Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Squaw Valley

Well, it's the first morning of my trip. Conference registration doesn't start 'til noon, but I was up bright and early and out of my hotel in Reno on the strength of five and half hours of fitful sleep spent wondering about the fate of my luggage on a too-hard bed.

Yep, that's right: lost luggage again. This time, Alaska Airlines at LAX. When I got to the airport, they said the flight to L.A. was going to be about 40 minutes late. That would have barely given me time to make my connecting flight to Reno. Turns out that the incoming plane wasn't quite as late as originally anticipated, and we made up time in the air. So I had a solid hour at LAX. Just as I sat down and started to read, I heard an announcement: "Flight 2448 to Reno has been cancelled. Please see the gate agent at 31B for rebooking onto the flight that is now boarding." I went over to the gate and said, "Excuse me. Which flight was cancelled?" She reiterated that it was MY flight and gave me a new boarding pass. I asked, "Is the luggage going to make it onto this plane?" "Oh yes," I was assured.

So I'm in Reno. I have the keys to the rental car. The luggage conveyor stops turning. The luggage attendant says, "That's all." There were two of us who were supposed to be on 2448 but got put on 537 and didn't have luggage. "Oh no," says the luggage person, "2448 was never cancelled; that was 2446. I don't know how they got you on this plane. Your luggage should be coming on 2448 as originally scheduled." So I filled out a claim form and went on my way to the hotel. Left a note at the bell desk. "I hope they deliver it before we go off duty at 1 a.m.," says the bellman. So I stayed up 'til... 1 a.m. No bag. Okay, I have a change of clothes in my carry-on. No deodorant, though. No problem. I've survived at least one day of my life deodorant-free, and I can buy a new stick somewhere. What I'm really worried about is the several glass jars of jellies and sauces I had put in my checked bag to create a gift basket for this conference. All highly breakable, and all over-three-0unce liquids, so they HAD to be checked.

The message light was on when I opened my eyes at 6:30. The bell desk has my bag! And better yet, nothing is broken!! All is well.

In other news, I seem to have Conference Cruiser "Car"ma. For my conference in San Antonio last month, the rental-car company gave me a PT Cruiser. Last night, all the rental car company had available was minivans. "Oh no, wait, I found a PT Cruiser that's available."

The drive over here from Reno is spectacular. This is a great time of year up here. 27 degrees with no coat is a little chilly, though.

Driving on I-80 confirms my thesis that California has shitty roads. The highway is like a sheet of glass on the Nevada side of the state line. Hit that magic border and it instantly turns into ruts and potholes. The normal excuse for the state of the roads in California is that, with so many drivers in the Golden State, California roads get more use than other states' roads and thus appear to deteriorate more quickly. In this case, however, that argument is bullshit. There are the EXACT same number of drivers from Verdi, NV, to the state line as from the state line to Farad, CA. There are no exits in between! Blame the state of the road on inadequate transportation funding or mismanagement, but the fact remains that CalTrans is doing a crappy job of maintaining California roads.

They let me check in to my room, even though it was only 9 a.m. It has got to be the tiniest room in the whole place, however. The view is nicer than what I had last year, but the room's about a quarter of the size. I had no idea that the Resort had rooms this small.

Okay, maybe I'll take a nap...


Post a Comment

<< Home