To talonvaki and my other Boston area friends: This is a reminder that next week at this time I’ll be in Boston for the 4th UCDMO Conference. I arrive at BOS at 5pm, and am staying at the Westin Boston Waterfront (although I still need to figure out how to get from the airport to the hotel). Although I’ll be busy during the days, we should be able to figure out some time to get together. I leave Thursday evening.
Category Archive: 'travel'
A few lost and found notes:
- Found: My keys. Kudos to the United team at DSM (Des Moines), who found my keys from the flight, correlated them with my email, and fedexed them to me. According to my wife and daughter, the fob works on my car, so it looks like the correct set. For all we complain about UAL, it’s nice to be able to complement them when they do something right.
- Lost: My daughter’s month-old cell phone, on the river rafting ride at Disney’s California Adventure.
- But Found: My daughter’s month-old cell phone, when they rode the ride a second time and asked the attendant if a phone had been found. Even more amazing (although I haven’t see it myself) is that my wife and daughter report the phone is undamaged (and with no water damage, even).
I’m now safely back home in Los Angeles. The flight back was uneventful: no regional jets (instead, a 777 and a A320), nothing lost, and a long layover in DEN where I got a chance to do some work and finish a book. The good news came this morning, when I recieved a call from United in Des Moines (DSM) airport: they had received the forwarded note of lost keys, and … yes … a pair of keys had been found Monday on Flight 7722 from DEN, near where I was sitting, and the description of the fob matched my fob. They are putting them in a FedEx envelope for me. The call came a few hours before I was to head out to the Toyota dealer, so I think I’ll wait and see if these are the right keys (I’m pretty confident) before I pay $350 for a new set!
An update on this wonderful trip. Right now I’m in Gathersburg MD, with meetings nearby tomorrow morning. As for yesterday and today…
The flights from CID to EWR were on time, but on small regional jets where I had to cabin check a bag. I’m not that crazy about the Embraier 145. I had that from CID to ORD, and again today from EWR to IAD, and it is just too tiny! The flight from ORD to EWR was on an Canadair Regional, which was better, but not by much. I remember the days when these were all 737s. I’m not sure aviation is moving forward.
In any case, after the cattle car flights (the terminal at ORD is just like a bus terminal), I got into EWR about 12:15am this morning. Went to Avis. I reserved Intermediate, and when I got to the car found a minivan. I walked aback to the counter and said, “try again.. I want small car, covered trunk”. So they offered me a Towncar… they only car they supposedly had. Truged upstairs to find it had a broken glove box. Trudged back to the counter and said “try again.” This time, the nice attendant found my a Hundai Sonata. That worked, and I got out of EWR around 1:15am. The person giving directions at the Avis gate told me to get on US 1-9 N for my hotel (the Hilton). Turned out this was wrong, and I ended up wandering Port Newark. Called the hotel and finally got back there. Got to bed around 2am, and got up at 6am. Yes, I did drowse out during the meeting (as did others on the team), even though I tried not to. I’m still pissed at myself for doing that.
Going to the meeting, about half-way there, I suddenly realized I couldn’t find my DL or credit card. Thinking I left them at the hotel, I got off I-80 in Hackensack. Luckily, I found them in my luggage, but then I had to deal with finding my way *back* to I-80 W. This isn’t that easy in New Jersey.
Returning the car, I thought I would be good and fill the tank. However, the only gas station approaching EWR is before the bridge, and Avis considers that too far to consider the tank full. So they charged me for gas anyway. I’m not sure if I can retroactively fight the charge.
Flying from EWR to IAD was on another puddle jumper. They were doing a shift change or something at EWR, so we sat on the ground an extra 30 minutes on a plane that had no AC before taking off. We did arrive in IAD a little early, but at the far end of the A concourse. It’s quite a walk from there to ground transportation. Of course, when I got to my Avis Preferred car, what do I find? An SUV! Needless to say, I got the car changed — I now have a Chevy Malibu.
As you can guess, I’m looking forward to flying back to LAX tomorrow, and replacing my car keys on Friday. Of course, I’m not on a non-stop going back, so with the way this week has been going, I’ll get into DEN and find out that all flights into LAX are cancelled!
Today is the first day of a week of travel. And it was a craptastic day at that.
Today was flying from LAX to CID (Cedar Rapids). The flight got out of LAX and hour late, due to high winds in Denver. By the time I got to Denver, all the flights to CID had been cancelled. They were going to book me on a flight on Tuesday, but my meetings start at 8am Tuesday. My idea: Fly into ORD or STL and drive. They booked me to STL, arriving at 10:15pm… but then I looked closer at the map. I ended up up standby on a flight to Des Moines… and made it. Got into Des Moines around 8:30pm… and just got to my hotel room (around 11:30pm).
Along the way, somewhere, I lost my car keys and fob. This means that (a) my wife has to come deliver keys to the Flyaway, and (b) I’m going to have to pay $300 to replace the fob and key. My guess it was on the airplane somewhere, as my keys were clipped to my belt (I checked the rental car, but I’ll check again in daylight).
At least I was good on food. Yogurt and fruit for lunch. A simple sandwich (RB and cheddar, lots of veggies, no mayo) and fruit for dinner.
Now to bed….
Just as an item of closure: Based on the recommendations of kyburg and other friends, we joined Interval International today. Hopefully, they’ll process the membership fast enough that we don’t bump into the 60-day window on depositing your weeks (that is, 60 days from the start of your weeks, which would be 6/22).
As you probably know by now, we own a timeshare in Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii. We can’t use it this year, and no relatives or friends have expressed interest in renting the interval (8/22-9/5). So we’re narrowing in on our options. As always, I’m looking for opinions:
- We can join Interval International ($89), and deposit our two weeks. We could then exchange those weeks for two weeks at a different resort (($139/week exchanged in the US). Alas, II does not provide a lot of information about how the service works online, so I’m still determining if it is worth the cost (***: please, if you’ve used II, let me know your thoughts). Lastly, if someone uses our weeks, we may have additional costs for cleaning our unit mid-interval.
- We can attempt to rent out the unit, with no guarantee for success. There appear to be two Realtors that do this: Whalers Realty and Monte D. Fitts. Neither has responded to my inquiry about how that process works or what their success rate is.
So, what do you think we should do? LJ friends—please let me know in the poll below. FB friends—please comment with your opinion (no obnoxious poll applications here):