The Business Travel Blues

I’m headed to Denver at the end of the month.

sw sLove the Jacksonville International Airport but not too thrilled with the limited number of non-stops that fly in and out of there. I finally discovered that Southwest has one non-stop daily to Denver and back so that’s my go-to airline now. (I was totally wrong about their customer service, which is wonderful and fear about their treatment of overweight people, which has not been an issue for me … yet). Also, love their heart-shaped cocktail stirrer. Would be better if they could put a little booze into their $5 G&Ts but I guess you can’t have everything.

Denver is a big convention town so aside from the constant flood of business travelers clogging up the hotels, when a convention is in town you are lucky to get a room at all in the downtown area. I suppose in light of that fact that I shouldn’t complain about the PETITE ONE DOUBLE-COZYBATHRM-NO VIEW booking that my corporate travel department came up with but I am kind of dreading this. I’ve been to this boutique hotel before in a regular room with a queen bed in it and I could hardly roll the desk chair back enough before it hit the side of the bed.

I guess I’d better pack light ūüė¶

 

 

Home Sweet Home

pineapple-lamp
A pineapple lamp emerges from its New Jersey cardboard darkness to light up in welcome to a Florida home.

The day after the movers packed up the truck in NJ, I had to go to Denver for a business meeting but alas! the movers were so fast they packed my suitcases including the one which had my 2 best business outfits, all of my $$$ makeup and the good hairdo stuff in it. So I had to buy a new suitcase, wear rags on a business trip and paint myself with the leavings of old makeup things that I had already put into a trash bag. [Update:  my makeup and I are reunited.]

I had everything timed to precision when the meeting ended. I had the earliest possible afternoon flight booked from Denver to Jacksonville with a brief layover in Houston. Alas! The outbound plane in Denver had a mechanical problem that delayed takeoff for near an hour so naturally, I missed the connecting flight. By this time, it was almost 8 pm and nothing on any airline was headed to Jacksonville until the morning. United did a great job of getting me on the first flight out even though that was on American. I was steeling myself for a night spent upright at the gate when, unasked, the customer service person handed me vouchers for dinner and breakfast and set me up at what turned out to be a fairly swanky Sheraton for the night. So even though I had mentally prepared to spend 10 hours without laying down or touching anything more than necessary, in reality I enjoyed room service and a nice steamy shower. My checked luggage even ended up on the American carousel and was waiting for me when I got there.

The only loser in this whole episode was the movers (alas!) who showed up as arranged at 7 am on Thursday. They didn’t get the message that I would be delayed even though their office got it on Wednesday evening and even said they understood and would send the van come at 2 pm. They did come at about 3:30 pm and worked like whirling dervishes to get the truck unloaded and furniture placed. They were done by 9:30 pm. I was unpacking the kitchen as they were bringing boxes in. Even though I was making good headway and got about 14 boxes empty, there was no discernible difference in the amount of visible floor space because the full boxes had only transformed into empty boxes of the same size. In the most serendipitous happening of¬†all, at around 4 pm a message came in on our homeowners website from a person looking for moving boxes. We connected and the person picked up a dozen boxes today and will be back tomorrow for more. All I need is the stamina to keep steadily unpacking.

“Tropical Cove” by Enrique Bolo


So it’s a mess here but it already feels like home. The decorating plans that I had only imagined in NJ are looking really good as I set them up one by one. And I do mean one. So far, it’s only one pineapple lamp and a single 11″ x 11″ piece of wall art. But they look great!

Also, lanai is the new deck.

lanai-is-the-new-deck
Deck / Lanai

Hmmm …

I’m in the midst of a week of business ¬†travel right now. when I landed in Denver on Monday afternoon, I found a message from Sami telling me that our credit card had been hacked and we’d be issued a new one later in the week.

No prob for my trip – I’m using my corporate card for all expenses this week. But I am temporarily cut off from personal spending. And that leads me to wonder if this “hacked credit card” thing is a ploy to keep me from buying vintage needlepoint kits on eBay. which I already am starting to have doubts about if I’m going to live long enough to finish them. My first little bargello piece took me about a month to finish. The boxing hares are moving into month 3 now – one more week should do it. I think when all is said and done, ¬†I’ll have 200 hours invested in the hares.

I have six (6) kits in the queue. This one is next:

1992 ikat
I’m sure you realize that I am dying to start this but I resolutely intend to break my life long pattern of immediate gratification by vowing to finish one kit completely before I start the next one.

And then I have a nice Kilim pattern ¬†kit or two waiting in the wings. Okay 3. Anyway, it’s a hardship for me to be without a personal credit card at the moment. What if I come across the find¬†of the century before I get home?

 

In Which I Am An Internet World Economy Expert

Based on my monitoring of a French tapestry kit I’m planning on buying, the dollar is weakening against the franc. The franc, for Dieu’s sake. When i first saw this kit it was $87.50 but because I am a wise consumer *cough cough * I resolved to wait until the price was 85.00 or less. But the exchange rate is not going in my favor and the price is now up to 90.05. I suspect the same thing would be happening if I sunk my discretionary funds into the stock market. I read this as the universe telling me to maintain my grasshopper lifestyle and forget about converting to anthood at this late date.

In other news, I can’t believe I survived flying though lightning last night to get back home from a week in Nashville. The plane between¬†Newark and Nashville is always one of those regional Embraer jets. On the one hand, its more like sitting inside of a drain pipe than a plane. But on the other, the smallness/lightness of the craft means that there’s more wobbling which can be disconcerting. This trip, I imagined I was snowboarding and the swaying sensation became very pleasant. Except for the lightning part. (note to self: you’ve been flying too much lately)

Yesterday it was humid as heck in Nashville, Denver got more snow and NJ was cool and damp. DEAR SPRINGTIME, MISS YOU SO MUCH! HURRY BACK.

Also, I had to created a simple screen saver that says EVERYTHING IS AWESOME and I play the hour long version of that YouTube song to pep myself up for whatever the day holds for me so that I remember to avoid succumbing to a constant state of kvetching. This post doesn’t sound like a kvetch, does it?

 

*Sometimes I switch it up with My Perogative but that does not set me up in the proper mindset..

 

 

 

This Is Why Denver Is Annoying

subtitle: I’m tired and in a bad mood.

OMG with the Broncos already. Before the plane even landed, the pilot started yakking about the Broncos in between his ready-to-land patter. Then every touch point from the shuttle to the baggage carousel to the taxi to the hotel check in everybody had to blab about the Broncos.

This town is crazy about their football team under any circumstantial but throw in a little Superbowl on top of that and I tell you, it doesn’t look as if your average high-powered executive woman business traveler is not going to make it until the end of the week.

Also, you can’t get regular food here. It’s all deconstructed and fusion-ed and gawd knows what else. ¬†I tried to keep it simple by ordering a burger from the hotel restaurant and the first thing they asked me was what temperature would I like it served at? What kind of question is that? I told them to burn it on one side and then turn it over and do it again. Then give me 2 beers to wash it down.

I successfully avoided conversation about the Featured Chili Style Of the Day. Why can’t people just let things alone? It’s a burger and a bowl of chili fer cryin’ out loud not a religious experience.

I’m sure they’re all gathered into a cluster over there ¬†gossiping about how does a person not have a preferred burger temperature and waiting to get a look at me. I swear to gawd if they say something to me about the Broncos, I am going to give it to them right in the kisser with my whiskey onions and house-made bacon jam.

 

Update: I feel much better now after eating my ¬†burger of unknown temperature. I didn’t even mind that they covered my flash fried Brussels sprouts with izakaya butter and peanut sofrito.