Sunday, March 22, 2009

made it to san jose

Whew. I always forget what a pain it is to fly to the West Coast. I got to the Pittsburgh airport early like I always do. The airport was nearly deserted—there wasn’t any line for security. So I had an hour wait before my first flight. At Chicago, during my two-hour layover, I planned to do some work online, but the WiFi wasn’t free. After eating a crappy bagel sandwich and grapes for dinner, I started writing and completely forgot the time. Before I knew it, I was boarding the plane without peeing beforehand! I had a window seat and thought it was such a pain to get up and use the airplane toilet that I suffered through four and half hours of holding it. (That night, I had a nightmare about desperately needing to pee but the only toilet was in a crowded room.) It was a packed flight. The guy beside me kept elbowing me, the woman in front of me immediately shoved her seat back into my knees, and the guy behind me kept kicking my seat back. Air travel sucks.

When we finally got into San Jose at 8:30 p.m. (11:30 our time), I was exhausted. Luckily my bag came to baggage claim as soon as I got there, and the taxi ride into the city was quick.

I'm staying at the San Jose Crowne Plaza. The lobby is colorful, modern, and nice. But they gave me the keys to a room someone was already staying in! Luckily they weren’t in the room when I went in. So they put me in another room, apologized for their mistake, and gave me coupons for free breakfast.

This morning I got up late (5:30 CA time, 8:30 our time) and went to the gym. I’m happy that few people ever use the hotel gym, because there was only one elliptical trainer, and it was all mine! I was upset that I forgot my MP3 player (which is essential to working out for me), but I got to watch cable TV, which was a treat. In fact, I haven’t stopped watching episodes of home renovations on TLC, except for checking out the Suze Orman Show when I got in. She made me feel bad about spending money! I pride myself that I live below my means and consider myself frugal. Not anymore! There’s a segment called “Can I Afford It?” where people call in to ask advice about whether they can afford something they want. It was crazy! People had $10,000 in combined monthly take-home pay, $100,000 in savings, and $75,000 in retirement, and she said they shouldn’t buy a $400 bed for their son (because of their debt)! It made me feel bad about all my shopping trips to Target and clothes from Ann Taylor Loft. Hmmm…I would consider saving more except for the fact that I plan on spending a lot of money on our back yard this year, and plus there’s the trip to Prague that promises to be expensive because the dollar is so weak.

It's sunny but a cold front has come in, so it's chilly out. Today I got to walk around some and explore. The conference starts in just two hours, so I'm starting to get ready.

Some photos from today...the photo of me and the tree is, I think, the tree I've decided to get--a flowering dogwood!