Friday, June 09, 2006

Long Day

Let me start off by talking about my day yesterday. Got up at 6:30am Atlantic (4:30 Central) so we’d be able to get to the airport in time for the minimum 2h international departure. Learned that lesson after leaving Orange County last time. We made it through everything with plenty of time to wait. Got on the plane bound for Chicago, and made it there with no problems. We had just over an hour wait in Chicago before heading for Toronto. We get on the plane in Toronto, and then are informed that the plane was being taken out of service as they had found a problem with it. We deplaned, and they sent us across the hall with another plane having just landed and we’d be able to use. We waited for the cleaners to go through, and boarded the second plane. Sat and waited. And waited. The captain comes over the speaker and says we have to deplane again, now *this* plane was being taken out of service because of some dents. We got off that plane and lined up for meal vouchers.

Supposedly the meal vouchers were good at any airport vendor – that’s what it said on the paper. All I wanted was some popcorn and pop, but noooo, “we don’t take vouchers anymore.” GRRRRR. After deplaning twice I was losing my patience.

They somehow quickly found us a third plane, which had just finished repairs (gives you a warm & cozy feeling, doesn’t it?) We boarded that plane, then had to sit and wait and wait and wait for bags to be loaded. Then we waited while they unloaded someone’s bag who had changed flights. Eventually we did take off, about 4 hours behind schedule. This meant no chance of making my 5pm flight home. We got off the plane at 4:30pm in Toronto, but with Customs, baggage, and terminal change I knew it just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily the late flight was not full and we all managed to get a seat on that flight. It was a really long day and I just wanted to get home. I’m going to have a hard few days coming up, with the funeral parlour and funeral to attend.


I wasn’t surprised by the news because he’d been diagnosed as terminal, but what is bothering me the most is going through all of the funeral-related stuff again, especially with my mother not speaking to me. I doubt this will make any difference to the mother situation. I hear that she asked my aunts, after he passed away, "Who will call my children?" Um, how about you call us yourself!!!! I am actually more upset about how to deal with my mother than I am about the death.

The funeral is Monday morning at 10am at the Cathedral. Grampy went there for most of the last 10 years or so as it was easier for Grammy to get into, before she was house-bound. The funeral parlour stuff begins on Saturday, but please do not worry about coming, I will have lots of family around and I know how weird it is to go while not knowing the deceased. My older brother is coming home Sunday around lunchtime and has to head back home again early Monday morning. He'll be staying with me since it's closer than staying at Dad's house. My sister-in-law won't be able to make it since she's still recovering from her neck surgery.

Thanks to everyone who left comments and/or sent emails. I appreciate your thoughts & well-wishes.

New Orleans

On to my trip itself. There are some comments I can’t make here about parts of my trip as they are work-related, but the meeting we went there for turned out to give me lots of info. Again I realize I have a lot of work to do.

As an aside, I also may get myself on a user group with our software provider that would see me going to quarterly meetings in the US, usually to fairly nice places. There is one next week in Orlando, but I won’t make it on the committee in time to attend that meeting. The next one may be tacked on to the beginning or end of the conference in Kentucky in the fall. I’m excited about this as it’s the best way to make myself heard with our software supplier, and I know it will provide me with a great learning opportunity; something I’ve been craving for a while now.

We landed in New Orleans on Tuesday and headed to Morgan City, LA. Along the way you could see lots of hurricane damage, leaning power poles, destroyed roofs/buildings, debris, etc. Overall things are either brand new because they’ve been rebuilt already, or they still look like they did right after the hurricane. There is a lot of damage and it’s going to take years to get back in shape.

We arrived in Morgan City and checked in to our hotel. To my delight, Tuesday night was karaoke night at the hotel bar. Other than bowling and karaoke, I don’t think anything else was happening in Morgan City that night. Pretty small place. That meant karaoke was pretty full of townsfolk, and the hosts weren’t very good at keeping the list in order, just doing whatever they wanted. Two of my co-workers joined me but did not sing. I did an average of about a song an hour, finishing up just after 11pm. Smoking in bars is legal there, so by the time I got up to do my third song, my voice was hoarse and I couldn’t sing it very well. I did get compliments from a couple of women in the bathroom, and the desk clerk the next morning when I checked out. I had the requisite drunk creepy guy tap me on the shoulder and tell me I needed to sing louder, and another come by and ask if I was going to sing Barbra Streisand. I made sure I was escorted to my room after that (our rooms had exterior doors).

I have to say, there were some great male karaoke performances that night. At least 3 really good male singers doing alt rock. Also a kick-ass female performer, I forget what song she did. Morgan City karaoke singers are tough to follow.

Wednesday was our meeting, and after grabbing a quick bite for lunch, we headed back to New Orleans. We checked in to a hotel near the airport, and then headed downtown to meet up with colleagues and see famed Bourbon St. Can’t say as that was my thing, seeing as how I don’t enjoy female strippers and I don’t drink, but at least I can say I’ve been there. We had dinner at the Red Fish Grill, but not being much of one for seafood, I ended up getting steak. I checked my Blackberry after finishing dinner and that was when I got word to call home and hear the news about Grampy.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to drop someone off, then two co-workers wanted to go shopping, so I joined them at the mall to keep my mind occupied. I picked up a few things at the semi-annual Bath & Body Works sale. Pretty picked over by the time we were shopping. Also went into a huge, 2 level Target, but it was close to closing time so my tour was pretty short. I came back to the hotel and finished up the evening chatting with John. Got to bed pretty late and then had an early rise.

I did take some pictures, but my camera is in my luggage, so I’ll have to post them later.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That stinks about your flight. There are few things worse than having your flight delayed or held over. Good to see you made it home okay.

Again, very sorry to hear about your grandfather.