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Travel Day ("The Road" on the road)

Posted Jun 01 2010 11:01pm

LAX, 5:45 AM

I write to you from the Sandman Hotel in Langley, British Columbia, plugged into quite possibly the slowest Internet connection I've used since 1994. As a side note, I've tried to comment on a few blogs, but this connection and my Gmail account seem to be conspiring against me. Sorry if some of my comments don't post, but I'm reading...

My day started at 4:00 AM with a frantic search for my passport. I need to stop assuming that when I come home from a trip, my wife automatically puts things away where they belong. My passport wasn't where it should have been, so I had to search through a bunch of computer bags and other luggage before it turned up.

Then I had a bowl of granola.

Natasha doesn't even like strawberries.

I left for the airport at 5:00. At that time of the morning, traffic was light so I got up to LAX by 5:45. And that's where I hit traffic. Though annoying, it's somewhat comforting to know that I'm not the only that needs to suffer through the airport routine this early.

I have no idea what's going on with United Airlines. Last month I got a United flight direct to Vancouver at about the same time in the morning. Last week, when I booked this ticket, that flight was no where to be found.

So I flew Air Canada, which is a United partner airline. Like United, Air Canada treats you like crap from the moment you step into the terminal, although being that they are Canadian they are a little nicer and strangely apologetic about it. I constantly berate myself for choosing United years ago. Now I am so deep in their frequent flier program, I can't escape. So I take the abuse in hopes of the occasional upgrade or agent who is sympathetic when I find myself in a scheduling bind, which is often.

The flight was uneventful, and I slept the entire way. Canada, as usual, is a tough border. No where else in the world do I get grilled like I do when I cross into Canada. I know of nothing I've ever done wrong, and I've never been denied entry. But the questions always keep coming, and my bags are always searched. At least the guy today asked me if I liked my Newtons.

I made my way over to Langley, which is about an hour east of Vancouver. This is where our Canadian production facility is based. I'm up for a couple days because we are bringing in a new accounting system and are overhauling some of our business processes as a result. It sounds boring, but I actually LOVE this stuff, at least in terms of conceptualization. Because when it comes to actually really drilling down and creating flow charts, my eyes tend to glaze over and I want to take a nap. Luckily we have a good team of folks with all sorts of strengths.

I got to the hotel about 5:00 PM. The hotel is a little underwhelming with the crappy Internet connection and all, but it's good enough. I'll survive. It's also not the Sandman hotel I originally made my reservation at. Apparently there are 2 within 2 miles of each other. I'd never even heard of the chain until yesterday.

The "gym" here consists of a Stairmaster, a treadmill, a stationary bike missing a pedal, and some sort of weird abdominal machine. Luckily the hotel has a deal with the community gym and pool down the street, so I walked over there. Between lifting and the treadmill I put 75 minutes in the books.

When I got back to log my training into Beginner Triathlete, it took so long for my log-in to process that I was able to take a shower and rinse off my work out clothes.

Food choices where Denny's (again) and The Sharkbite Sports Pub. I chose The Sharkbite and the food was pretty good.

And that brings me to now. It's 11:26 and I'm being picked up at 7:00. So I'll leave it here for now.

Yes, another self portrait.
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