Throwback Thursday – Anatomy of a Day Trip

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This post was originally posted in August of 2005 on my old (long-gone chances are, you ever saw it so it’s new for here) blog.  A few things have changed – I’m now an hour from the airport (back then it was 15 minutes from driveway to terminal) and I have better technology (I travel with a GPS, iPad loaded with Next Issue, and an iPhone – back then it was a bulky laptop, printed directions, some variety of flip phone, and a couple of magazines).

But other than that, I could have probably written much of this within the last month.  I still take quite a few same-day trips – I like being able to get up at home, go to work (even if it involves an airplane), and be back home to sleep in my own bed.

It’s interesting to note that a lot of my habits haven’t changed all that much (including somehow managing to run late no matter how hard I try) – now days I have airport valet parking and PreCheck which seem to help me speed along even more.

5:30 am – Alarm goes off – hit snooze.

5:40 am – Alarm goes off again – hit snooze.

5:45am – Back up alarm goes off – hit snooze.

5:55am – Back up alarm goes off again.  Curse.  Turn on lights.  Stumble to bathroom.

6:00 am – Get on internet and check mail and websites.

6:15 am – Shower, wash hair, pick up bathroom.

6:30 am – Apply makeup, try to figure out what I can wear all day and be comfortable but look crisp for 2 pm meeting.

6:45 am – Blow dry hair, try on various shoes with suit I picked (light grey pantsuit with black sleeveless floral shell).

6:50 am – Change tops to black sleeveless wrap sweater.

6:55 am – Log on and check work email.  Start scowling when I realize that a vendor has not followed through on a project that is already overdue.  Fire off a half dozen emails to clarify data elements.

7:10 am – Throw bags in car and realize I didn’t print a boarding pass.

7:15 am – Try to check in online – get declination message.  Curse and run downstairs to car.

7:30 am – Arrive at DFW airport Terminal C.

7:40 am – Finally find parking space in garage.

7:45 am – Boarding pass is issued (no line thanks to being able to use the “special” line), through security (also no line thanks to being able to use the “special” line)

7:50 am – Board flight to St. Louis – listen to iPod and flip through Vanity Fair

8:20 am – Plane leaves gate.

8:45 am – Plane is in air and at 10,000 feet – laptop goes on to work.

9:35 am – Plane is on final approach to St. Louis – laptop goes off.

9:50 am – Plane is at gate – head to Admirals Club to use ladies room and download/respond to urgent emails.

10:30 am – Leave Admirals Club – realize I forgot to rent a car and head to National counter to expedite.

10:50 am – Finally have car – head to curbside pick up to head to offsite rental car lot.

11:15 am – On I-70 West heading to Jefferson City (136 miles away).  Call client to tell him I don’t think I’ll have time to have lunch before my 2 pm presentation.  Client responds that he told me the wrong time and my presentation is at 1:30 pm.

11:17 am – Gun accelerator and pray for no tickets.

11:19 am – Sky opens up with torrential rain.

11:30 am – Rain slows to drizzle – weigh road conditions vs. urgency of appointment and decide to drive 75 mph.

12:25 pm – Stop at McDonalds in Kingdom City and pick up diet soda and cheeseburger from drive-thru.  Eat with one hand while driving with other

12:59 pm – Arrive at client site.

1:10 pm – Arrive at presentation room and find there there is no LCD projector – my contact starts scrambling to find one.

1:30 pm – Everything is set up just as meeting starts.

3:35 pm – Meeting complete – time to hit the road back to St. Louis.  Roads are clear and traffic moving – get behind large trucks and do 80 mph back.

5:20 pm – Arrive at rental car return and board shuttle to return to terminal.

5:35 pm – Ticket in hand, clear security and head to Admirals Club to check email.

5:55 pm – See that inbound flight is delayed and thus my flight will eventually be delayed as well.  Decide to head to Chilis to grab dinner since we’ll be into DFW late.

6:10 pm – Get table at Chilis – order margarita and buffalo tenders.  Open Vanity Fair and resume leisure reading.

6:20 pm – Order second margarita.

6:45 pm – Head to gate – flight is now delayed to 7:40 pm.

7:20 pm – Board flight.

7:45 pm – Flight takes off – decide not to work on flight and order glass of champagne instead.

8:00 pm – Finish Vanity Fair.  Finish champagne.  Begin reading trashy celeb tabloid and have another glass.

9:15 pm – On final approach to DFW – take 10 minute power nap until wheels on ground.

9:35 pm – Arrive at gate.  Head to SkyTrain to get to the terminal where I left my car this morning.

9:45 pm – Arrive at correct terminal.  Kick off shoes (which are making my feet hurt after 15 hours) and walk barefoot to parking garage and get in car.  Call mom as I’m driving home.

9:55 pm – Pull into my garage.

10:00 pm – In pajamas, face (and feet) washed.  Time to check email and go to bed.

And that, kiddos, is a typical travel day for me on a day trip.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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