Jun 30, 2008

To the left to the left... – Oklahoma City, OK – June 2008

To the left to the left…Everything in my hotel room needs to move a bit to the left.

Okay, I know this is a bad take on a rockin’ Beyonce song, but really EVERYTHING in my hotel room was honestly designed for the furniture to be moved about a foot to the left of where it currently is.

I was sitting at the desk and kept getting an error when attempting to log onto the internet. I called to the front desk and she said that they’d had some connectivity issues earlier in the day, but she would restart the server if I thought that would help. Well I didn’t want to put her out at all but I really feel lost if when on the road I am not able to connect. So I told her I would restart and let her know if that didn’t work.

Just as I was about to disconnect I hear her say “Ma’am, did you try moving to another area in the room?” At that point I was willing to try anything so while on the desk phone (which by the way is corded) and moved about a foot to the left and plopped down onto the bed, and simultaneously yanked the phone off the desk, knocked my cell phone, iPod, a clock and almost the desk lamp off the desk with a crash, (because that was where my laptop was plugged into). With the lady at the front desk laughing her head off, I clicked the IE icon on my desktop, VOILA!!! The Holiday Inn Browser bloomed into life! I squealed with delight and the front desk attendant laughed even harder. “Sounds like that worked,” she said with a final laugh and we hung up.

So here I am in my hotel room with the phone cord stretched to its potential, sitting on the very edge of the bed, with nowhere near a clear view of the television. But I don’t care I have the INTERNET!!! YAHOO!!!

Till Next Time,
Bon Voyage!

Jun 17, 2008

Upon My Return – Just back from San Diego, CA. – June 2008

It’s taken a bit, but I’ve discovered that whenever I return from a trip for work there is a sort of routine that ensues. It begins the moment I come through the door. First, if my Hubby is home, from around the corner of the door to his office, I hear him shout, “T-ROD YOUR HOME!!!”

Note to Reader: Don’t laugh, but as a family, my Hub, myself and our two cats Kitty Sticks and Malchek we have the most nick names for each other then anyone I know. We try to embrace creativity and really we pretty much answer to anything even “Hey You!” Just wait till we have kids.

Second comes the pitter patter of little feat, the four legged ultra curious type. Now, depending on how long I’ve been away the following events unfold...

Three days or less: they freeze at the sight of me then begin sniffing the air and quickly move to my travel bags, all the while meowing up a storm telling me all about how they have missed me like crazy and don’t ever go away for that long again.

Longer than three days (even if it’s only by a couple of hrs.): it’s a completely different story. After their race to the door and the same freeze mid stride, as soon as they realize it’s me, I can tell that a pact between the two of them has been made to ignore me for as long as it takes for me to never leave for that long again.

Kitty Sticks is stead fast and will actually sit backwards in the living room recliner so as not to have to look at me. She’ll walk all the way around the perimeter of the room that I’m in to keep from having to walk past me. I try bribery with treats and she doesn’t budge. She’ll go sit on the couch and snuggle with my Hub while shooting me dirty looks. The only way I can get back into her good graces is to let her sit on the edge of the bath tub and give her her own special water bowl that’s full of “magic” water (water from any bathroom faucet… don’t ask…).

Malchek on the other hand can be bought. He us such a cuddle bug that all I have to do is scoop him into my arms and rub on his head between his ears for just a little longer than normal and he has completely melted. I honestly think his favorite pass time is exploring the bags and suit cases that I bring home. He’s a complete hoot. He really likes to get inside of everything to hide then when you least expect it he’ jumps from said hiding place (in this case a shopping bag or our bedroom comforter) and attacks your ankles.

This trip in particular was the longest thus far just over five days and the kitties were in rare form. Malchek was into EVERYTHING and as you can see Kitty Sticks couldn't even be bothered to wake up. I walked in the door, she cracked her eyes, saw it was me, and then promptly returned to her nap.

The biggest suprise from returning from this trip is that my Hub had had three photos of our kitty cats printed and framed. they are the one's at the top of this post. I actually got a little misty at his thoughtfullness. YEAH!!! I am a lucky girl!

Till Next Time,
Bon Voyage!

Jun 11, 2008

Peanuts!!!??? - New Orleans, LA - June 2008

Okay, to whom it may concern, in the last couple of years airplane food has literally gone down the toilet! However, on Tuesday, I was pleasantly surprised to have the beverage service cart come to a stop beside my seat and upon requesting a Ginger Ail I was handed a bright red package of Fishers Dry Roast Peanuts along with my sparkly drink. I can really say that my heart leapt. I’d been up since 3:30 that morning and was running off tick Tacks and water.

Note to Reader: Just in case you don’t know this, if you have the 6 am flight out of Memphis to Atlanta you’d better think twice about getting anything to eat or drink at the airport that is served to you by anything but a cold hearted unforgiving vending machine that really doesn’t care that you don’t have correct change, and could care less that you absolutely hate Diet Fresca because regardless of how many times you punched Coke that was what was delivered.

As a Frequent Flyer / Sky Miles /World Perks member I’ve had the privilege of becoming a grumbling pessimist when it comes to the way that the airlines jack you around. It is a rare occurrence when I have the opportunity to, without chanting to myself “Think Happy Thoughts”, to entertain feelings of joy for the air travel industry.

Additional Note to Reader: Being truly honest, I did leap for joy when my best friend Stephanie’s brother, Jason was hired as a pilot for Northwest. YAHOO!!!)

But I digress, I really just wanted to take a quick moment to say, “Thanks for the nuts Delta! Keep up the good work as you merge with NWA.”

Till Next Time,
Bon Voyage!

Jun 9, 2008

Six Degrees or less… It’s TRUE!!! - San Diego, CA - May 2006

I recently finished Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point which by the way is awesome. (I also saw him speak in person last week at the ASTD Conference I attended in San Diego.) One of the points he makes is referencing the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory. The theory basically states that any two persons can be connected by six or fewer people.

Note to Reader: There is a slightly funny twist on this called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” which is note worthy but not worth going into… Google it!

Anyhow the point of this story is that I truly had a six degrees moment on my flight out to San Diego last weekend, so here goes.

So there I was minding my own business in my 11-F seat over the wing, two rows behind the exit row and down plops an early twenties guy in a camouflage baseball cap. He’s friendly and introduces himself. (For our purposes we’ll call him “G”.)

Additional Note to Reader: I am always slightly hesitant to begin conversations with people that I sit next to on airplanes. I know you are thinking, ‘but Lili, you’ve never met a stranger! I don’t understand???’ but when you’ve had a friend have the privilege of sitting next to THE "Debbie Downer" (That's for you Anna!) and learn the most intimate details of a perfect strangers life you become far more jaded and are slightly less likely to engage in conversation with the unknown, especially when you have to sit next to them for 4 and ½ hours.

With my ear buds shoved snugly into my ears and my crazy looking neck pillow positioned between me and the window I snuggled in for my long ride out to the west coast when I feel a soft tapping on my shoulder. The drink cart had arrived. “I’d like a Ginger Ail please.” I say to the flight attendant as I pull down my tray table.

“Don’t you think its funny how people really only order Ginger Ail on air planes?” says ‘G’. I’d never really thought about it before, but realized that really it’s true, but not to be out done, I nodded and said “Yeah, and punch, people also put Ginger Ail in punch.” He laughed and said that he’d never made punch before, but he would be sure to remember that. Thus it ensued. We began the inevitable airplane chit chat. Where are you from? Me: Memphis – G: Mississippi. Where are you going? Me and G: San Diego, CA. Are you traveling for business or pleasure? Me: Business – G: Fun! - He’s running the Marathon. If any of you know me, at the mention of the word “Marathon” my ears went from half-way listening to fully engaged. I’ve run four Marathons and 3 halves. I love running and love to find new people to talk to about running. We moved from idol chit chat to good conversation. We talked about sports and college. He asked where I went and I told him UT Knoxville, then asked him the same question. His answer was Furman University. I asked if it was the one in South Carolina and he said “Yes”. I told him that I’d had a room mate for one semester who’s twin sisters had gone to Furman and played soccer there, but it had been several years ago so he more than likely didn’t know them. He asked what her name was and I said “Rachel.” His Jaw dropped and he said her last name and after a slight pronunciation back and forth we discovered that it was the same family and the same girl!

So to make a long story short, ‘G’s’ room mate is one of Rachel’s twin sisters. So here are our Six Degrees or Less.

1. Starting with me: Rachel and I were room mates
2. Rachel has twin sisters that attended Furman University.
3. 'G' is room mates with one of Rachel's twin sisters.
4. 'G' and I sat next to each other on a flight from Memphis, TN to San Diego, CA.

WOW!!! What a small world!

Till Next Time,
Bon Voyage!