So I decided to combine the two, taking Java Boot Camp training in Chicagoland.
Saturday, I dropped my wife and children off at the airport, early early. I had big plans for the day, such as making the house uninhabitable for a week (like, so nothing would spoil, rot or stink when we all got home). Most of these I accomplished, but I also got to play tennis with Atti for the first time in six years, visit my family and have Rob over for some intense Mario Kart action!
Then I completed my cleaning duties and finished packing. I had time for a shower and some last-minute preparations before it was off to the airport.
I arrived at the airport two hours before my flight because of some problems checking in online. I am a paranoid traveler and I wanted to be there to be able to circumvent any potential problems with the ticket well in advance.
No problem. I checked in and waited, half-sleeping, half-reading and half looking out the window to see if I could see Cliff loading my plane. (“That’s right, monkey, get to work!” I would have shouted if I’d seen him, even though I know he wouldn’t have been able to hear me. I believe he still would have known I was yelling at him.) Finally, I hear my flight number called out for a different ramp. What the…? I grabbed my bags and sprinted down the hall, staggering to a halt, muttering apologies that I thought it was a different ramp and they said that it was no big deal that it happens all the time. Well, they dealt with it better than I did.
The flight consisted of me turning pages in The Bonehunters, a quick nap and watching The Golden Compass, which lasted just until we landed in
I was held back from the flight because there was not enough time to get from one place to the other and so, I was put on a second flight. I was in line to get my boarding pass when that flight was canceled. So, they were saying that the next flight would be at 7:00 the next morning. Inconceivable! However, waited in line until my turn to book whatever flight awaited me.
The guy at the front looked about two steps away from a vein popping in his head and I commiserated with him about the stress of being the only guy in line. He laughed. I feel we bonded. And it was all a mistake. I was apparently booked on a different plane that would leave in an hour and a half. All good things! So I thanked my new best friend and went off to turn some more pages while I waited for my plane to board.
The bad: About a half-hour after I sat down to wait for the plane, I looked up and noticed that the takeoff time was different than it had been. Departure was delayed by another two hours. Ah well, there was time to get a burger, and continue on my quest to polish off Steven Erikson’s sixth literary behemoth. (Really, that sucker is 1200 pages!)
The good: Apparently I did bond with that check-in clerk type guy. I was bumped up to first class where the seats are extra wide (my bum thanks that check-in clerk – but not in the way you’re all thinking), the drinks come in glass tumblers and the televisions apparently have no sound. I was going to watch Chuck but there was, as I said, no sound, so I turned, once more to The Bonehunters.
I have no idea what time the flight touched down – it was something like seven o’clock or something in Chicago time, which would have been 6 our time. I wandered over to where taxis are and waited in a line about 25 people long. It would have been distressing if there hadn’t been in the neighbourhood of thirty or forty cabs waiting. The driver drove me, though he grumbled about leaving the airport area and lost revenue for awhile. Then when we finally reached the hotel (after a couple of wrong turns and a phone call to the hotel itself) he informed me that the credit card machine was broken. Marvelous.
So, we found a Mac’s that had ATM and I paid him, grumbling to myself about his incompetence while, I’m sure, he was still grumbling about being so far away from O’Hare. Whatever. You drove, I paid. Can we just get over it now? And so, I checked into my hotel around 8:30.
So, the first day of my travel, I left my house at 5:00 am on no sleep and arrived at the hotel at 8:30 local time. And I turned down a direct flight to
That’s all for now. Later, I’ll tell about the actual training itself.