City, year

Went to visit Timly for his 40th birthday, and met up with Tatyana and Victoria at Fuzion.

Fri Dec 19/08

There was a nor'easter scheduled to hit Boston at around 1pm, and when I looked online at flight schedules, I spotted an earlier flight to Cleveland with only 3 in the standby list. I figured I was so nervous about not making it out of Boston that I might as well take my laptop to the airport and work there until I could fly out. Kind of a mistake, as it was, as always, heavy, and the battery keeps coming loose and causing an immediate shutdown. Also, as I picked up my purse to head out the door, the strap broke, and I had to transfer everything to pockets. I'd checked in online and got a confirmed seat on the evening flight at least, and so I made my way to the airport because Continental's phone lines were just responding with "we can't answer the phone at this time", and the website was even less use. Taking the T was quick, I did Green line to Blue to shuttle bus instead of detouring to the Silver line, and I really think it was faster. Less crowded if nothing else. Quick trip through security, bypassing the long line at check in but then I was bouncing around from gate to gate at Logan trying to get someone to put me on the standby list. The woman working the gate that the Cleveland flight was going out of refused to speak to me and said that there wasn't a customer service desk. No wonder everyone was so cranky, at another gate a woman lit into the single agent trying to rebook people. After waiting for the other flight to finish, I was denied a spot on the earlier flight's standby list (it was up to 14 people, but for future reference, they leave 5 seats open for standby passengers, so if I'd bloody well been able to talk to a gate agent earlier, I might have been okay), and told that there were no rebooking options available. Then the original gate for my flight had a gate change announced over the loud speaker, but the new gate (where I'd been hanging out) didn't list it. Gah. Went back to the other gate, luckily they were just on either side of security from each other, and settled in at one of the "charging stations", aka seats with a power strip mounted under them. Then I took a food break at the Legal Seafood stall, getting a salad and a glass of sangria to calm me down. Was made a bit more twitchy by one of the servers making all sorts of noise (clapping, whistling, tapping things). I kept an eye and ear on the concourse, but no changes were announced to my flight. Oddly enough, we got on board fairly much on time, but de-icing took ages because the plane had been sitting there for hours and was covered with snow. The snow started coming down at around 2pm, and it seemed light and fluffy, but I could barely see across the tarmac to the other wing of the airport. I was very very impressed with the Boston ground crew, they did their jobs in challenging conditions, at one point I thought the engines were still on or we were moving while being deiced, but it was just the really high winds. We were a bit late leaving the ground, but I was able to dash with the guy in front of me across to the D terminal (got my first ride in an airport golf cart, through the tunnel) and I was the last one onto my flight to Louisville. I had to gate check my backpack, as the CRJ had tiny overhead bins, and of course it came out last in Louisville. We were pretty much dead on time there, but I ducked into the washroom to brush my teeth (had meant to do it in Cleveland after airline pretzels) and change out of work clothes. I was all turned around because I'd flown into Lexington last time and things weren't where I was expecting them. But Timly was there when I finally made my way out of the security barrier, and he was right, it was only 5 mins to his house. I had some toast to supplement the salad I'd had at Logan.

Sat Dec 20/08

Home made pancakes for breakfast rock. And a grilled cheese sandwich for a late lunch to tide me over until dinner was also perfect. I gave him part of his birthday/xmas present (stupid mail not arriving in time from an online order) and he gave me my xmas presents (I finally have a portable reading light!). We were going to take a grand tour of Louisville, taking in sights and window shopping, before heading to the restaurant, but a cold rain foiled us. :/ It had been getting colder as the day went on, it was 40F when I'd landed the night before, but it was hovering around freezing with the windchill as the sun went down. We ditched the wandering plan and just went to the restaurant early and sat in the bar area for cocktails. Timly had the creme brulee, with caramel Bailey's (I never knew it existed!) and a vanilla liqueur, Navan I think it was called (web search says it's made by Gran Marnier, so that sounds right), and something else. I had a white and dark chocolate Godiva martini and it coated my mouth with awesome amounts of chocolate such that I couldn't taste his very well when I sipped it. The food at Volare was also excellent. Timly had the veal osso buco and it, as advertised, was falling off the bone and only needed a fork. The saffron rissotto was amazing when he made me try a fork-full. I went with the cashew encrusted salmon, and it was amazing, and I'm really picky about salmon. :) The sauteed asparagus and spinach was great too. We had the rest of the main courses packed up so that we could eat dessert (we got a food claim ticket). I had the caramel creme brulee and Timly went with the Heath bar cheesecake. They came out looking like works of art, with swirls of chocolate outlining lime, apricot and raspberry sauce drops, and fresh berries dotted on the plate. They looked like Miro paintings and were delicious. I'd started with the bruschetta and Timly had a ceasar salad and they were really good as well, a wonderfully amazing meal from start to finish and we could barely roll out of there. We were surprised to see that 2.5 hours had passed, the time went by quickly (though we were both snockered by the time the cocktails were half done, and the glass of guwertztraminer each didn't hurt either). The rain had mostly stopped by the time we came out.

We went back to his place to change for the club, fairly quickly as it was getting close to when we'd agreed to meet Tatyana and Victoria. We ended up parking at the same time and found each other in the ID check line. :) We should have been tipped off when the door man drew happy faces on our hands, I joked that I wanted a frowny face. Then Timly spotted the sign with the goth night Malfunction crossed out and Warehouse party underneath it. :/ Yup, cancelled for a rave. We didn't pay to get in, so after trying to get a hold of someone to see if our night had been moved, we decamped upstairs to the pool table room and sat and chatted. :) Which is probably what we'd have done anyway even if our dj was playing. :) We kept an eye out for other PiB and a pair of 21 year olds joined us for a while. They were a very hyper couple, and we all teetered between being amused and feeling old. :) One gave me her number in case I was stuck in town and wanted to go to a drag show at Connection the next night. I didn't end up drinking anything alcoholic as I was still tipsy and stuffed from dinner, and even though I'd barely tightened my corset I was starting to feel a bit odd. At around 2am, Victoria and I were done with the music, it had switched to something really repetitive and headache inducing, so we made our way out and said our goodbyes. It was great to see Tatyana again and catch up, and she posted some amusing pictures that she took of us all. I kept trying to remember to show my teeth instead of keeping my lips sealed, but that led to forgetting to not blink!

Sun Dec 21/08

Scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, Volare leftovers for lunch, I was well fed. :) We made it to the airport about an hour before my flight was to board, I had a brief bit of panic as I tried to check in with Continental only to notice after being told to see a gate agent that I was actually on Northwest. No problem getting through security, but loud kids in the gate area had me sitting in a quiet corner by the phones. The cold was leeching through the windows, but I put on my wool sweater and was fine. We boarded a little late, but I wasn't worried yet. My pessimism on Friday had served me well, lack of worry soon segued into a bit of a messed up travel situation.

There was some ice on the wing of the plane since it had come in from Detroit, and we were stuck on the de-icing pad for ages because the truck stopped working. They had to rewarm the glycol reservoir and that took longer than expected. Once we finally got in the air and landed in Detroit, there was so much ice on the windward side that the tractors that were trying to push back the planes from the gates were just slipping. All those gates were blocked, and we had to wait on the taxi way behind another plane for a free gate. My second flight was delayed 20 minutes, but by the time I got into the terminal building, it was an hour past when it was supposed to leave in the first place. I ignored the advice to see the gate agent, as she was clueless in the face of the questions being posed by the woman in front of me, and made my way to my next flight's old gate. Had to wait behind a woman trying to get to Traverse City who was told the next flight she could get on was Dec 25. :/ I was told to go to the rebooking counter at A43, so I made my slow way back there and was faced with a line running out the cordons.

I heard the next day that someone waited three hours in the line. :/ I ducked around it to the self serve kiosks and found that I was already rebooked at 8:20 the next morning, and an announcement came on that I'd have to wait in line to get a hotel voucher *if* my delay was caused by maintenance. I decided to screw it and check to see if the airport Hilton had any rooms for a reasonable price, if not I'd decide if I wanted to wait in the line or try to get a hold of a local friend to crash there. The hotel was just off the check in area, and had a very soothing lobby. It had a 30ft tall bamboo forest planted by the escalator down, and a pebble coated fountain in front of the glass elevators that served the rooms looking down into the lobby. Fairly short line and I heard a woman in front of me getting a room, so I was happy that when I went up they said they did have a room. But it was a parlour room, with only a pull out sofa, but it was "only" $139 so I took it.

Mon Dec 22/08

It was really nice to walk out of the hotel and through security and be at my gate less than an hour after waking up. I grabbed a breafast burrito and I had just settled in at a quiet seat when a family with two hyper kids sat across from me. Went to the bathroom and was going to move when they started boarding. Yay for an ontime flight. Unfortuantely I discovered that my noise canceling headphones broke and I had a noisy baby and a mom who only spoke in baby talk next to me. A bit of a delay getting all the luggage onto the plane, and then I passed out and slept most of the way to Boston. We were stuck in the plane at the gate in Boston because the jetway was sliding on the ice too much to connect to the plane.

I got to work this afternoon, finally onto the T at around noon, weaving through piles of unclaimed luggage at Logan. I was greeted with a city buried under snow and slush, and I slogged my way to work, glad I'd worn wool socks and tall boots.

Back to my diary page.