Judie’s Gear Diary – 2006-03-20

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I am back from Kansas City with a new respect for mothers of toddlers and a
new loathing for air travel.

The nieces and nephew were awesome – but I had forgotten how tiring it could
be to keep up, entertain and referee youngsters. Of course, I have never had to
deal with three at a time, either. So major props go out to all of you parents
of toddlers, especially multiples –  you all are amazing!


Traveling…oh, where to start. <sigh>

Our flight from Kansas City to Dallas was over two hours late due to weather
delays. I can totally understand and respect that the rain at DFW was keeping
planes from taking off or landing, so that was fine. Making it even finer was
that we were bumped to first class on an otherwise full flight, which was a very
nice surprise. We were told that DFW would definitely be holding all
connecting flights until we arrived, which (I guess) was said to keep everyone
from making alternate plans or rioting. Anyway, we all arrived at DFW to
find that connecting flights had not waited, in fact ours to San Angelo had been

The airline was generous enough to offer us a $38 voucher to spend the night
at a local Clarion hotel, and we were told that there would be a shuttle to take
us to the hotel. The paper we were given said that American had attempted to
get us on the first flight leaving at 7am the following morning, but that we
would need to call and make sure. We were fine with that.

After waiting over 30 minutes in the cold rain for the shuttle, we finally
decided to just take a cab to the hotel. In that $30 (+tip) cab ride we passed
many hotels that looked quite nice and were closer to the airport, but we
figured that using the one we had a voucher for would be most prudent. Upon
arrival, we saw that only a few other people had also taken cabs, so there
wasn’t too bad of a line. Within the 45 minutes that we had to wait for
processing, the queue behind us began to exponentially grow as shuttles began
dumping the mob of other travelers needing lodging. It was about 11pm when we
finally got into our room.

Once in our room, we were dismayed by its condition as well as the appearance
of the bathroom, but we figured we would only be there for a few hours since our
flight was for 7am. Steve called American and learned that of the four Sunday
flights from Dallas to San Angelo, two had been cancelled and the other two were
full; we would not be flying back on Sunday. That’s when we decided to rent a
car, and so Steve made a reservation for 9:30 the next morning with Hertz.

At around midnight, someone called our room looking for "Joe", and a little
later there were loud knocks at the door which we didn’t bother answering.
Evidently someone also decided that the long straight hallway would be a good
staging ground for several footraces, accompanied by much raucous laughter.

As it was so late and we had a four hour drive ahead of us in the morning, we
laid down and attempted to get some rest. Unfortunately our second story room
was directly above the hotel’s bar meaning that we heard a steady stream of
shouting, laughing and general drunken idiocy. Every time it grew quiet and we
would attempt sleep, someone downstairs would decide that it was too
quiet, so they would interject loud catcalls. At 2, things quieted down for a
moment…until the party started up next door. Every time their door opened, the
whole front wall of the room shook. Steve and I lay in the bed gritting our
teeth, not so silently cussing.

At 2:30, Steve called Hertz and said we would like to pick up the car as soon
as possible – and they said we were welcome to come on in as they were open 24
hours. After a $20 cab ride with a driver that evidently wasn’t aware of the DFW
auto rental offices’ location, we were at the Hertz counter being upgraded from
a mid-size model to a Town Car. We were home by 8am Sunday, and we got our
luggage back from American today. That’s enough travel for me this month!


After using the HTC Universal and liking it so much, I bid on a slightly used
i-mate JasJar on eBay. I should have it tomorrow and am excited!

As a consequence, I am going to list my iPAQ 4700 and its accessories on
eBay. Come to think of it, I have a lot of things that I need to put on
eBay, so if anyone is interested I’ll be doing that later today,
so keep
. :0)

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