. Looks like I dodged that bullet.

    6:20 am – Make my way to the gate, find that the flight has been delayed until 9 am. My connecting flight in Memphis is at 9:25 am. Shit. Call the travel agent. She says the Memphis flight is also delayed, so I should be fine. Ok, I guess. Oh, and why are the flights delayed? “Crewrest?” What the fuck is crewrest, and why the fuck is it delaying my flights!

    6:25 am – Other people who are on the flight are still making their way to the gate, then finding out how long it’s delayed. Reactions ranging from outrage to resigned apathy to nervous laughter. I am mildly amused.

    8:15 am – Boarding starts a little early. I’m in seat 5E, which is a middle seat, but row 5 is the one right after first class, so there’s lots of legroom. Awesome!

    9 am – We’re in the air, and for once, I manage to fall asleep.

    10:25 (Memphis time) – Plane lands, and my ears are totally fucked up. After disembarking, we are greeted by a couple of customer service folks who have alternate tickets waiting for us. Score. Thanks NWA! Oh, wait, my new flight is at 1:35 pm? Shit. But wait, there’s more! NWA has thoughtfully provided a $10 food voucher for any eatery in the airport. Actually, that’s kinda nice. But, you know, I’d rather just get to Austin earlier.

    11:35 am – I thought free food was supposed to taste better? Ok, so it’s not that bad for airport fast food junk, but bleh.

    12:00 pm – Hoo, I sit down and start compiling this travelogue. Fun. Airport has wifi, but I don’t want to pay $5 for an hour of access. Bleh.

    Lots more to come, stay tuned:P)
    •  
      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2007
     
    That sucks. Have you actually been able to attend the conference?

    The only major unpleasantness I've experienced when traveling by air was when we had to land early in Missoula, MT so that we wouldn't be in the airspace of Dick Cheney's plane. Air Force 2 is huge, and so are the military planes that accompany it.

    At least it has not been very humid this week in Austin.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2007
     
    It's been gorgeous, actually. A little hot, but not that bad. We went to a show last night at a place called Momos (or something like that) and it had this great deck on the back. It was a nice night, so it was cool to get out of the confined bar area and sit out in the open, all while still being able to watch the band. We have very little of that sort of thing in Philly, so it's great to go to places like that.

    The band was pretty good too. They're called the Band of Heathens or something like that. Good stuff.

    I've also been to a place called Opal Devine (typical bar food, but good beer selection) and Stubbs (famous barbeque place, got some pretty good ribs). Not sure what's going on tonight, but we'll see...

    ~tallman
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2007
     
    Well, I've done quite a poor job updating the travelogue since that first day. Once I wasn't stuck waiting in airports, things got busy, so I haven't had much time to update things.

    The second night in Austin was similar, though the band wasn't as good. Actually, we started out at Maggie Mays (apparently a popular Austin bar), but since there was no band playing, we moved to some other bar a couple of places over. Not bad, and a good time was had by all. Return flight on Friday was uneventful. Though the connecting flight was kinda close to our arrival, I was able to make it in plenty of time. Hooray. I spent a good portion of the weekend in a coma and at family events (fathers day and all that), then I headed off to the airport on Monday. This time, I was only delayed an hour (sitting on the runway, the pilot comes on and says "Well, we're umpteenth in line for departure. I hope you've got a good book, because it's a real mess out there." This always happens at the philly airport. Not sure why, but I bet it has something to do with being a good sized airport stuck between New York's airports and Washington's airports (i.e. we're in the middle of very crowded airspace).

    I'm now in Boston. I just saw David Weinberger (kinda famous as an early blogger and author of Cluetrain Manifesto) speak and he was quite good. Not sure where I'm going tonight, but I'm sure it'll be a good time. Hope everyone's having a good week:)

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2007
     
    I'm glad you had a good trip. I've always wanted to go to South by Southwest, but who has the time? The last time I was in Austin I was 15? 14? Not really the best age to experience the city. I do recall seeing a woman with latex clothes painted on though.

    I hope we didn't cut it too close traveling to the wedding in Philly next month. It's not one of the airports I'm used to. I think I have us arriving at 2:30 and the rehearsal/birthday dinner is at 5:30 or 6:00.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2007
     
    Arriving in Philly usually isn't a problem, though I probably just jinxed it. But when you're leaving Philly, there's a 50/50 chance you'll just sit on the runway for a while like I did. It probably depends on timing and whatnot as well. Early morning and early evening seem to be crowded, so perhaps it's just a lot worse then... I'd think 2:30 arrival would give you enough time before the dinner...

    I'd love to go to South by Southwest too. There's a technology conference that I might be able to convince work to send me to, then I could just stay down there for the music or film weeks... but that probably won't happen...

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2007
     
    I commend you, tallman, for getting out on your businessy travels. I always hear about people traveling for business who go to their hotels after the conferences or whatever and just kinda crash. IT MAKES A PANDA SAD.
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2007 edited
     
    Well, it's a lot easier to go out when you are there with friends and/or you know someone in the town you're visiting. There's no way we would have found a place like Fire and Ice (a place we ate at in Boston) if we didn't know someone who lived there. I haven't gone to that many conferences, but sometimes I do the "crash in hotel room" thing. It's sometimes hard to find people to hang with, you know?

    Fire and Ice was awesome though. It's sort of like an all you can eat american food hibachi thingy. There's a big circular grill in the middle, and a few bars filled with meats, veggies, fish, pasta, rice, etc... You go to the bar, fill up a bowl with food, then take it to the big grill in the middle. One of the cooks grabs your bowl and throws your food onto the grill. They cook it for a while, and you can pick out a sauce, which they'll throw on it towards the end. Then they put it on a plate for you and you take it back to your table. Eat, drink, repeat. The first time I went up, my mix of food was kinda lame because I didn't know what to expect, but the next two times I did better. Oh, and the szechwan sauce is awesome (a little spicy though):)

    Ohhh, here: http://www.fire-ice.com/

    Went to Sam Adams brewery, got some good beer, including an "experimental brew" called Helles (a pilsner style that they probably won't release publicly). That makes two brewery tours in the last couple of months. Ommegang has better beer, but I'd say Sam Adams has a better tour and tasting session (plus, you get a free sam adams glass). After that, we went to Fenway for the tour. I'd been there before for a game, but it was cool seeing it with no one there. And the tour guide, this tiny little asian girl, had the loudest voice. It was crazy. Also, the ticket prices were obscene, especially for season ticket holders. Egads.

    Went to a bunch of other places too, but nothing too exciting. Conference was actually pretty good (I was expecting it to be crappy) too.

    In any case, I don't think I'll be making two trips like that back to back any time soon (definitely not for work - it turns out that I missed some busy, busy times).

    ~tallman