This actually isn’t a motorcycle trip. It was a business trip. As such, a lot of the details are hush-hush, but the trip itself – travelling – is something I don’t do as much of as I used to.
To start the whole trip on a great note, I don’t even make it to the airport garage without incident. There are new traffic patterns I was unfamiliar with and when one sign says “Economy parking/post office next left” and a later temporary construction sign simply says “Post office”, I did not make the turn for economy parking. So one loop around the terminal so I can be logged into NSA’s database as suspicious, then back to economy parking from the other direction, which had no construction.
Step 1 complete; I’m parked. The shuttle bus is waiting and I hop on. The bus will stop at the Blue side first, then the Red side. Fine, I’m red. We arrive at the red side and I get off the bus. I’m the last one off because I’m not really in a hurry. The lone luggage bag left in front of the bus is not my bag. Suddenly, I feel I bit more in a hurry. I grab the bag and walk back onto the bus to explain what has happened. The driver was kind enough to drive back to the other side to see if there were some people freaking out that they had the wrong bag. There were no people like that there. I gave the driver my cell number and he said he would take the bag and my number to Lost and Found. Meanwhile, I had to get my boarding pass, with or without luggage.
The trip I was taking for business was at a resort literally in the middle of nowhere. 1.5 hour drive from any metro area. I was wondering if I could wear the same jeans for three days and maybe buy some souvenir shirts to wear the other days. I guess I could have shopped at the airport, too, but that thought wasn’t coming to me then. I walked down to baggage claim looking for Lost and Found. I found instead a security guard, who told me I needed to be back upstairs and across the road. Then he did something extra: he said he’d walk me there. That’s pretty important to my trip because the purpose of the business meeting was to extol the virtues of service, which the security guard had just demonstrated.
So we got to L&F and I fill out the contact form. The lady at the counter, again – pleasant, said that they already received the other person’s bag from the shuttle driver, they had contacted the owner, and that they would handle the exchange. Simple enough, as long as these people – who didn’t recognize their bag had a handle wrap on it and mine didn’t – show up before I have to run to my gate. As it turned out, it was only about 15 minutes that I had to wait and the crisis was averted.
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, but the business portion was very good. The accommodations were impressive.
Being a remote resort area, it had a lot of walking paths and lots of greenery. It would be a botanist’s dream.
The only critique I could make, and I regret thinking of it now because I should have filled out a comment card, is that the whole place needed more garbage cans. You walk around a lot and typically you’re drinking something, but then you have to carry your trash around looking for a place to throw it away. I remember only one public garbage can.
So early in the morning we all headed back to the airport. I made the wise decision to walk from the entrance to the terminal instead of talking the tram. It didn’t seem too bad, the map even said 1000 ft to next terminal. Something wasn’t quite right though, because it seemed like I walked through an extra terminal or two. All told (thanks to Bing’s unit conversion), it was well over a mile I walked. Before breakfast. I’m a bastard when I’m tired or hungry, so I had both going on when I got to the gate. Unsurprisingly, a kiosk was very willing to take 8 dollars from me in exchange for a bag of chips, a bottle of Coke, and a bag of candy.
Boarding time. Looks like we’re early. And the staff was giving out coupons for free Internet on the plane. I didn’t feel like Internetting, so I passed. All settled in and ready to go. And we’re not going. Still not. Half an hour later, I’ve worked through 75% of my bag of candy and getting restless. More waiting. Finally, the answer comes out. They were trying to fix the computers for the Internet, they couldn’t, and so we’re an hour late and the coupons can’t be used on that flight (save them for another flight).
We’re back now. I got the same shuttle driver and I’m the only one on the shuttle. Will I lose my bag again? We chatted about the luggage experience and service and other minor topics. I tipped him at the garage. It’s really something I don’t normally do, and really not sure he deserved it, but I intended it to be a nice gesture that showed I was satisfied with the service of everyone at the airport: him, the Lost and Found department, and the security guard that escorted me.
Thank god. I can head home and eat. Oh wait, there’s new traffic patterns at the airport. This new road is nice. There’s my exit up ahead…. but this road doesn’t connect to that exit. Now I’m going off the opposite direction. Damn it. Another 20 minutes of time lost. Finally, the drama ends and I’m in familiar territory and here I am recounting it to the best person in the world.