Friday, March 4, 2011

MARScon - the trip and pre convention

I made it to Minnesota!

The trip was not without it's interesting points.

The first exciting bit was that I nearly got dropped off at the wrong airport. My dear friend Gene was kind enough to drive me, as he had business in the general area anyway. While in good spirits, neither of us were at our mental best at six o'clock in the morning. After two hours of joking about which airport I was headed to, there was some confusion about which one was actually correct...

After being dropped off and finding my gate, I was left with a great deal of time to kill. Two flight attendants sitting next to me were debating the breed names of brown and white cows. I mentioned Jersey and Gurnsey, the only two I know. (I've seen cows at the county fair, and that is about the end of my intimacy with the subject.) We looked at pictures of cows, discussed farms - which a relation of one of the attendants had just purchased, complete with some sort of brown and white cows.

Turns out, they were Hereford. I find a new use for my smartphone every day. Discovered that the camera bag that I have is both overly bulky and awkwardly designed, yet I still managed to nearly forget it under my seat in the waiting area. Minor heart attack #1.

The first leg of the trip, I more or less slept. Southwest has this 'open seating' policy, where you pick your own seat, and board based on where your ticket appears in the line up. I chose not to pay extra in order to board early, a choice I will continue to make. Families can board earlier, so if you choose not to, you don't have to be near four screaming children. For that alone, I like the open seating plan.

I usually get a little airsick. I had a layover, as SW had no direct flights. This actually isn't a bad thing, particularly if you choose not to check your luggage. I suspect that would add a layer of tension to an already tight trip. Somwwhere between getting on and off the first plane, I lost my second boarding pass. One of the cow attendants (meaning one of the guys I'd been talking about breeds with) assured me that they could print a new boarding pass quite easily.

Getting off the first plane, I looked around rather blankly for someone who could help with the boarding issue. Some bank promotion was going on, and they followed me for a while telling me the advantages of the flyer miles through their bank. If they had told me where the help desk was, I might have accepted some of the literature that was thrust toward my face.

Getting a new pass genuinely was as easy as the attendant had assured me, once I found the desk.

On the second leg of the trip, I sat next to a lovely woman who grew up in Minnesota. She splits her time now between NY and Arizona. When I found that the next leg of this plane's trip was Tuscon, I had a brief bout wrestling with myself as to whether or not to just stay on the plane. Particularly when we arrived, and the tarmac was decorated in snowdrifts.

But I'm here, and the excitement should begin in about an hour. Next up, the night before

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