julieandrews: (manga)
I started my day of travel with a 15 minute walk across the street to the hotel, with all my luggage. (76$ to pick me up at my house, 33$ to pick me up at the hotel. :P )Though I packed light! Fortunately the shuttle was early and I was early, so we left 10 minutes before we were scheduled to. I was very sweaty by that point, because muggy and damp and uphill and luggage.

We hadn't gone more than 10 minutes when we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic. Like, dude! I was expecting that once we got within spitting distance of Boston, not 10 minutes from my house! I hadn't been worried about making my flight until then. When we were still not moving much after 20 minutes, well.. it ended up not quite as peaceful a shuttle ride as it could've been.

At some point the traffic magically cleared. Seriously. There was no reason for it. Just.. poof, we're moving again. Of course we did hit more later on and etc and yay carpool lane. It was a bit after 9 when we got there. I'd been hoping for sooner, but it was okay.

Got my boarding pass lickedy-split, then went to security. Got my bag checked because there was no one to remind me I had stuck a partial bottle of soda in there, whoops. But they didn't blink twice at my ID that's lacking in an expiration date.

Southwest, yadda yadda, I was C16 if that means anything to people. Basically means I was one of the last people to board, so lucky me got a middle seat. But it was over the wing, which I prefer. Got Cheese Nips, honey-roasted peanuts, and a cup of icy Sprite. (I prefer the airlines that give you a whole can.) Normally I don't like Cheese Nips, especially more than.. two. But they were like the best Cheese Nips ever. Altitude will do that to you. Or being awake far too early in the morning.

Midway. Once you leave their restaurant hub and the security checkpoint, there ain't much. So it was a boring wait for the bus. It was a double-decker! I didn't brave the top deck though. They had 2 fours of seats (I've been reading The Killing Moon) with tables and cupholders, so I picked one of those.

You can't really write on said table. You can really type on said table. You can eat on it if you don't mind things sliding. The table shakes more than if I had the computer in my lap shaking with me. It would've had my motion sick before long. And it was just plain annoying. I couldn't stand it. So mostly I read, watched the scenery, spaced out.

An hour and a half after we left Midway, we passed O'Hare. o.O It felt like little to no progress. (We had stopped at Union Station.) So, very long bus ride.

Note for next year!! Leave from Manchester to mitigate the traffic issue. Arrive at Madison if it all reasonable, or Milwaukee if not. Or O'Hare third choice, though Southwest doesn't fly there. Also, move WisCon to Chicago to save us all some trouble. :)

Shuttle from hotel arrived pretty quick. I was afraid they'd all be busy going to the airport and back.

I am checked in. I even have my con badge. The governor's club lounge appetizer that's vegetarian is a chili cheese.. trumpet? And I'm not into spicy. I'm going to have to go scrounge up some real food before I end up in there again for dessert. :)

Did not make it in time for John Scalzi. Might have made it for the GoH readings if I'd hurried, but I didn't want to hurry. Okay. You're all caught up now!
julieandrews: (Default)
Turns out a shuttle from the hotel across the street from where I live is cheaper than the cab to the bus station + bus ticket. So I'll be doing that more often in the future. The downside is no wifi on the shuttle, but it's a shorter trip.

Flying into Chicago and taking a bus from there worked okay. Except that I arrived a bit later than I wanted to and left earlier than I wanted to. Pricewise, it was the right decision. I left the hotel around 9:30am on Monday. I could've taken the 11:30 bus instead of the 10, but it would've cut it close at the airport. If traffic was heavier or the line at security longer, I might've been in trouble. And I would've worried the whole time that I'd miss my flight.

If I do the bus thing next year, I'll probably just pay for the bus when I get on the bus, rather than buying an e-ticket ahead of time. That way if there's a plane delay until the next day, I won't be out the cost of the bus ticket. But seriously, I need to buy plane tickets sooner and just fly straight to Madison. (Well, not straight, there'd be at least one plane change.)

On the flight back, I was across the aisle from a baby. Which was mostly a problem when the presumed father stood up in the aisle to jiggle the baby. At the exact time all the flight attendants and people going to the bathroom decided they needed to walk by. All elbows and butts for like 10 minutes.

Also there was a dentist or oral surgeon a few rows ahead of me and I could clearly see (could hardly avoid seeing) the powerpoint presentation he was working on. Teeth and mouths are gross.

American Airlines is very alienating. I was 'group 3' both times. How I ended up 'group 3' and not 'group 1' or 'group 2', I have no idea. But after they board all the super awesome people who bought super awesome crazy expensive tickets, and the super awesome veterans, and the super awesome I don't even know what, they boarded group 1 like 10 minutes later. Then group 2. Then me. And it's not based on where I was sitting either. You know, load the back of the plane first? No. For 9$ extra, I could've boarded sooner. Screw that. They also want you to pay more for super awesome (not really) seats. Like, the exit row? Hello? Since when was that a prime spot? (I always go for one over the wing, but not the exit row. I can't handle responsibility.)

Also, the chick taking boarding passes was delusional about carryon luggage. She thought my backpack wouldn't fit under the seat, I assured her it would. She said then my feet wouldn't. I assured her they would. Hey, I'm short, my feet don't even rest flat on the floor of the plane. I think I can handle sharing the footspace with part of my backpack. Not that I needed to. She also made me test my other carryon in the metal space-testing thing. It slid right in neat as you please. See, chick? It's fine. The only difficulty was my right arm got tired lugging the bag up the aisle of the plane and then I needed help getting it into the overhead bin. (I had done it fine on the bus.) Books, y'know. Heavy things. :)

American Airlines clearly states on their board while you're waiting to uh.. board, that first class people get a meal. And regular slubs get 'beverage'. And they mean it too. No snacks. And they ran out of ginger ale!

Southwest and Jetblue are definitely my top choices for airlines. Next time I might even pay a bit extra for them.

Lessons learned: Southwest or Jetblue if at all possible. Fly into Madison if at all reasonable. Take shuttle to airport. Pay for buses on the fly, not ahead of time.

Also, I think I'll arrive on Wednesday or leave on Tuesday next year. I haven't decided which.

Leaving

Jun. 21st, 2007 10:41 pm
julieandrews: (Default)
My plane leaves at 7am. At least, I hope it does, because that's the number I've been formulating my plans with!

I have to arrive at the airport an hour before and the airport is an hour away. So I need to leave here no later than 5am, and preferably before. Which means I should really be asleep, except I'd been sleeping about 3am or 4am, so I wouldn't sleep for long anyway.

I feel tired just thinking about it!

My parents got me new luggage, so at least I actually have space for everything I want to bring! The tricky part will be packing again in August.

Freaking out will soon commence!
julieandrews: (Default)
So I'm currently sitting in New York (state, not city). Still have some shopping to do. I need sunblock if nothing else. Then I have to figure out how I'm repacking things. I don't want to be overloaded with luggage, but I want to be prepared!

I leave on Friday, at waaaaaaay too early in the morning. Let's say.. I have to be awake about an hour after I've been going to bed. Yea, so my plans once I finally get my butt in California are to sleeeeep. It'll be about 5 or 6pm Eastern by the time I can collapse. (Course then I'll probably wake up at midnight Pacific with little to nothing to do.)

I probably won't have Internet access until Saturday afternoon/evening. So if you need to tell me anything, do it before Thursday night!

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