I just got back from my conference in Hotlanta (That's what we called "Atlanta." It's an in-joke. You wouldn't get it.). Now, from the other posts about trips, you'd be expecting me to break up the trip into minute parts and deliver piecemeal over the next few days. And that's exactly what you'll get. Consistency is important in this modern work-a-day world.
Today, the focus is the air trips.
Okay, the focus today is the airport portion of the trip. There was a grand total of eight grad students from my department going, and there were people taking flights from Toronto, driving out to Buffalo and flying out from there, and people driving, and people taking the train. So yeah, not a great amount of coordination. There was a lot of yelling (me) and accusations (me), but after some even-tempered discussion and honest dialogue (not so much me), we did wind up doing something a little more collaborative for splitting the hotel rooms.
But anyway, I flew out and back on my own. I've done the Ontario-Saskatchewan trip back and forth a few times solo, so I don't really have a problem flying alone. I was a little worried about customs, but it was actually a fairly positive experience on both sides of the border, so no worries there. (I did wolf down a pop and a chocolate bar on the airplane back to Toronto just because I didn't want to declare them, but that's just my bizarre paranoia/love of chocolate speaking.)
On the way there, I had a layover in Phiiladelphia, and on the way back, another in Charlotte. Both had rocking chairs everywhere, which felt like a nice touch. Very homy. The Philly connection had its rough points--it took me a while to figure out I needed to take a shuttle bus to get to the section of the airport I needed to, and a little while longer to realize they'd changed the gate for my plane. I was only at the Charlotte port for an hour, but I spent the entire time walking around--it's friggin' huge. It's got 5 sections, each with about a half dozen restaurants, and an atrium area with 15 restaurants, 10 stores, and a chapel. A chapel. I was dead tired by the time I reached that terminal(I split a cab from the airport with some associates whose flight left at 5:30 am, so we skipped sleeping that night, and it was 8:00 am by the time I hit Charlotte), but I still spent most of my time looking around. It was pretty cool--well, the largely soulless, overpriced, generic coolness of an airport, but still, neat-o.
The downside of traveling by air, for me, anyway, is always the number high altitudes play on my inner ear. As I type, my right eardum STILL won't pop. It's getting kind of annoying. Anyone have any suggestions on how to restore my lost hearing?
Next Time: City of Atlanta