The dog was a military dog and got to ride in the cabin with us! Way up front with the cool people. United is so silly. They call all these sorts of 'plus' and 'premiere' people for pre-boarding. Waste of freaking time. What's the advantage to boarding first anyway? So you get to sit in the plane longer than you sat in the airport. I understand if you have little kids or have mobility issues, because you need the time and space to get settled. But everyone else? You first class people? Fah on you!
It was a 2 hour and something flight, so we got drinks. And no snacks! Not a single peanut or pretzel! And the guy next to meet insisted on invading my space with his elbow. :P
Chicago had no free wifi. Grr.
I wandered around in search of food, until I discovered I wasn't encountering much variety. Overpriced mushroom and veggie sandwiches or overpriced yogurt. Hrrm. I almost gave up and got something at McDonald's. (Except I couldn't figure out what! Salad or.... did they have yogurt? I couldn't tell.) Then I walked a little bit more and lo and behold, an Annie's Pretzel. So I got a cinnamon and sugar pretzel.
There was an earlier flight, but I think it would've cost me 75$ to switch to it, and it was way off on another concourse. So I stuck with what I had. And then wondered if that was the best plan when I saw all the gates around me (I was at the head of a semicircle of gates) posting flight delays of an hour due to 'late aircraft arrival' and 'air traffic control'. That did not bode well! But when our flight eventually showed up on the board, since I had a 3 hour wait, another plane came in and went while I was waiting, it never got the Red Font of Delay. Though it did update our arrival time from 4:42 to 4:50.
There were 21 empty seats listed when I boarded. I thought I'd have an empty seat next to me. But then after like 5 minutes, they piled some more people in. So I shared a seat with a guy in a suit. Did that mean he was an air marshal?
Short flight. We actually arrived a bit earlier than our original scheduled time, so that was good. Then I got to baggage claim and lo and behold, my luggage was sitting all on its lonesome on a stopped belt. (I am really surprised more luggage doesn't just get stolen..) Turns out my luggage got that earlier flight!!
Called for the shuttle, was told one was waiting. Went out. It was empty! Shuttle driver said he was waiting for a flight crew. My flight crew came out! But they got in the other hotel's shuttle ahead of us. I didn't know the flight crew I ended up sharing a shuttle with. It was bizarrre. Because I'm used to having to wait for a shuttle and then cramming in with other Wiscon goers. Not a half-empty shuttle with a flight crew! Flight crews are kind of cool. They all had different accents, so you could tell they were from all over the States.
So I got to the hotel about an hour earlier than I expected and helped a bit with putting Access signs up. Then I had second thoughts about our hotel room being right above the street with construction. With big huge trucks on it! So I went back up and called the front desk and got a room change. This one has a lousy view. Picture the worst view you can, then swap it out for a rooftop. Because that's what the view is. With all the vents and ducts and fans and whatnot. But the construction isn't right below us. We are closer to the ice machine though, which woke me at 8am, but that's getting ahead of things.
I wandered over to the Reception and reading at A Room of One's Own and grabbed some much-needed cheese and fruit. Walked in a bit late to the reading of Joanna Russ's story. Looked a bit at the books on my way out, but did not buy. Yet.
Kater came in around 8ish, so we met up at Noodles & Co. A big bowl is big, and actually more than I wanted/needed. Pad thai with tofu, which is not listed as 'v', probably has fish sauce. When it comes to pad thai, well, it's worth some dead fish on my karma. (Or I could choose to think it's 'v' because of the eggs.)
Asked at the front desk if we could get a fridge, but was told all the fridges are in specific rooms. And I didn't think we needed to change rooms again. They don't need to think I'm fussy!
Got registered. Headed for the bar. Hung out with cool kids. Mostly other Clarion people (from other years/Clarions). Downloaded the Twitter app to my phone, so I could keep up with what's going on.
Came back after midnight. Ate more of my pad thai before it was completely inedible. Hope I don't get food poisoning, but you can't let all that pad thai go to waste! Even if it's not the best most awesome authentic pad thai ever.
And slept. Was woken up by a loud truck around 6 and was worried it was construction noise, but maybe it was just a garbage truck. Woken up again at 8 by the ice machine. But all in all, I got sufficient sleep.
Meeting Kater for food in a few, then going to the Gathering, then the Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading. So I need to rehearse my reading now.
More to come!