25 November 2008

Saturday & Sunday | Time Lost

Saturday Morning in Vegas came really fast. We stayed at the Venetian, which appears to have an awesome pool. I was really full from my 5AM sandwich and fries, and more than a little hungover. Kate called for breakfast and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The thought of driving, and the act of walking, made me swoon. All I wanted was water. And after four cups of sink water, I realized I would have to leave the room to get it.

Again I thought of driving. My head was steadied by what I know to be the price of water, and by what I could imagine the hotel would charge. My laziness won, and Neena and I went to the first kiosk we found. I paid $15.50 for two large and one small bottle of water. Even as I paid, I debated driving. But I looked and felt like crap, and if $15.50 was the only price I had to pay, that wasn't a bad deal.

Eventually I had to leave to run errands. The most important of which being a stop at our storage unit. I am pleased to report our belongings can fit in one van. No truck needed here folks. I repacked one box and grabbed a bag of exercise equipment to bring back with me. I then went back to the hotel to get ready for a much more relaxed night on the town. Me and my ridiculous intentions.

I met a small group at the Pink Taco for dinner and drinks. I wanted a time to see just the faces that made me smile the most. It was a fantastic idea, because I could talk to everyone and not feel pressured to make rounds every five minutes. At the end of the night, there were just two of us. I didn't know the Pink Taco closed, until they turned on the lights and gave me a water. Ian (my late night drinking buddy) and I went to the Circle Bar and had a fantastic discussion about medical maladies, misconduct, affirmative action, preconceived notions, and family gossip. The cab dropped me off at the hotel at 4AM Sunday. I thought that was plenty of time for a nap before my 735AM flight. I was wrong.

I woke up at 623AM, with Melissa standing over me saying "oh you are still here." I proceeded to scramble. I knew I could physically get on a flight in an hour. But I wasn't so sure about filling up the rental car, dropping it off, taking the shuttle to the airport, and checking a box and a bag. I was sure there were other flights for me to catch, but I really wanted the one I already paid for. So I went.

I called Southwest as I drove. The woman told me she could not check me in, and that my next flight option was $173. I paid $60 for the flight I was about to miss. In fact, I don't think I spent $173 the two nights I was in Vegas. I skipped the gas for the car. Dollar Rental charged me $25 for that. It was even more motivation to not have to pay for another flight. My issue - and what ultimately screwed me - were the things I brought out of storage. I had to carry the box from the rental car drop-off site to the shuttle bus. The box was heavy, and there were no carts to help me. I had to take a break once, and I couldn't walk as fast. Time lost.

I also had to put the box in a little cage for the shuttle ride. I then had to grab it from the bottom of said cage when it was time to leave. Of all the shuttle drivers in the world, mine was a woman. She was older than me and in worse shape and I was not about to make her do my heavy lifting just because it's her job. Time lost.

The shuttle drop-off point is close to the edge of the terminal. Unfortunately Southwest is close to the other edge. I carried the box to a kiosk, where I checked in, but couldn't check my bags. I carried the box some more and decided to buy a luggage cart. I've never used a cart kiosk before, so it took me at least a minute to figure it out. I was hampered by a woman who offered to help, then gave me the wrong instructions. Time lost.

Of course I wasn't the only person leaving Vegas on a Sunday morning. I had to wait in line to check my box. Twenty minutes before departure I told the woman taking my box that I was about to miss my flight. She said I had to actually miss it before she could book me on another. That kind of gave me renewed hope. I gave her my box, took my two bags, and had to find a place to ditch my luggage cart. Time lost.

Security was not a breeze either. I didn't have time to get all my liquids in the baggie. I couldn't find the baggie anyway. I left a nice bottle of lotion on the counter. My bags started coming, then stopped on the belt. The TSA guy took my bag of exercise equipment and told me I could not bring weights on the plane. Yes, I had been carrying two 8lb weights along for the ride. I told him to take them. He asked if I wanted to check them. I looked at my phone and it was 734AM. I told him my flight was leaving at that moment and there was no time for checking. He then explained that weights are technically "clubbing items" that cannot be carried onto a plane. They should put that up on the picture with the pocket knives and lighters. He then slowly unzipped the bag and took his time taking out the weights. He asked me which gate I needed. I told him. He said it was on the other end of the terminal. He then asked again what I wanted to do with the weights, if I wanted to mail them to myself.

First of all -- the post office charges by weight. Why would I want to send myself weights?

I then explained (again) that I had to go. And that he could have the weights.

I got to the terminal at 739AM. Too much time lost.

My original flight had me going to LA and changing flights. I was put on the 825AM flight to LA. That flight landed and taxied for 10 - 15 minutes. I got off the plane at 935AM, just in time to hear my name paged for the 950 flight to San Francisco. I made it with minutes to spare.

I had been texting Jesse from the check in line, and from the security line. The text that woke him up though, was the one that read: "Here."