Priceline, Kayak, Jet Blue; I almost forgot to check Jet Blue. The GSU event begins at 10am, wait, where exactly is GSU? Statesboro. Where exactly is Statesboro? Okay, this flight lands at 9, how far is Statesboro from the airport? Fine, I’ll take the flight that lands at 8:50. Now from GSU I go right to Boston. What time does the Boston event start?
In order to land at 8:50 I must take off at 5:30. I do my best to ignore what time I must wake up in order to take off at 5:30.
I park in the lot and take a picture of E/35 knowing there is no way I will remember the space when I get back next week. I get the text reminders telling me to check in online but I have an extra bag. To the counter I go. The counter is mostly for tourists, the ones wearing cheetah print sweat pants and slippers. They travel with giant three week capacity bags and stand between the self check kiosks and the counter confused. The people behind the counter mostly just watch.
I am in boarding zone 4. Most wearing ties pre-board. It looks crowded and I worry my briefcase will have to go under the seat rather than above. If it goes underneath, my feet will have no where to go and I won’t be able to sleep. I have the isle seat, the other guy has the middle, no one is at the window. When they close the door he slides over. Lucky again.
I open a book and ignore the safety presentation then get jogged awake when the wheels hit the ground. I realize I’ve been drooling and look coyly around. Everyone else pretends they didn’t notice and I collect my bags and wait my turn to get off.
Then I wait my turn at the carousel.
Then I wait my turn at the rental counter. They give me a Fiat that looks like a Smartcar. I don’t mind. I hop in, pull my gps out of my bag, rifle through it a bit more. Where is the mounting bracket for the gps? I have the Garmin but no mount. Sigh.
I drive an hour with the Garmin in my lap.
I am on time. The event goes well. Not a bad campus, a bit corporate for my taste, where does one eat? Brand new state-of-the-art dining hall and all they serve is Burger King and Taco Bell? I stop at a grocery store on the way to the Days Inn.
My phone rings at 7:30 but when I answer I just sit and listen to, “What are you doing? No you have to brush your teeth every night but come here first. What do you mean you have math? I thought you only had the book report. Where is your sister? Come on Dad is on the phone ready for a prayer…. Okay Dad are you ready?
There is a chorus of I love you after we say Amen and she promises to call back once they are all in bed.
I refuse to pay $12.50 per night for internet and spend the next half hour trying to figure out why my my-fi card won’t work. I suppose I can do my data entry tomorrow.
Wait… what time does the plane leave tomorrow?
By the end of the week I have stood in lines, sat in seats, talked, gained ten pounds, and traveled twice as far as Marco Polo ever did in a year.