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10:08 a.m. - December 09, 2007
A Great Travel Day
Normally, I view travel days as an inconvenience. There are so many links in the chain that one thing can domino into another, and you really can’t do anything about it.

Saturday was a travel day, and it was a long day for me. I had to be up at 6 AM to get to an obligation that I volunteered for. I thought I had to be there at 7:45, but they just ‘suggested’ that people arrive at 7:45, but they would start at 8:30.

Oh, thanks.

Then, I had a scare where I thought I lost my wallet. I found it, but for about 1 ˝ hours I was nervously fidgeting and wondering if I indeed had it on my tray at the McDonald’s in Buffalo (Minnesota) when I disposed of it. Now that would have been fun. Nothing like digging through a McDonald’s dumpster after breakfast, eh?

I found it, thank God.

However, my day turned for the better as the volunteer duty ended early and I got to go home and relax for a while instead of going home, flinging my suitcase into the car, and rushing to the airport.

When I got home, there was a surprise for me. Liz had her sewing kit out, and Liz, Katie and Kristin were making sock puppets. I started to question when I saw my relatively new socks being used for the puppets, but why not just let it ride. As Liz said, it’s better to use clean new socks for puppets than old, holey socks. Besides, it’s just socks.

So sock puppets made, it was time for the show, and Katie was the author, director and lead performer, and it was a super spectacular boffo smash hit! It warmed my heart!

But it was time to go. I had everything packed for the most part, and just put my good shoes in my bag and away I went.

I thought I may be in for ‘one of those travel days’ as there was a backup in the construction zone where the Crosstown met 35W. But the backup was caused by idiots that were in the ‘exit only to 35W’ right lane and needed to merge onto the left lane because they didn’t want to take 35W south. Of course, I would gather 98.6% of those schlubs knew exactly what lane they were to be in, and just wanted to beat the line of traffic. However, you know they were the root cause of the traffic backup.

If I only had a laser cannon mounted on my car. All I’d need is to take out ONE of those cars to serve as a warning.

But as soon as 35W and 62 (The Crosstown) split again and I worked through the construction zone, it was smooth sailing to the airport.

As I got to the parking area of the airport, I remembered my last trip in there where it took 10 minutes for me to find a parking spot and even then I was in one of the far reaching areas of the level.

No such issue today. I got into the third level, and in the second row there was an empty spot. Not only was it on the second row, it was on the aisle. Not only was it on an aisle, but the exact aisle that leads to the terminal elevators.


So it was just a hop, skip and jump to the elevators and then I went down to the security gate they have posted for those of us who check in before hand and aren’t checking luggage. (Yes, I am Mr. Carryon now, thank you. Garment bag and briefcase is all I need.)

There was no one in line. No one.


I had checked the monitors, as all good travelers do. I noticed that my flight to Chicago was delayed ˝ hour, but there was a flight leaving in 20 minutes that I might be able to catch if the gate wasn’t in Botswana.

So I dashed down the moving sidewalks toward the “G” gates. The gate for the earlier flight was on my left, and just a two minute walk away. They were just announcing that they were going to start pre- boarding in a few minutes, so there was time to see if the flight was full.

The agent said to wait until check-in and then he’d see if there was room. So I waited, patiently, as everyone got on the plane. It didn’t look like there was that many people, but I didn’t know how big the plane was.

After everyone was through the line, he told me that it wasn’t a problem, and got me a boarding pass.

As I walked down the jetway, I noticed I was in an exit row. 10C.


Oh, and 10C was the aisle of the exit row.


So I got to my seat. I noticed that row 10 was empty. I was going to sit in a row all by myself. Oh, and look, there’s room in the overhead across from me.


I then got my iPod on, dialed up the Replacements, and started to read the oral history of the Replacements that LegalBeagle (not linked until she updates!)’s brother wrote. And by gosh, not only is LegalBeagle quoted but so is Mommylap!. So I know someone who is quoted in a book about one of my favorite bands!


When I got to Chicago, I hustled down to the taxi area (my gate WAS in Botswana at O’Hare, or was it in Mozambique? Anyway, it was a loooong way away from ground transportation) and got a cab to the hotel.

My taxi driver was the Qatarian version of Juan Pablo Montoya, because he was zigging, zagging, and doing 85 miles an hour on the Edens and Kennedy expressways toward downtown. Then, BAM, as we exited toward downtown, we were stuck in traffic. But it was only for about five minutes and then there I was in the hotel.

Of course, it being a conference hotel and the night before a conference, it was humming. But it was also humming with people who flew up to Chicago to go Christmas shopping. And it was also humming with an Amway convention.

No, I don’t want to hear about a wonderful business opportunity, thanks.

So, I had a good dinner (though I was aghast at how much it cost, but the options were limited, really) and was asleep by….9:30!

Yes, Smed at a conference in bed by 9:30!

But I was a tired pup.

The morning has gone well thus far. I registered, officially, and got my goodies. I picked up my handouts for my presentation, and had room service breakfast.

They forgot my toast, and I called down there to ask for my wheat toast. (You can’t have bacon and eggs and hash browns without toast, can you? No, no you can’t.) Seemingly, 15 seconds after I hung up the phone there was a knock at the door and my toast was there.

Now that’s efficient communication.

I’m glad I’m here. I have an excellent presentation, and then I get to be a ‘booth babe’ for a couple of days schmoozing, gladhanding, and collecting business cards. We have client events and I’m looking forward to those.

But all prayers should go to the family back in the Northland. I got a call from Liz just now and they’re not going to church today. It’s not due to a sudden conversion to Zoroastrianism, but both toilets have overflown due to a blockage that has now leaked into our laundry room, and Roto Rooter has been called.

Me thinks that Roto Rooter may pull out a toy or six from the pipes. I guess that’s the way it goes, eh?


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