All About Trey

Life, Travel, Adventure

Filtering by Tag: travel

Home for the Holidays & 2010

So the trip back to Colorado was actually less unpleasant that expected.

Mind you, United didn't help. Despite several attempts to try to upgrade LawyerX, I failed. So I flew in first and he flew in economy plus. I did get him that. But the guy next to him spilled coffee on him. See, I can't win. And I loved the puddle jumper flight from Denver to COS, especially when we had to make three attempts to land in blinding snow when the instrument landing system was down. So the trip started well.

Now I have to say, LawyerX's insistence that we stay at the Broadmoor was actually a good idea. While it was far away from my parents and his sister, it was just awesome! Such a wonderful resort. And it had a fabulous spa which we took advantage of as well.

The parental units and LawyerX? It went better than expected I think. Between Mom's ingrained southern hospitality and Dad's health issues (improving, we think), I just don't think they had it in them to have a fight. Quiet denial (or acceptance) was more the way it went. But I think overall it went well.

Christmas Day before we went to the Broadmoor we went to visit my Aunt & Uncle who were visiting my cousin who lives in COS. So we're sitting there chatting and we're talking about the brunch at the Bmoor and Mom goes, "Well Special K, LawyerX, and Trey went to the Penrose Room last night." Which of course lead to the question from my Aunt: "Who is Special K and LawyerX." Yep, I've just been outed by my Mom. So I say, "Oh, Special K is LawyerX's sister. And LawyerX's the guy I've been seeing for around a year." Cause I'm not going to lie. So then we had some more conversation, none of it ugly mind you. We don't do that in the south. We're raised right, we talk about people behind their backs. So I'm sure the telephone/email lines were buzzing with the news. Oh well. It was going to come out eventually, I just hadn't expected it to happen so soon, or that way. I'm not close to my cousin or Aunt, so I'm not that worried about.

Afterwards, we headed to the Broadmoor for Christmas dinner with Special K and LawyerX. It was a little later than we usally do Christmas dinner, but it was fantastic. The dessert buffet was like 18 feet long. Just insane.

The flight back? Well as my Dad says, "If you have time to spare, travel by air." Our flight from COS to denver was fine. But as soon as we landed I got an email saying that our flight to IAD was cancelled. Oh joy. So United put us up in the Marriott at the airport. And when I say "at the airport" I mean 12 miles away. It was okay. We were re-booked in first class (both of us) which was nice.

As for New Years? I'm really not a NYE fan. LawyerX says NYE is for amateur drinkers. And I agree. But it's also just a haze of crowded bar and just not fun. So I sort of opted for a quiet dinner kind of early and then we had an after dinner drink at my place while we watched the ball drop on TV. Yes, I'm old. But it was nice, relaxed, and low key.

New year's day, we had our monthly brunch at the Four Seasons in Gtown. We did it last year and it was a blast. And we had several drinks so I had a nice buzz going. After that, we went to see Avatar. Absolutely amazing.

So that's Christmas and NYE. Pretty thrilling eh?

Two Very Different Flights

So LawyerX and I just returned from France. He got to meet my sister and her family. And he had never been to Paris, so it was really a great trip. But before I go into details on the trip, I've got to describe the very different flights we had coming & going.

I used miles to upgrade LawyerX and myself to business class. He does seem to whinge a bit about flying overseas in economy seat, something about being 6'5". What-evs. Just to keep him quiet I figured I would do it. Plus, what a great way to start the trip.

We got onto the flight and we found our very large, comfortable seats and presto there is a flight attendant with a glass of champs. We both took one and it was a great way to start our vacation. I ended up shifting to vodka & cranberry (to help me sleep!), but Lawyer X, who can't/doesn't sleep on the plane stuck with the champs. Well the little menu that describes the dinner for the flight also mentioned that there were two different kinds of champs. So he decided that he wanted to sample the other type of champs. Well, they only had the one type, so the flight attendant actually went up to First Class to get one of their bottles so he could sample another type of champs. And that was really cool. Needless to say, he had a really good flight.

On the way back to the US, we upgraded again and got settled into business class. I was excited because there were several movies I wanted to watch. I decided to avoid any alcohol (cause it's not like we didn't have enough wine in France!) and as we watched the movie a flight attendant would come fill up our water glasses. I started to get a headache and thought I would ask for a Diet Coke. Sometimes caffeine will help stop a headache. So when the flight attendant came around, I pulled one of my headsets off and said, "Can I get a Diet Coke?" She said something to me that I didn't hear, so I took my headset completely off and said, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you." And she replied, "Can I get a Diet Coke, *please*." Lawyer X, hearing this exchange looked at me incredulously. I said, "Can I get a Diet Coke, *please*." She said of course and when she brought it to me, I said thank you. Now I say thank you all the time. I really do. And I should probably say please more than I do. But I really don't think it's appropriate for me to get chastised for not saying please by a flight attendant when I'm just asking her to do her job. The whole thing was a bit surreal and just very unprofessional. It kind of ruined the rest if the flight for me and put a damper on the end of a really great trip.

Oh, and LawyerX isn't a big fan of my airline, so this didn't sit well with him at all.

It really is amazing how different our flights were based on the actions of the flight attendants.

Certifiably Insane

Tuesday Night: A Street Car Named Desire at the Kennedy Center.

Wednesday: Fly to San Diego. Work all day.

Thursday: Work all day. Red Eye to DC.

Friday: Arrive DC. Unpack. Do Laundry. Pack. Go back to airport. Fly to France.

Yes, LawyerX and I are going to France for the Thanksgiving week. He's never been to Paris and he'll get to meet my sister. Plus we're going to spend a couple of days down in the Loire Valley. And we've got some fantastic dinners planned in France to include dinner in the Eiffel Tower.

I can't wait. Just dreading the insane jet lag whiplash I'm going to have.

I Swear I'd Be A Better Man

Back in San Diego again. And I love the cool, hip, trendy hotel I'm staying at. It's been too cold/I've been to busy to enjoy an adult beverage on the roof top bar, but maybe tonight.

I bailed from the convention early last Friday to start to make my trek back to DC for Valentine's Day. For the first time in a long time I've had someone I wanted to share Valentine's Day with, so I used my US Airway miles to get a ticket from San Diego back to DC for the weekend. It was good to sleep in my own bed, but I really went back to spend time with Lawyer X (how's that for a nickname?). We ended up doing chores together on Saturday afternoon which seemed very domestic of us, but it really felt nice at the same time. Go figure. However, I'm not quite sure how we went to do HIS chores and I somehow ended up paying $200 for a pair of Diesel jeans. Yes, I know that's insane, but they really do fit well. So I'm slowly becoming a label whore. But I'm just trying to help the economy! Really!

You aren't buying it, are you?

Anyways, Lawyer X and I did have a very nice Valentine's dinner that night. Well, -ish. I picked a cool, hip trendy, restaurant for us to have dinner. And we had a really nice time. The food. Well, not so much. The food just wasn't that great. And the service was actually pretty bad. And for the price, it just wasn't a good time. So it wasn't all that, but it was time with Lawyer X that I needed. So that's good.

Flew back to San Diego and landed in the pouring rain. Nice. Back to DC tomorrow. And then I think I'm in my own bed for atleast a week! Yeah!

Oh, and I love this song:

Around the World in Three Days

Okay, halfway around the world.

Monday: Paris, France.
Tuesday: Washington, DC.
Wednesday: San Diego, CA.

I am so jet lagged I'm not even sure what my name is.

Paris was great as always. Good to see my sister and her family. Spend time with my niece and nephew, even if they don't appreciate it.

"I don't want to visit Uncle Trey, he's EVIL!!!!"

Yeah, do you feel the love? But that's just him. And I love him regardless. I will say that I did score this time with the Pokemon DS game. So I've got that going for me.

On Saturday we went shopping at Decathalon, a sporting good chain in France, and finally saw some hotties. French guys are all stick thin little twinks. But in Decathalon I finally saw a hot muscular DILF with huge biceps. And you know how I am about big biceps. Unfortunately as I was leaving, I saw him sucking on a cancer stick. Sigh.

On Sunday we went to Givernchy, which is where the impressionist painters would go when they left Paris to go into the countryside to paint. We actually went to Monet's house and garden. It was really amazing. After seeing so many Monet paintings, we were actually walking through the gardens, and along the water lilly pond, that he painted and made famous. So very, very cool. After that, we went to an abandon chateau (which was more like a castle) on top of a hill over looking a small village in a valley. The weather was amazing and the kiddos had a good time rumpusing across the castle and the hill.

Flew back on Monday. Worked in DC on Tuesday. And then caught a flight before the crack of dawn on Wednesday to make it out to San Diego. Here till Saturday.

I made it to 830PM last night (1130PM DC time; 0530AM Paris time) and then I woke up at midnight (0300AM DC time, 0900 AM Paris time). Today's going to be a long, long, long day.

There and Back Again.

I'm back. Sort of.

Sort of dropped off the radar for a bit. Work is work. Sucking my will to live.

And the whole Palin thing. Really? REALLY? Sigh.

Went to France for work. Not quite a boondoggle. Got to visit my sister and her family.

Going to France again. Don't ask. Long story.

Then San Diego for work.

So I'm quite the traveler.

Or an airline mileage slut.

You're call.

Here, There, and Everwhere

I'm back. The sailing trip was great. Very relaxing, very fun, and just a good time overall. I'll write up a trip report on that soon.

Off to No-fuck tomorrow for work. Down there till Thursday. I should definitely have time to blog down there as there won't be much to do at night.

I don't know where to begin on McCain-Palin. All I can say is: Really?

I'll write more on that later also.

In the meantime, here's a pic from the trip.

Hillary, Del, and Sailing Away

Hillary. Well, I have to admit it was a killer speech. One of her best and I'm confident now that she's going to do her best to support the party, and support Obama. No Way. No How. No McCain. Now, that's a line!

Now if only her supporters would get the message. After the speech, CNN showed one woman who just couldn't let go. Asked if she would vote for McCain, she said no. Never. But she just wouldn't vote at all. HELLO! That's a vote for McCain then! Please wake up and smell the coffee. And then she said that she was a life long democrat, always voted, but that Obama would have to sell her. Come on people, if you're a life long democrat, then you shouldn't need to be sold on Obama. Obama needs to be focusing on the independents and the moderate republicans who are ashamed of what has happened to our country. He shouldn't have to work to convince you that he's pro-choice, pro-universal health care, wants to get out of Iraq, wants to the get the economy working again for all Americans, not just the wealthy few. If those are things you believe in, and things he believes in, I'm confused as to why you just can't realize that he's the best candidate for the country.

But enough of that.

On sadder news, Del Martin passed away today. My thoughts and prayers go out to Phyllis, her wife. In one of the newspaper articles I read it said, "She is survived by her partner of 55 years and wife of 2 months, Phyllis Lyons." I read that sentence and almost cried. Thank God that she lived long enough to see her relationship recognized by her friends, her family, and the government. How sad that it was taken from her so soon.

Off to Seattle with Musuem Man tomorrow. We're meeting up with his family and sailing around the San Juan Islands. Hope to get lots of pictures.

Have a great Labor day everyone!

Hawaii, DC, NYC, and Ptown

It's been a busy week for me.

The flight back to DC from Hawaii was okay. I upgrade to business class which made it bearable. Nothing like a 2 hour storm delay in Chicago to make your day. I left Hawaii @ 8PM on Friday and got back to my place @ 8PM on Saturday. Good times.

Sunday AM and I metro-ed to Union Station and caught one of the regional trains to NYC. Museum Man met me there and the first thing I did was find some cold medicine. I had started to get a runny nose and I could feel a sore throat coming. Again good times. NYC was fun. I rode the subway for the first time. It's pretty easy I guess. Dodging the rain (or attempting to atleast) we went down to the Pride Parade which was just insane. Even with the miserable weather it was just fabulous. So many people out, everyone having a good time. It was great. After the parade, we started making our way over to the piers, stopping by the Dugout for a quick beer. The Dugout is a bear bar I've heard about from Joe.My.God. It was packed. And in a bad way. We had one drink and the motored on. After walking through a very strange and loud crowd of young blatino lesbians and their admirers, we actually ran into Joe, also heading for the Pier Dance. The Pier Dance did rock! Lots of great music and lots of hot, hot, hot men. Oh, I saw my porn star "friend" again. Again, which is no surprise really. I think every A list gay in NYC was at the Pier Dance. The surprise guest was Jennifer Hudson and needless to say the gays were shrieking like little girls. She sang three songs including "I'm No Going" which really rocked the pier. We stayed for the fireworks which were pretty cool and then trekked into mid-town to find a late night bite to eat. After a taxi detour, we made our way to the Saint-At-Large party at it's *new* location! Apparently on Friday the cops had raided the original location and shut it down, so the producers of the even jumped through hoops to find a new space. And they did. A fabulous space that I thought they decorated pretty well. At 1230AM when we got there it was just getting started. Well after dancing on concrete for 5 hours, I needed a little rest, so we sat and listened to the music and watched the hot men for awhile. We did hear one good song, surprisingly by Mariah Carey. But then we left around 2AM when I decided that I did need a little sleep. And a little sleep is what I got as I woke up at 445AM to take the subway back to Penn Station to catch the 0605AM train back to DC.

So in addition to just being tired, I'm also sick as a dog at this point. I've got a full on cold, aches, pains, you name it. So my work week has been kind of crappy. I feel a bit better, but still . . .

Well I'm off to Ptown for my annual pilgrimage.

Here's the Mariah Carey song. Sort of mellow in a good trancy/loungey kind of way:


Hawaii has definitely changed since I lived here many years ago, but the magic is still there. Even though I've been working some long hours, I've still managed to make it to the beach for sunset. To watch the surfers, the tourists, the locals, etc. It really is amazing here.

I've got to say that my random choice of hotels was amazing. I picked a hotel that was close to where the other people on my trip were staying, and let me tell you, I lucked out. Hotel Renew is a small boutique, modern hotel just a half a block from the beach. It's very W-ish. So cool. And relatively affordable. If I have to come back here again, I'm definitely going to stay here. So very cool!

So I've got one day to lay on the beach. I did grab some beach time yesterday and it was nice to just veg and chill. I really needed that. Not looking forward to the flight from hell back to DC.

But, thanks to Joe.My.God, I've got tickets to the after pier party dance in NYC. Yes, after I arrive Saturday afternoon, I'm catching a train to NYC to attend the Pride Pier Dance. After the pier dance, then it's on the Champions Party.

Which ends at 6AM, which conveniently enough is when my train back to DC leaves. So I just won't sleep.

It's Not My Time

So busy day today.

Too many meetings. As usual.

Not enough time to do real work. As Usual.

Always busy. Always on the move. As usual.

I bailed out of one meeting at noon so I could get some work done, grab lunch, and then be ready for my meeting at 1PM. As I was walking briskly up Wilson to go to Chop't for lunch, I look around at the people. People who are in my way. Look, I'm sorry but I don't have time to stroll down the street, or sit and talk over lunch. Kind of busy here, get out of the way. BTW, I *love* Chop't. The salad portions are kind of huge, that's the only complaint. Anyways, I ate lunch during my 1PM meeting of course.

So I'm going to Hawaii on Sunday. Yea me. But not really. The last trip to San Diego really wasn't that fun. I work all day, eat dinner and maybe go to the gym, and then I'm back in front of the laptop trying to keep up with everything that's going on back here in DC. And I got stuck in a middle seat on one of the long legs so it really was just not a good time and I wasn't thinking about getting on a plane again until July for Ptown (and really, the Boston shuttle is like an hour, so no big deal). And the thought of getting on a plane for 12 plus hours just really sucks my will to live. Plus I can only imagine how messed up I'm going to be from a time perspective.

Anyways . . . . so I'm watching VH1 on Sunday during that 2 hour block they play videos and they play the new song by 3 Doors Down "It's Not My Time". Which is some sort of rebellious song about how they aren't ready to die. Which is all well and good, but of course in my twisted mind I'm thinking, "When is it *my* time?" My time to be happy, to be living life, to be in love, and feel like I'm not just treading water?

So yes, I'm in one of THOSE moods these days. Gee, could it be work grinding me down, consuming all of my waking hours, stressed out and unable to find a way out of my downward spiral? BINGO!

At this point, I think I get one day in Hawaii to myself. Maybe I can chill a bit then.

Oh, so I started looking at all of these Brokeback Mountain mash ups on Youtube tonight. I think I like this one the best:

DC to San Diego and then back again

Yep, it's been a fun week or so. I really need to get better at updating the blog more frequently.

Let's see . . . . last Monday I had a super big meeting at the puzzle palace. Of course that's the day that Metro chokes big time. And did I mention it's swealtering. So I hop a cab to make my meeting. Afterwards, trying to get back to Rosslyn is a haze. The Metro guys is saying take a train to L'Enfant Plaza, change trains to Foggy Bottom, and then take a bus to Rosslyn. Um, no! Luckily I found a DoD bus that runs to Rosslyn, but still my commute home SUCKED beyond belief.

So for the past week, I've been off both of my diets. In San Diego I pretty much had to drive. But it was a rental, not my car, so I think I get some points. But i definitely don't get points for my food diet. Conferences just kill diets. Especially atkins because it's so carb heavy. Ugh. I dread getting on the scale tomorrow.

San Diego was fine. I guess there's a little golf game going on call the Open? Yikes, the hotel was just overrun with those people. No one famous, or alteast that I would know. But still. And while I do enjoy traveling for work, it's not really all that much fun anymore. I sit in a conference all day, and then I go back to the hotel, maybe hit the gym (and that's a maybe), eat dinner, and then do work till I go to sleep to try to catch up with everything going on back in DC.

The flight back from San Diego was great too. So it’s getting bumpy as we descend into DC. Coming in from the north, we pass over Rosslyn and I look down to see my building and our sign. I see the building, but I can’t read the sign. Uh oh. We’re too high. So either we’re going to drop like a stone to make the flight path, or we’re going to bail out. Sure enough, like a second later, the engines rev up and we’re banking hard out of the flight plan. Ugh. Not a good ride home.

I did get home in time to see the Pride Parade. As I was walking to a friend for dinner, I cut up 17th St to see how the festivities were coming. For big events like Pride, JR's will close off their dead end portion of Church St and make it a beer garden. It was already going strong, but as I approach, I see some gentlement at the corner yelling to anyone who will listen about the great evil that has befallen this city. Sigh. People like that make being a gay Christian hard. Can you please stop using the bible as a weapon? I don't think Jesus meant for you to use that way. But later during the rainy parade I saw something much better. Standing next to my group on New Hampshire was a family of Muslims who had come to watch the parade. The little boys (I'm guessing 10 and 6) were just too cute, the men were in jeans, while the women were wrapped head to toe in very colorful wraps. But they were all having a great time watching the parade and enjoying themselves despite the rain. So that was kind of nice to see.

I worked the church booth at the Pride Festival today which was fun. Then walked around with GreekBoi and MuseumMan. It's always good people watching at Pride. No judgement, but if you haven't been out of the house since last summer, or at the gym since 1999, you might want to re-think the harness and butless chaps. It was brutally hot and sunny and you're only going to get burned. And with SO much skin exposed, you're going to hate yourself later. On the other hand, the boi's from Nuwear were walking around almost naked and it was a very good thing. I swear, I start my diet tomorrow!

If it's Wednesday it must be . . . . . .

El Paso? Sure, why not.

I'm tired and we've still got more legs of this insane road trip left to go. Three states in 3 days? I feel like a presidential candidate:

I mean, I like to travel. But this is insane.

Speaking of presidential candidates . . . . apparently Hillary was in El Paso last night. Not that I would have gone to see her, but the folks I'm traveling with decided to go to this steak place 30 miles OUTSIDE of El Paso. So that's like eastern BFE. And to be honest, the mean was just okay and not worth the hour plus driving time going there and back.

And having a huge hunk of beef in my stomach led to some weird dreams. But I won't share.

There's rumor of snow in Denver on Thursday. Just say no! I want to get back to DC!!

Trey's Traveling Travails

So much fun being on the road. Not!

San Diego was okay. A bit cool, but some wonderful sunny days. Of course, for most of them I was trapped inside my meetings. Which went well, but just seem to reinforce that there is too much to do, too little time, and definitely not enough funding to do it all. And of course, while I'm trapped in these meetings, the pile of emails keeps growing. So after being in meetings all day, and then the obligatory group dinner, it's back to the room to try to keep up with all of my real work. On the good side, the hotel was nice, very nice. l

TV Tales: I will say that the hotel obviously have some sort of ESPN obsession. It had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR different ESPN channels. Someone stop the madness. And the other thing that I thought was interesting was all of the commercials for Prop XX or YY. The ones about the Indian gambling I thought was particularly interesting. And then a couple of times I caught this strange ad about how bail bonds are good for America. It was really surreal. I need to get out more.

CO: The trip to Colorado went okay, Considering that United lost my luggage. Oh well. And it's frakken cold here. But we stayed inside most of the time. Mainly me trying to get my Mom's PC working properly. I didn't realize that her machine is 5 years old. And slower than molasses. I could watch my fingernails grow as I waited for hotmail to load. Really sad. The rentals are good. All things considered. And I'm glad I got a chance to visit them.

On my way back to San Diego. I'd like to watch the Superbowl, but I have just a ton of work to do. We'll see. Maybe the bar at the hotel will have wireless. That would be sweet.

Home from Hogwarts

Yep, I returned from the UK yesterday. As part of the marathon logistical hoops yesterday, we transferred through Kings Cross so I had to get a pic at the entrance to the Hogwart's Express. ;-)

I had a really good time with the Doppelganger (DG). It's weird, I wasn't exactly sure what it was going to be like. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I managed to get some good sleep in on the flight over. DG was waiting for me at Heathrow looking as handsome as ever. We bummed around London during the day (including a quick stop at a gay store called "CloneZone"! Love that name!) and then headed out into the country in the late afternoon. And when I mean country, I mean, COUNTRY! Big farms, tons of sheep, etc. The train system is great and it really does put Amtrak to shame. We arrive in St. Neot's where he lives and it is a VILLAGE! Seriously! And of course the first night there we had dinner with some of his American friends. Chinese food of course. No one eats British food in the UK. Which was fun. And I managed to stay awake pretty late, so I was psyched.

The DP has a springer spaniel who is just precious! And who runs the house. It was soo funny. And it was good to see the DP interact with his dog, it gives you a good feeling for what the person is like.

We really didn't do much. We went to the Exchange, hit the gym, went out for dinner, etc. It really felt like we were an old married couple. No hitting the bars (what bars?), no hitting the clubs (again, what clubs?). Just dinner, coming back to his place to snuggle on the couch watching CSI while the dog laid on our legs. It was so restful and so nice.

The trip back was a haze. But that's too be expected. And I'm here for 2 work days before I head west for work. So I'm crazy busy.

More later!

Running Away to Paris

I've got a day full of meetings and then I'm off to Dulles to catch a flight to Paris! The past month or so has just been crazy busy with radiation treatment, parents & sister visiting, Army-Navy game, trip to San Diego, trip to NJ, working on a proposal, etc. I have barely had time to catch my breath. I sooo need to unwind. And yet sadly I'll be taking my laptop with me. Oh well, atleast that means I can blog from Paris!

Au revior!

Coke-d Out

I'm back in beautiful sunny San Diego. I really do love it here. What I don't love, are some of the marathon meetings that I'm in. And of course if you're a coffee addict, you're all set. But if you don't like your caffeine hot, then you are out of luck. So I wandered over to the little deli/cafe and got a Coke for breakfast. Yes, I know, the breakfast of champions. Bite me! I'm still jet lagged, didn't sleep well, and I need the oh so yummy combination of sugar and caffeine to make it through the meeting madness. Actually, I ended up having two, but the second was a caffeine free Diet Coke (which tasted like crap!). At lunch we drove over to Subway and I ordered a drink and realized that I didn't want any more soda. I was Coke-d out. So sad really. I "recovered", so to speak, later in the afternoon and had another crappy caffeine free Diet Coke. But now I feel really sluggish.

Oh, so I finally run into a classmate of mine (I say finally because at these meetings I keep thinking I'm going to run into someone I know) and you know I'm not being vain, but I totally look better than him. Sure he's thinner, but he definitely looks older than I do. A little worse for wear if you know what I mean. ;-)

It's Simple People!

As you enter the plane, the rows start with the number 1 and go up. Like counting. Like you learned in kindergarten. But keep walking because you sure as hell aren't sitting in first class. When you get to the main cabin, the "A-B-C" seats are on the left, and the "D-E-F" seats are on the right. In every single row of the plane. It's quite an easy system to master and should require very little if any thought. Keep moving. There's no need to look left, then back, than right, then left again. What does your ticket say? Where is your seat? Unless your ticket says your seat is -12Q it should NOT take you 15 minutes to get you big fat ass in a seat.

And don't even get me started with people who bring very large carry on items. No, I get the simple day trip and I've got my small roller. But the people with two large rollers. No, I don't want to use the overhead compartments at all. Please feel free. I'm short and don't need the leg room under the seat in front of me. I like to sit upright, like a robot, in the middle seat, for over 4 hours. It's like Gitmo on a plane. Thanks.

So needless to say I'm back. Yes San Diego was nice. But I work too hard and didn't really go out to do anything. Plus I was with a guy who works for me so I felt bad ditching him. And then add in the detox and it wasn't like I was going to be bar hopping anyways.

The good news is that I'm like 2 weeks away from my grand vacation to Europe. Paris for a couple of days, Amsterdam for a couple of days, and then I catch the cruise out of Copenhagen going to Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and ending in Stockholm.

Ugh. This means I have to get on a plane again soon. Not thrilled at all.

2 for 22 and Other tales

So, for the record, I guess I do understand in an abstract way that southern California does have some weird weather including cold and grey Mays and Junes. And I did live in SOCAL from July-December in 1989 when I attended Basic Surface Warfare Officer school, but when I think of leaving hot, humid, DC and going to SOCAL I think of sun, beach, and warm weather. But as usual facing cold reality was well . . . cold. ;-)

So the first night I land and go to my ultra-chic hotel in the heart of the gas lamp district. It's probably 9ish, so after midnight east coast time. I pull in and the valet comes up to take the car. I'm tired and I give him the keys and go to check in. At the reception desk, I ask how much the parking is: $30. YIKES! Sure I got a great priceline deal on the hotel, and I can expense the parking on my travel claim. But it just seems wrong. The next day I find a parking lot two blocks away. How much for overnight? $8!!! Yep, I walked 2 blocks and saved the government $22. I know, big deal, but still.

So the roof top bar was nice and everything, and the little open fire pit things were good to ward off some of the chill, but the view was kind of crappy if you actually looked down. If you looked over the ledge, you had a great view of the parking lot. Nice. But I did have a drink or two there. It's also a good place to meet someone for an assignation.

So United. I've signed up for the EasyUpdates or some such crap where they will call you to let you know that you're plane is on time or late or whatever. This morning for example, at 6AM I got a call on my cell phone saying my flight was on time. So that's a good thing. One less thing to worry about, but to be honest with you, I hardly ever check to see if my flight is on time. I usually head to the airport anyways. If the flight was delayed, would I not go to the airport as soon? If the flight was cancelled, would I not go to the airport at all? Hell no, I'd be pacing up and down the airport trying to work the 1-800 number, the check in desk, or whatever to get where I need to go. Anyways, I land in Chicago and my flight to DCA has been cancelled. I go to the customer service desk. The two other flights to National are overbook and they've booked me on the first flight out in the AM. Umm, try again. Dulles? If I must. So I'm wait listed for a 4PM and 6:30PM and confirmed on the 915PM flights. I get on the 4PM flight, business class! Get to Dulles, no luggage. Then it's the usual logistics hassle to get home. ON MY HOME PHONE IS A CALL FROM UNITED SAYING THE FLIGHT'S BE CANCELLED!!! Yeah, no shit sherlock! So you'll call me on my cell to let me know the flight is on time, but if the flight is cancelled you call my house? While I'm in the middle of a trip? You people just make it hard for me to like you. If I didn't have a gazillion frequent flier miles on United I'd switch to another carrier. But they pretty much all suck these days.

Sunny Southern California?

Yeah, not so much. It's been cold and overcast the whole time I've been here. And I brought one, ONE, long sleeve shirt. You've got to be kidding me. I was sweating when I left DC on Wednesday and now I'm cold. Go figure.

So I'm out in SOCAL because one of my projects is in meltdown phase. Too many chefs spoil the soup? Try too many government people who can't decide on an architecture or requirements. But details, they aren't the ones who have to build the software. Look I don't care what we build, but if a decision isn't made soon then there's no way I can meet any sort of realistic timeframe. We need to get off square 1 and go in A direction, ANY direction.

Anyways, I try to think that I'm a good traveler, though GreekBoi would disagree. But lately I've noticed that I'm getting a little bit anxious about flying. It's the take off. I just don't really like the fact that especially out of National you go up and then immediately bank hard to avoid the no fly zones over DC. I keep having this mental picture of the banking turning into a roll with a nice nose down descent into terra firma. On Wednesday I kept looking at the weather. Thunderstorms were predicted in the PM and I was like, I've got to get to Chicago so I can connect to San Diego. I did, but that wasn't the problem. Try thunderstorms in Chicago. We get on the plane and we're told that there's a big storm out west. Lots of wind shear. Not good. Actually, so not good that they are not allowing any planes to take off to the west. We sit and wait for awhile and I can see the dark grey clouds rolling in. Finally they say that they are going to let us take off to the EAST, head south, and then avoid the storm. Which all sounds good in theory. So we take off and it's like we're on an E-ticket ride at Disneyland. Usually the plane goes up rapidly for about 2-3 minutes, then goes into a more gradual climb. Nope. This was a hard climb for a good 20 minutes. And banking. Oh yea. A couple of real hard banks, and at the incline we were at? I'm looking down going, "Hello Mr. Earth." It was just not fun at all.

And then we ran into some turbulence coming into San Diego. Why is it that whenever I'm on a plane with turbulence it's really warm and naseous inducing? Why can't it be COLD? Anyways, I was glad to get off the plane to the nice cold evening in San Diego.

So yes, there's no making me happy when it comes to weather. ;-)