Friday, November 9, 2007

The Long and Winding Road...

Whew! What a trip!

I left Phoenix for Columbus, Ohio yesterday in hopes of meeting up with a friend for dinner, another friend for breakfast, and an internet acquaintance for a bit. Then I planned to hit the highway north to Delaware, Ohio, one of those quintessential midwestern towns bustling with history, energy, and charm to meet up with the company's accountant briefly on my way to Berea, Ohio, another such town on the outskirts of Cleveland to meet up with our estimator.

The plane ride was nothing to complain about, except maybe the deceptive security line that looked short and quick but was long and winding to the tune of four city blocks back and forth and back and forth. Plenty to look at there. There were the people who obviously never fly who thought it was ridiculous. We also had a mom with her cute little girl. (Yes *I* called a child cute, even one who was in relatively close proximity to me for more than half an hour!) Mom was loaded down with the accoutrements of said child. There was someone with a really well-behaved service dog. Though I didn't think that whippets were ever service dogs. Oh and the woman with the chichuahua that was wearing a pink dress. The woman (who was in jeans and a tee shirt - one of those grandma looking ones) looked pleased with herself and the dog looked miserable until I saw them going through the security thingy. The dress was off, the woman looked unhappy, but the dog was finally radiating personality. Stupid woman. You know me. It was hard for to not point out to her what a moron she was!

Three naps and one uneventful flight later, I finally find my way to the rental car counter to find yet another car rental company that can't tell the difference between an SUV and a mom-mobile/minivan. Yeah, I know they were offering Fords, but even they don't resemble the Chrylser Pacifica POS Budget offered me! I call it bait and switch. Really, I do!

So I get in the Suzuki XL7 I settled on to find it surprisingly comfy, easy to drive, as impossible to see out the rear or sides of as the Pacifica with which they threatened me. (By the way, have you ever noticed that they usually have a bunch of those POS things there, just laying in wait for the unsuspecting customer?) Got lost a block from the hotel and drove around a bit. Long enough to make it too late to meet up with Kellie from the ABC Round Robin who had informed me that she was about to mail my finished Alphabetica to me the next day and wasn't that exciting? To which I replied that it really was since I would be in her hometown the next day!

The friend who was coming up from Dayton for dinner could not get out of a previous engagement, so that was a bust and made being lost and, therefore, late, not really a big deal. Had a great little snacky kind of dinner at the hotel, a Hyatt Place. The room was as fab as the one the Sports Fan and I had stayed at in Pittsburgh a couple months ago. Though it did have a lot of road noise and some plumbing noises. With not even twenty channels from which to choose, I felt that the HD 42" plasma was completely wasted. But all the businesspeople were gathering in the lobby/restaurant/bar/lounge area and meeting new folks, networking, interacting, and looking like they were having a really good time which is a huge bonus on a business trip. ow cool is that?

The next morning started off better. I woke up fifteen minutes before the alarm went off and ten minutes before my wake up call. When the phone rang to announce Diana's arrival, I was just about to walk out the door of my room. They followed me to a wonderful Bob Evans Restaurant where we sat for over two hours, eating and yakking. So I missed going to European Papers. I'll make it there some other time. And I can shop there online. I missed out totally on meeting up with Kellie too. But we had a nice conversation on the phone and she was going to send my book anyway. It will be a nice welcome home in case the dogs are mad at me for going away so long.

So I get on the freeway to get up to Delaware to see the accountant and discover why my room had so much road noise. It is just barely not on the actual road!!! Sheesh, what were they thinking???

I try and cannot connect with the accountant. The boss says he is waiting for me, so if he is, why isn't he answering? I get up to Delaware and drive around a bit while trying to call him and reacquaint myself with this charming and busy little town. Finally, the boss and I decide that I'll just push on when the accountant calls me. Can I wait another half hour? Even though I'm really, really late, I wait. So with some trouble and having to switch computers, it'sthe bit of software that I'm there for is installed. OK, off he goes to more appointments and I am at last on my way to Cleveland.

Just when I think I'll die without a Starbucks, one appears. Just when I pick up the phone to ask Brian if I've missed the exit, I find it. Eventually I get to his beautiful house that he hand-built. After six hours of asembling, plotting, demonstrating and clicking on this and that, I'm ready to leave. I decide to drive the couple of hours to Pittsburgh. Its late so I called my mom and told her to go to bed and that I'll use my key to let myself in and if I can't find it, I'll just go to a hotel.

Wowsers. Starbucks in the service plazas in PA are open 24 hours a day! I'm impressed. And it's a nice, big, full-featured one too. Apple tart and multiple cookies, water, and a frappacino get me re-primed for the road. I make short work of the rest of the dark drive through a construction zone and get off the PA turnpike at a familiar place. I stop in a parking lot under a light and start searching my backpack, where I keep all sort of stuff like that, for the keys to my mom's house. No keys. Hmmm... even another look doesn't turn them up. Rats. I'll look for a room. $179 a night???? It's nearly 2 am, are they insane??? I don't care if it has a 42" plasma screen for the eight to ten hours I'll be there. So I decide to go to mom's and use the key she hides outside.

I get there and aim the headlights at the hiding place as best I can. Ten handfuls of dirt in my face and nearly that much under my nails and that idea had bitten the dirt. So my sweetie gets online and helps me find another room. One place is too tacky. Another is too expensive. A third is expensive and they only have smoking rooms available. Finally, we find one and I get there only to get a real lesson in appreciation of my Sports Fan and all he does for me, the Princess who never lifts a finger, except to admire her nails.

The elevator is just being installed and the only rooms are on the second floor. Thank goodness for the cortizone and Hyalgen shots in my knee on Tuesday! I drag my three smaller bags upthe two short flights and make it to the room. I open the door to hear the mellow tones of Paul McCartney singing.

The long and winding road
That leads to your door...
Yep, it was. Hmm... better plug in the cell phone to charge up overnight. The cord is right there in the computer bag. All tangled up with the key to my mom's house!
Night all!


Blogger Ollie said...

you crack me up...I was rollin readin that...but it sounds like things are going good w/the job...awesome!!!! & dan is wonderful as always...and the boys good too??? wonderful!!!!!

hey, I needed a rental last week & they gave me a pt cruiser...I felt just like mel!!! ha ha!!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007 10:53:00 AM MST  

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