Last Friday night we had K– and N– and N–‘s mom over for dinner (I made some of my incredibly awesome chili), and then Rock Band. We played until 11-ish, I think. It was a late night for Preggers McKnockedup, whatever time we finally quit. We all had a lot of fun, though.
Then on Saturday I watched AB while T– went to get us some lunch (and not really much before that). We had Schlotzky’s, which I’d been craving for most of the week. Then the afternoon sort of metled away. I think I took a nap and watched some football.
At 3:30, the babysitters showed up to watch AB for the night, so I ran up to the church with T– to help her set up for her crop, then I went over to K–‘s to play Rock Band and, later, watch OU trash Texas Christian. Both were a lot of fun. Around 10:00 N– got home and reminded me I was supposed to send the babysitter home before her curfew, so I cleared out. I probably watched some TV or something until T– got home — I don’t really remember what I did.
Sunday morning we went to church, then met all of the above plus D– and his mom at Jason’s Deli for lunch. After that, I went back to the house and finished packing for my trip (in a state of minor anxiety the whole time), and then at 3:00 the Cowboys / Redskins game came on, and I only got to watch the first (abysmal) half before I had to head to the airport.
T– dropped me off. I got through security and then found an airport bar showing the game, so I watched another (abysmal) quarter before they announced boarding for my flight.
The flight to Chicago was surprisingly pleasant. It was a small plane with 2-seat rows on either side of the aisle. I had a window seat reserved, and the guy in the aisle seat had a 7-month old girl in his lap (who turned out to be a screamer). Just before we took off, though, a stewardess came by and said the row behind us was empty and we could feel free to move back there if we wanted. He did, so I was left with the row to myself (and room to stretch out). It was a direct flight, 2 hours, so I had no trouble keeping busy and in no time I was in Chicago.
The Chicago airport was huge, though, and — contrary to K–‘s advice — I’d stuck with my carry-on only policy, so I had to lug a week’s worth of clothes and my laptop bag across half a mile of airport. Then I had trouble figuring out where the rental car booths were, because there weren’t any. I finall asked somebody, and he sent me out to stand on the passenger-pickup sidewalk and wait for a shuttle from Avis.
That took a while, and then I spent half an hour in line (most of it at the teller, waiting for someone to tell her that, yes, the car was waiting right outside the door. She finally got that confirmation, sent me out the door, and I drove half a mile (three right turns) to my hotel. That bit was nice. Still, it took me an hour and a half to get from the airplane to my hotel room, which is almost as long as it took me to get from OKC to Chicago….
The room is nice, though. It’s a suite, so I’m treating one room as the living room (the desk is in there, so that’s where I use the computer, but it’s also where I watch TV, even though there’s one in each room). That makes it a little easier to go to sleep when I finally go to the other room.
I hadn’t eaten before leaving for the airport at 5:00, though, so after I dropped off my bags at 9:30, I was still starving. I ran up to a Target that my GPS told me about nearby, but they had closed at 9:00. Ugh. There was a Chili’s in the same parking lot, so I broke down and bought a real meal. It was awesome.
I also asked the waiter for directions to a 24-hour grocery store nearby. He told me there wasn’t a Wal-Mart within five miles (as T– had already found out, when I was on the phone with her), but he pointed me to a chain called Dominick’s, not far from the hotel. I grabbed some soda, some juice, breakfast bars, and string cheese for the week. I also sort of did my math wrong so I got way too much soda — but I’m me, so it’ll get drunk.
I got back to the hotel around 11:00, and went to bed around 11:30.
Monday morning I woke up at 7:15, learned that my hotel doesn’t have a free breakfast (it must be the only one in the country…), and was very glad I’d picked up the breakfast bars. I grabbed one, and two cans of Coke, and headed out to my training.
My training…I’ll talk about that later. It’s 8:30 to 4:30, with an hour lunch and two fifteen minute breaks. It’s about fifteen minutes from my hotel. On Monday, for lunch, I went to Subway. I might just go there for lunch every day this week, and save my diversity (and choice-making, and exploring) for the evenings.
I get a $64 per diem for meals and incidentals, that doesn’t require receipts. No matter what, I get $64 for every full day that I’m on travel. That lets me eat out prett nice every day (the only real positive of the whole trip). On the other hand, since it doesn’t require receipts, I can always eat ramen every meal and pocket three hundred bucks for my troubles (which would go toward our electric bill, or something lame like that). I’m trying to split the difference.
Anyway, after training yesterday I changed into some workout clothes and ran down to the gym in the hotel. It’s pretty nice, and by some miracle was entirely empty, so I did shoulders and biceps on the free weights, then ran on the treadmill for half an hour. It’s my goal to do that every day this week, but we’ll see.
After that I called T–, grabbed a quick shower, and ran to Chipotle just down the road for a quick dinner. I hadn’t been before, but it’s basically just a slightly-more-expensive Moe’s, with fewer toppings. For a dinner on the road, though, it was pretty good. I had three chicken soft tacos, and then went back to my hotel room. Then I watched Psych and played Spore until midnight.
Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.