Monday, October 4, 2010

The Trip From Heck

Sigh. It wasn't supposed to be this way. On paper it looked so easy: no 3 or 4 AM arisings to begin the journey, I could sleep in until 6:45 AM. A short two hour flight to Salt Lake City, a two-hour layover followed by a one-hour flight to Las Vegas, arriving over two hours before the BACnet International members' reception began. Nice and easy -- except that it didn't work out that way.

Now I am not complaining: every Road Warrior has far worse stories than this to tell. Heck, every Road Grasshopper is likely to have worse stories than this! But the sheer number and types of problems were most unusual.

Hitting just a few of the highlights, we boarded the flight to Las Vegas in time and were all ready to go -- except that we didn't have anyone to fly the plane. Our pilots were still in Las Vegas, held back by weather. (We did have a Southwest pilot on board, deadheading I guess, but when this issue came up he split and we didn't see him again.) So we had to deplane, only to reboard an hour later when word came that our pilots were in the air. And there we waited until they arrived, went through their inspections and checklists and we departed. For a rather bumpy ride that had the attendants seated some of the time.

In terms of getting to the reception (there were folks I wanted to chat with, to catch up on things), scheduled from 6 to 7 PM, I was still in good order and left the airport in a rental car at 5:30. (A taxi would have been better, but I have offsite business tomorrow.) At full hour later I finally made it through Vegas traffic to the hotel just a few miles away (I might have been able to walk it in that amount of time), only to learn the hotel's free parking is the opposite end from the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), where the reception was. An old foot problem is re-asserting itself but I made the long hike with backpack and (light) bag, only to find the walkway to the LVCC occupied and blocked by a huge Kawasaki reception. (I agree with my wife -- I should have a Harley!)

A few more issues ecountered and resolved, plus a plaintive cellphone call to Natalie (B.I. office director) to let in a few of us who'd gathered outside the LVCC's locked doors about 6:45 PM, and... we were there! (Though I felt really bad about the LONG hike she had to make to let us in.) Reception went overtime but this was A Good Thing!

Although more "issues" started cropping up again after the reception (most but not all of which are resolved), at least for the duration it was all good.

Including Sarah Jackson, who immediately set about brightening things with her laughter, a BACnet International hat, and demonstrating for my camera the effect of a single beer.

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah... if you're going to hang around with BACneteers you need to learn to drink beer. At least two beers in an evening. So here's looking at you, kid. (Say, Sarah, that doesn't look like a beer in front of you... ;^)

The serious stuff starts tomorrow at the Facilities Decision conference -- with some fun mixed in as well. From what I can see this conference looks to be even better than last year's.

And if you're attending (why are you online instead of prepping?) be sure to say "Hi!" to Sarah for me!

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