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Monday, February 28, 2011

New River Gorge Bridge

Last week, I was in the great state of West Virginia. This is the first time that I was REALLY there where I didn't just drive across the border to say that I had been to that state. Yes, I have done that a couple of times. I have a goal that gets me to all of the states in my lifetime. So, when I found myself with some extra time, which NEVER happens when I am traveling for work, and the only time it ever happens is when I am somewhere like WV, never someplace fun like NYC or Seattle. I think its a conspiracy going on...anyway, I digress. This day was cloudy but I took a drive with a coworker to the New River Gorge bridge at the suggestion of our client. I really just wanted to see a bridge so high that people base jump (insert rant about the insanity of people here) from it and there is a whole day dedicated to this sport. Okay, call me flipping crazy but I would love to try bungee jumping off this thing! I emphasize TRY because I am afraid of heights and most likely would wuss out once I had my ankle strapped into the bungee. Just thinking about it makes my coffee tumble around like clothes in a dryer. In case you are interested, here is the link for Bridge Day:

The attached picture is from the scenic outlook. Now, being the adventurous person I am, I took the rental Impala down the back roads to try and find a better vantage point...yeah sure you betcha! Well needless to say, I didn't find a better spot to take a picture...which, as an aspiring photographer, was a bit of a bummer, but how aspiring can you get if you are only using your cell phone camera? Well, the back road WAS an adventure. The road was pretty much a one lane road but the surprising thing is? IT WAS SMOOTH! It was nice to take a drive that didn't have the thump, thump, thump of the frost heave cracks or the teeth-jarring BAM! of driving in and out of a sinkhole they refer to as 'potholes' like you can in Northern Minnesota.

No exciting adventures for me this week unless you count going to the grocery store which, at the beginning of the month can be an adventure!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tina's Traveling Tips

You've all seen articles with tips on traveling and the do's and don'ts of traveling. You may also have gotten a little miffed when reading it because the writer sounds as if he's shaking his finger at you...don't deny it! I would read some of them and roll my eyes (I do this very well, just ask my hubby!). Well, I sooooo totally get it and truly believe that they just go about it in the wrong way. If I offend some of you, that's the is short, move on.

For example, the whole 3-3-1 rule that came out for liquids, its been what, 3 years? and there are still people that try to get on with whole tubes of toothpaste and gallon size shampoos. Seriously dude, if you need THAT much toothpaste for a 3 day business trip, I feel sorry for your significant other in the morning (waving hand in front of face)! I am amazed how much I can actually pack into a little quart sized bag and still get the darn thing zipped. Although, you gotta be careful...if you have nails, those suckers will slice right through the bag below that zipper. No wonder my hubby screams in horror if I scratch him. This past week though, I did see/hear a screener at one of the airports tell someone that their 16 oz full water bottle is something that shouldn't have been in her carry on (it showed on the x-ray) but surprise surprise surprise (if you heard Gomer Pyle saying this I applaud you!)...I didn't see him ask her to remove it and throw it away! Seriously, I just know that had it been me (and yes, I have forgotten a Diet Coke in my bag before) I would have been publicly humiliated, strip searched and made to miss my flight. I truly believe that they have special classes that have role playing where they playact so they can learn the fine art of humiliation. This opens up a whole 'nother thread about going through security but I will spare you today...but I will eventually get there. Tip # 1, learn the rules before you get to the airport.  :)

Overhead bin is amazing how many frequent travelers (you men in monkey suits, you know who you are!) think that if they fold their suit jacket oh so carefully and put it in the overhead that it's going to stay nicely folded and wrinkle free...well, you haven't met me yet! Sorry, but this is one of my many pet peeves. Yes, I will go out of my way to "accidentally" crush that jacket. I do this: a) because I can; b) because I can't crush your face when you do this and c) because it gives me some perverse satisfaction that you will show up at your meeting, job interview, whatever, looking like a crumpled mess. So tip #2, just don't do it.

One last thing about the overhead bin space...ladies, if you can't lift your bag over your head, just check the darn thing!!!!!! Seriously, if you have to look around with the doe-eyed look, whimper a little and expect someone to help you lift it...good luck. There are schmucks (yes, SCHMUCKS) who are enablers and keep ladies like you packing too much crap and holding the rest of us up from getting to our luxuriously appointed seats.

My next biggest adventure? A new stomach is in knots as I type that. Women understand the anxiety over this. Its worse than going to a new doctor. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February Firsts

After updating my status(and most likely boring my friends) with tales of my travel woes, I have had a couple of my favorite people in the world tell me that I should blog about it. Some of it will be funny, some maddening and some will have supporting pictures. I will try to do the whole black bar across the face to hide the identity of the innocent, but how innocent can you be if you expose your crack to everyone? More on that later...

I have no preconceived notions that anyone will actually read this but if you happen to stumble on my blog, I hope you can chuckle along with me or in some cases just laugh at me! 

This week's travels had more drama than a pre-teen slumber party. Okay, not quite that much (you moms will know what I am talking about) but its close!

You have heard all of the tales of people making bank when they volunteer to give up their seats right? Fables I tell you, pure fables! I swear they just tell you that to make you feel bad that you couldn't score a free ticket. You can hear the mocking voices now...Nah, nah, nah, nah, I got the golden ticket...

If you haven't heard, the new tactic is to overbook the seats on the plane, just in case some don't show up. Well, doggone it anyway, everyone shows up! Imagine that! Everyone who bought a seat on the plane, even seats that didn't exist, showed up! Who'd a figured?

So, I decide it's time for me to find the golden ticket like Charlie did. The $400 voucher sounded sooo good (hey, Florida is calling my name VERY LOUDLY, winter has been looooonnnnng). They dangled the bait, I bit and boy, did I get my lip ripped out by that hook! The gate lady tells me "oh, we can't get you to your destination until tomorrow". Well sorry, gate lady, that won't work and depression rolls in like a fog over Lake Superior when its 40 below. No Florida for me. :(
10 minutes, 10 minutes! later they announce that my flight from Detroit to Charleston is cancelled. Knowing there are others in the gate area that are going there too, I  run to the desk. Hey, don't hate the ninja fast moves! (Sorry dude, you have to route through Atlanta and won't get in until 10:30 pm) The OTHER gate lady tells me "I can book you to arrive at 3:30 today". EXCUSE ME? Did I hear you right? That's 3:30 today? I thought I heard HER (pointing at the offender) just tell me that she couldn't get me there until the next day? Deer in headlights look. HELLO! You could have made all our lives easier and just gave me the voucher, I would be booking my trip to the beach and all would be good. Is the story of free travel true or a myth? At this point, I am thinking total myth...

So, the crack's one thing to see the whale tail when you really didn't want to see it on a girl. But you know what's even worse? No whale tail but just a big 'ol crack! I ain't talking plumber crack, thats like completely expected; gross but expected. If you have to bend over on a plane (or anywhere public for that matter), please think of others, we would like to keep our last meal in our stomachs. Just remember guys and gals...crack kills, just say no! 

Since I have been up since 3:35 am Eastern time, its time for me to get comatose in front of the telly. Who knows where my travels will send me next...