Day: July 2, 2007

Done for the day

strausmouse likes my efforts at “real-time” blogging and he thinks I should keep it up, but I would like to have a vacation, too. To that end, I’m going to be boarding the plane in a little while. It’s an 8 hour flight to Munich, so you have at least an 8-hour reprieve from my obsessive blogging. Whether or not I will blog about the flight when I get to Munich depends on (a) how much time I have and (b) what kind of Internet connection I have.

I did get a text message from United saying that might flight will arrive in Munich at 7:18 AM tomorrow morning. That would be great because it’s almost an hour early and would give me time to get my connecting tickets and finding my gate in an airport where the native language is German. I know about 4 German words: Bayer, for instance; or Volkswagen.

Never fear, however. I will tell you all about the flight when I get to the other side of the pond. Until then, bon voyage!

Roll out the Red Carpet

The car was at my house at 1:20 PM and shortly thereafter, we were on our way to the airport. The car was brand new and one of the nicer town cars that I have been in. There was no traffic and it was a quick drive to the airport. Halfway through the drive, I realized that I thought I’d read that there was no denim allowed in the Red Carpet Club and I was wearing jeans. I called jkashlock and asked him to check the website for me. The website left it ambiguous, but I decided to take my chances.

When I got to the airport, I walked into the United Business “line”. I said “line” because there was no one in it. I walked up to agent, handed him my passport and told him where I was going. I checked my two bags and 2 minutes later, I had my ticket. My bags are checked all the way through to Venice. I have to stop at a kiosk in Munich to get my connecting ticket.

Next was the security lines. I wandered over to the security checkpoint, and got into the Premium “line”. Once again, there was no one in it (the regular security line wasn’t terribly long either but it was definitely longer than the Premium line). I was through security in 2 minutes and then caught the shuttle to the C terminal. Once in the C terminal, I checked to see where my gate was relative to the Red Carpet Club; and then I nervously headed into the club, wondering if they would toss me out on my ear for wearing jeans.

They said nothing about it. They check me in and told me to head down stairs.

It’s a large club (it seems to me). Lots of mahogany. I found a comfortable seat with a little table that has jacks for my laptop (which is convenient, even though I don’t need it. I have a power adapter that allows me to plug my laptop and iPod into the power jack on my airplane seat so I don’t have to worry about wasting battery life). There is a kitchen area that has soft drinks and snacks, all of which are “free”. I say “free” because I really paid for them when I paid my annual club dues. There is also a full bar (for which you have to pay). I’ll probably get a drink before I get on the airplane. In the meantime, I am sitting here sipping a Sierra Mist and eating some cookies. Here’s what my view looks like:

I recently added T-Mobile’s “hot spot” to my phone plan and since most of these clubs have T-Mobile hot spots, I’m able to access wireless, high-speed Internet without a problem.

It’s just now a few minutes past three. My flight boards at 5 PM so I have a few hours to kill. I’ve got the laptop, of course. I brought a few movies with me. I also have the new issues of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and Call of the Wild and White Fang; plenty with which to kill two hours.

And my flight is on-time–so far…

July 2, 1997

I was thinking that this is my first trip to Europe and that I can remember, when I was younger, wondering when I would end up getting there. So I decided to look back through my diaries and see what I was doing 10 years ago today, July 2, 1997. I don’t think Europe was on my mind at all back then:

Today was another day that I felt somewhat overwhelmed. I have a lot to do today but couldn’t really focus on any one things.

Doug called me at work today and he is doing pretty well. He is the first person in the history of the Debois County Dragons to be ejected from a game–for arguing a call*. But he was in good humor and it was good to hear from him.

I made my lunch again tonight which means a full week (though this is a short week) of packing my lunch. That’s not bad, and it helps save money.

*You’ll have to ask Doug to tell the story sometime, as it is a funny one, and typical of Doug. Better yet, maybe Doug will reply and post a comment telling the story here.

Bridled and sadled and ready to go

Well, I’m all set. With the exception of a few things I can’t do until I leave the house (lock the doors, turn off the computers, etc.), everything on my checklist is now complete.

This morning, on the advice of kruppenheimer, I scanned my passport and sent it to myself in email. I already have a printed copy in addition to the actual passport, but now if I lose the printed copy, I have the electronic copy in email so I can get to it. Thanks, Lisa.

Thanks to everyone, actually, who gave me good ideas and tips for traveling abroad. I’m sure it will make my trip easier and stress-free.

I still have a few more work-related tasks to complete, including a meeting in half an hour. But after that I’m done. The car to the airport should be here at 1:30 and if all goes well, I hope to be through security and at the Red Carpet lounge by 3 PM.


Bad allergy day

I can already tell today is going to be one of those bad allergy days. I’m all itchy. I took a ClaritonTM a little while ago, but I’m itchy enough that I also just took one BenadrylTM. That’s pretty extreme for me, since it has a tendency to make me a bit sleepy, but I’ll take my chances because I don’t want to be sneezing and watery-eyed all day long.

Pool-side playlist

I put together a relaxing pool-side playlist for those days that I don’t feel like doing anything except sitting by one of the pools on the ship, sipping umbrella drinks. For those interested:

  1. Beyond the Sea (“La Mer”) — Django Reinhardt
  2. Dreamsville — Lora Albright
  3. Georgia On My Mind — Ray Charles
  4. Summertime — Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  5. Holiday in Spain — Counting Crows
  6. City Beneath the Sea — Harry Connick, Jr.
  7. The Girl from Ipanema — Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto with Astrud Gilberto
  8. Watermelon Weather — Bing Crosby & Peggy Lee
  9. Peel Me A Grape — Diana Krall
  10. This Time the Dream’s On Me — Harry Connick, Jr.
  11. Harbor Lights — Bing Crosby
  12. Somewhere Over the Rainbow — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  13. What a Wonderful World — Louis Armstrong
  14. Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day) — Bing Crosby

24 hours

24 hours from now, I should be on the plane from Munich, Germany to Venice, Italy, an hour or so from my final destination.

I did manage to get a few hours of sleep. I had the window in the bedroom open because it was very pleasant out tonight, no humidity, and a nice breeze blowing earlier. I have some work to do, getting some wiki pages updated. I plan on grabbing a pancake breakfast at around 6 AM. I have a meeting that I have to call into at 11:30 AM, but it should only last half an hour. The car to the airport is picking me up at 1:30 PM and my flight departs at 5:51 PM.

Time to shower!