So long time no blog, again… Not a whole lot going on lately, other than a couple of notable exceptions. Got sent down to Florida a few weeks ago for work. They needed me to train a couple of techs at a company we’re partnered with so we can make shipping within the states faster (and cheaper) by not having equipment shipped back and forth across the border.
Next time I’ll either have to say “no” or look much more carefully at the travel itinerary. Apparently horribly early mornings, long days, and late nights are “normal” for business travel, but not for me again thanks. Originally the plan was I go down Monday, do the training on Tuesday, and fly back Tuesday night. I convinced them to let me go down a day early to have a day of recovery and sightseeing.
The trip down was fairly awful. A 4am start, sitting in the airport, transfers in Phoenix, and finally arriving in Orlando at 10pm. Oh, and then a 40 minute drive to the airport out of Melbourne.
The only thing of note was that on the second leg of the trip I gave up my bulkhead seat (you know, the one with a tiny bit more legroom) on the flight down to a really tall gentleman (I’m talking 7 feet or so) who was elderly and had a hip replacement or something. Got a free beer and many thanks from his friend. And then there was an (unrelated) medical emergency of some sort in the seat behind me which caused some excitement when we landed. Looked like the lady was having trouble breathing or something, and I think it ended up all ok.
As a note, there isn’t a lot open to eat at 11pm in Melbourne, and a cheeseburger from McDonald’s just doesn’t hit the spot. At least the hotel had free wifi as well.
Here’s the plus and minus breakdown for the trip down.
- +1 YVR has free wifi
- +1 not getting yelled at like a criminal by the security people
- +1 hotel had free wifi
- -1 super gross breakfast
- -1 getting up at 4am
- -1 crappy battery life on work supplied laptop
- -1 hotel hard to find
The second day was mine to wander around and do what I wanted. I basically drove north to the Kennedy Space Center found out it was bloody expensive to go in, and turned around. In hindsight I probably should have just eaten the $40 as I won’t be going back down there anytime soon, but at the time I was a bit miffed. Ah well.
Headed south in the wonderful sun, stopped at five or six beaches and took some pictures before it got a bit repetitive, stopped at Sebastien Islet and took some more pictures, wandered through “historic downtown Melbourne” and then went for a huge steak dinner followed by sleep.
Tuesday was the “work” day. The guys there were great but the actual training was a complete cluster… 🙁 Forgotten cables, they weren’t set up, had bad hardware, found an error in the software I was transferring over, things took way too long, I took an hour troubleshooting something when it turned out that I had plugged the cable into the wrong port. Argh. Like my nightmare of everything that could go wrong did, and in front of people wondering why my company would send such a moron down.
At 2:30 I had to race out the door (with the guys there reassuring me that they were confident that they got all they needed to) to get to the airport in time to fly back. This time there was another medical emergency in the isle, but I was crumpled into a ball in the back corner of the plane so I didn’t see what was going on.
I don’t know if it’s just my perception, but it seemed that people on the flights coming back were way ruder than the flights heading down. They didn’t get out of the way boarding to let people behind them in, so badly that the crew had to ask people to move their asses out of the way twice. Also the flights on the way back had nothing for free… you could buy a pop or juice for $2 or a sandwich for $7, or just starve like I did. After another very long day I made it into Vancouver at around midnight.
It might be just that I was only in the Vancouver airport at times of relaxation (beginning and end of the trip) and when there wasn’t anyone there (4am and midnight) but it did seem to be the nicest looking and feeling airport of the four that I visited in 72 hours.
So ends the saga of my first trip to Florida.