Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planes, big cars, hotels oh my......

2 cities, 2 cars, 2 hotels, 4 meetings in less than 48 hours!   Off to Seattle early Monday morning and thankfully the flight was on time and I was on my way.   45 degrees, windy and cold- oops should have brought a jacket.   So I head to get my rental car and mistake #1- did not book the on site car, so had to take the shuttle and wait in more lines...dang it.  I always rent the cheapest car- small car, mechanical windows, am radio- you get the picture- just not where I spend my $$.  When I made my reservation this time and booked the economy car and option for Wild Card popped up- save $10 and they assign you whatever car is not reserved.  I decided why not....I will tell you why not!

Yes you got it....Crown Victoria full size luxury.  Wait, wait I tell the clerk- I cannot drive a tank like that....never mind I will take the Ford Festiva- okay she says for an additional $30- what???? Seems the small cars are now a premium with gas at $4.50/gallon.  So I agree. Okay this car was massive- the truck was so big and deep you could have put 2 bike cases in the trunk + 4 suitcases.   Huge front seat where at least 5 people could fit, well if they had enough seat belts.  I could hardly reach the radio dial...I felt like a little kid.  

Off on my adventure...Garmin Nuvi was not responsive and as it was acquiring and acquiring satellites I managed to head the wrong way on the Freeway.  No worries I have time..... soon I am following my directions and "had arrived at my destination" and there was I was in a run down neighborhood in front of a dilapidated house.  Hmmmm  my client did not mention that NaanCurry was in a house.... so I call and double check the address -oops seems the SW makes a difference.  I still had 10 minutes and rolled my big daddy car up to the real NaanCurry just in time- except holy cow, parallel park this boat????  Luckily there were 2 spots so I could get in - I only took one, but it was not easy.  Delicious lunch....mixed curried greens, tandoori chicken, something hot and spicy with lamb...all soo good! 

Next up downtown Seattle- usually I will find alternate parking in a city vs the $40 valet parking fee, but well, parking a boat in a city was not my cup of tea! Afternoon meeting was on foot and that was a blessing but I really wished I #1 had a jacket and #2 was wearing shoes suitable for 5 hilly blocks in Seattle.  I made a quick stop looking for a nice coat but no luck and the second stop was at Walgreen's for band aids.   Business done and I really needed a run....I had a long sleeve shirt and vest, not for running, but considering the weather I was running in the gear.  Headed down Pike Street to the waterfront and had a sensational run along a path that went forever..I suddenly realized I had been running for 40 minutes and I still had to turn around and go back- perfect weather, chilly and new scenery.  

Quick change and off to dinner at Palomino.....delicious food, nice wine and an absolutely perfect way to end the day!  

Up early for a meeting and off to Portland.  I snuck in another chilly but wonderfully scenic waterfront run.   I was doing really well on time when I realize I had miscalculated and was off by 30 minutes and booked it back to the hotel and in my rush I hip, well thigh checked a cement planter and screamed the F work. The 100+ year old doorman says..."wow, honey sloooooow down."  Right he was... nice cut and big bruise on my leg. 

Showered, dressed and packed in 10 minutes. Called down to Valet to find La Bamba and I rushed down and no La Bamba...okay few minutes goes by, nothing, the valets are saying no worries, just another minute. Okay it has been 15 minutes and my flight is taking off in 1 hour and I am in downtown Seattle.  Can you say F!!! Finally I say where is my car?  " well ma'am awe are looking, are you sure you parked it with us?"  I am now basically screaming the car is as big as this hotel is white and how can you possibly miss it!   The valet takes off and I follow him to the basement where there are 30 parking spaces and what looks like 200 cars.  You know the puzzles where each piece can move one place to get the puzzle undone?  Well that is what the garage looks like and there she is La Bamba in the middle of all the cars....they move and move cars and the clock is ticking.

I fly to the airport and drive up and jump out, throw them my keys and run down a bus and make it an express bus to Alaska Airlines.  I am dropped off and running, OJ Simpson style and skidding as I see the 50+ person security line, I now have 20 minutes until take off.  I charge to the front, flash my ticket, strip off my belt, shoes, scarf, unload 1/2 my bag and briefcase and fly through security. Running to my gate holding my shoes, belt and scarf and am on the plane as they are closing the door.  Nothing like an arrival like that-  HR had to be 170 and then I get dressed in front of the passengers and roll into my seat for my 40 minute flight to Portland. 

Just as I am settled we are landing and here we go again with the Wild Card Rental....Crown Victoria this time?  NO....here is what they give me
Nice....15 passenger van.  I protest and am willing to pay double for  Ford Fiesta or  Yugo at this point....sorry all sold out.  So they kindly accommodate me with a Minivan...I'll take it.  Thankfully my day in Portland was absolutely lovely- delicious lunch at a local Farm to Table Restaurant and great client meeting.  Business always gets better when we can talk bikes, saddle sores, gear etc....she is doing a big ride this summer and has got the cycling bug! 

Nothing nearly as dramatic as I return to the Portland airport and actually have time to relax and do some work in the airport.  Home by 8:30 to a clean house thanks to my Mom, darling kids and husband...... dinner and in my own bed and happy by 10:00.

Felt like I was gone for a week.....