Archive for the 'travel' Category

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I’m wiped out.

My internal clock is all whacked out since I haven’t been sleeping well… or practically not sleeping at all.

Have lots to blog about but I should try to take advantage of the crazy upgrade I got at the hotel we moved to tonight. The one we were supposed to stay in was overbooked… so they sent us next door to the Marriott Residence Inn to get upgraded rooms.

They put me into an insanely large TWO BEDROOM SUITE with a living room/sitting area, kitchen and small dining area.

It’s too bad all this space is wasted on lil’ ol’ me. And we’re checking out before 8am to get to meetings early, too.

So I decided to put all my stuff in one room and sleep in the other room, just so one room wouldn’t feel more lonely than the other.

Now to shut down the laptop and get some rest.

I’m in Tampa!

My flight arrived 10 minutes early.

It was a smooth flight but I didn’t get much sleep on the plane since the lady next to me was Ms Snoring and the guy sitting behind me was Mr Kicking My Seat. And I can usually sleep on planes, no prob. I’m probably wound up about this training since I’m not sure what to expect.

Getting to the airport last night was snappy. I called two cab companies to come pick me up, but neither could confirm that the driver would be there on time, or would get me there on time so I ended calling a car service. I hope the company doesn’t give me crap for that because technically, it’s within policy.

Anyway, I got picked up at the house at 7pm and arrived by some miracle at LAX at 7:30. I credit the driver for taking surface streets and avoiding the freeway. Yay!

Since I’d already checked in online, all I had to do was get through security. For some reason there was no one in line and I got through in a snap. They didn’t even need to check my baggie of liquids/gels! I was free to roam the terminal by 7:45! The guy who checked my boarding pass told me I was in the wrong terminal but that there was a tunnel underground that would take me to the other terminal. No worries, I had more than 2 hours to blow before take off.

I went down to the tunnel as directed and a guy in a golf cart asked me if he could give me a ride to the other terminal. I was going to walk since I had so much time, but he insisted that I let him drive me. That was a good call because I didn’t realize that it’s a loooooooong way to the other terminal. (I should have known it, but I just wasn’t thinking about it.) The ride in the golf cart saved me at least 20 minutes of walking.

When I got to the right terminal, I checked where my gate was and then I had a bite to eat. I got myself a snack for the morning (cinnamon roll; just ate half of it). And then tried to log on using my laptop and the T-Mobile hotspot. Who knew this would be the first snag I’d run into…

(to be continued… time to go!)

Wish me luck

In a few minutes, a car is going to pick me up and whisk me away to the airport.

I’m taking a red-eye to Tampa which will arrive around 6am (3am my time). I’ll have just enough time to check in, shower, maybe nap & get ready to go to a training session at 9am (6am my time). I’ll be in training for two days, and then I’ll change hotels Tuesday night.

On Wednesday morning, I’ll have an early meeting; leaving for the airport at 10am to catch a noonish flight back to L.A.

I don’t think I’m going to have much time to do anything on my own time, but I have my fingers crossed that I might get to meet Luka.

Business trips suck, but wish me happy traveling.

A bunch of randomness to keep one day differentiated from the next

-Had lunch with EB today at 1:30 at Fabiolus; twas nice to finally sit and chat with him. We found out a few weeks ago that we are connected from high school. Small world.

-Found out that I am getting sent to Tampa for two days of training next week. My coworker who is traveling with me keeps updating me on the two hurricanes in the vicinity. Hooray. [/sarcasm]

-I am really really really bad at bowling. One game at Lucky Strike tonight after work: I had the record setting low score of 46. I consoled myself with an root beer float + a fresh baked cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.

-After I already filled my tummy with dessert, Yoshi and I had a late dinner with (former) Bossguy.

-EB is getting over a bug. I am now trying to overdose on Airborne. I CANNOT get sick before I travel on Sunday night.

Vegas again.

So last night, after having picked Yoshi up at the airport, going to work for most of a day, and coming home (to finish packing), I had the joy of sitting in the passenger seat as Yoshi drove us to Vegas. Originally, I had been planning on driving, however, I was feeling a bit nauseated. So (thankfully) Yoshi volunteered to drive.

Unfortunately, an easy drive to Vegas was almost de-railed by the closing down of two lanes of highway at Devore, forcing us to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for almost an hour before things began to clear up.

I also didn’t prepare for a drive very well… I usually try to dehydrate myself if I know I’m going to be on a long car ride to avoid stopping 10 times for bathroom breaks. Although we had to stop once in Fontana for food and a pit stop, I thought I could make it to Vegas without stopping.

Well, I didn’t know we were going to be delayed in Devore. And I also didn’t know that traffic would grind to a halt again on the 15 when the Strip was practically in spitting distance. They shut down the 15 to one lane and we were stuck there for a while too. It was at this point that I decided to close my eyes and sleep, so I wouldn’t think about how much I needed to pee.

Yoshi woke me up when we got off the freeway, so I could help navigate to the hotel, but that also turned on my awareness to my bulging bladder. By the time we got into the valet line, I just jumped out of the car and ran to the nearest bathroom.

Anyway, it was well after midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning by the time we got checked in and into our room. And although I had reserved a room with a king-sized bed, we got a room with two queen beds. Doh.

I called down to the front desk to see if we could arrange a room change for the next day (Monday) and the woman said, “Yes, let me set that up for you right now. We’ll call you between 11-3 and hold your room until 6pm”

After getting up, checking in for my ShoWest registration, having lunch, etc., we got back up to the room: no call!

So I called down to the front desk to get an ETA on the room change, to which the response was “What room change? I don’t see that in the system for you.” The guy (thanks, Gary!) felt bad that I’d had so many problems on Day 1 of a 5 day stay that he moved us to a room on one of the newly refurbished rooms on a higher floor. Hooray!

So our new room has a flat screen HD TV, a nice king-sized bed, and a mini-fridge installed (no extra charge!).

Anyway, I dragged Yoshi along to run some errands for work and then we went and set up our company’s hospitality suite.

So the bottom line is Day 1 in Vegas. I’m pooped. Doesn’t bode well for me for the rest of the week.

In other news, I hear that they are going to implode the Stardust between 1am and 5am tonight. A little sad for me because my parents used to stay at the Stardust (they got EVERYTHING comped when they stayed there), so I actually have a lot of memories of the place.

Back from Vegas.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. My money also stays in Vegas, too, evidently.

However, I brought back with me a suitcase filled with smoky-smelly clothes and 3 lbs of extra fat on my tummy.

Diet 2007, Take 2!

On the road again…

We’re hitting the road momentarily…

Vegas, baybee!

Back home from Seattle

What a trip.

Sucks to have to go back to work tomorrow.

But glad to be back in L.A.

Tomorrow I’m going to try and see Grandma after work.

This is what

This is what

2 hours of sleep looks like… And as of 8:45am, we’ve been stuck on the tarmac for an hour. Something broke on the plane and they need it to take off. They don’t have one here so they are having it couriered from lax. We had to deplane & waiting for the part.

UPDATE: We are now sitting in the terminal again, waiting for the part to arrive. They are giving us an ETA of 11:45 as the new flight time. This was supposed to be an 8am flight. We were supposed to BE in Seattle by 10:45. I’ve been up since 5am and here at the airport since 6am. And Yoshi stayed up all night.

There are gonna be two grumpy people this afternoon.

Heading up to Seattle this weekend…

…this time for Chris & Ponzi’s wedding.

I just found out the dress I was going to wear is sitting inside the pile of clothes to be dry cleaned. Oops. Gotta find something else, I guess.

Still not packed and have a million things to do before we head out to the airport. This time, I’m in charge of making sure we have all our confirmations/info. My head will probably explode if we recreate the experience we had at the airport for our Orlando trip.

Two other notes:
1) Got a call from Mom on Thursday morning. It was good to hear her voice again. I miss her so much.

2) Good thoughts go out to the family and loved ones of James Kim, who used to work with Chris back in the TechTV days. What a tragic loss and my heart goes out to Kati, Penelope, Sabine, and their families.

Money Procastination is the root of all evil blog posts.

I have a draft of a paper due tomorrow. Which, of course, is why I’m writing a post now.

I started hearing from people that they are receiving their Orlando postcards from us.

Joz's Orlando Postcards (spread out)

I’m not sure why it was so hard to find postcards in a touristy place like Orlando, but I went all over the place and had a hard time finding any that said “Orlando.” Most of what I found was Disney-branded stuff that wasn’t specific to Orlando/Walt Disney World. And it would’ve been a 65 cent postcard with Donald Duck on it or something. Sheesh!

Anyway, I ended up getting my postcards at a Publix grocery store, which was weird. And I didn’t even pick them up until halfway through the week. (Usually I try to do the postcards as soon as we get there so we get them out of the way and they can arrive sooner.)

This time, I didn’t do postcards until (literally) the night before we left Orlando. In fact, I fed the hippo dropped the postcards in the mail as we were leaving our hotel room for the airport.

Joz Feeds the Hippo!
Joz puts the postcards into the mailbox at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World Orlando. I love how the mailbox is a hippo mouth. Tee hee!

And between running around Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios and attending a wedding and reception, I was so tired that I didn’t have the energy/time to write real messages on the postcards. So sorry for all the “WHOO HOO ORLANDO!” postcards I sent out. I’m usually not that lame.

So, here are some questions to you.

How many postcards do you think I did? Here’s a hint. Here are all of them stacked up. The key to our rental car (a Jeep Liberty) is sitting next to the pile as reference.

Joz's Orlando Postcards (stacked!)

Have you received yours?

Did I say something incredibly strange to you in my sleep-deprived state?

Have you posted about it on your blog?

Let me know!

A video postcard from Joz…

Courtesy of the “please spend all your money here” area of the “Mission: Space” ride at Epcot, here is a video postcard from Joz

Joz in Space

Joz in Space

Can anyone save a copy of this video off the site before it gets eaten by The Mouse? Thanks. Never mind. I figured it out.

Orlando Vacation Debrief

Highlights of the Trip:

  • Spending time with Yoshi
  • Not having to be at the office for a week
  • Getting to fly JetBlue and having DirecTV to distract me on the flights.
  • Finally getting to meet Stacy of (not .com!) ::here is Stacy’s post mentioning our visit::
  • Going to Walt Disney World with Yoshi and also Dave.
  • Going to the Kennedy Space Center and getting a “NASA Up Close” tour of the launch pads for the current shuttle missions
  • Using up our quarters to mash pennies everywhere we went (What’s up with the penny machines for Epcot Japan and China being outside of the countries?! What’s up with the displacement of the asian penny mashers?!!?!?)
  • Free wi-fi in the lobby of our condo (not that I really got to use it much)
  • Seeing them work on the giant (life-sized) gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian Hotel (and eating a piece of the house)
  • Staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and having a room overlooking numerous zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, etc.
  • Attending an awesome wedding
  • Going backstage at Epcot
  • Stuffing my face at Jiko Restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (Rehearsal Dinner)
  • Stuffing my face at the Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea (Bridal Shower)
  • Stuffing my face at the Living Seas Lounge at Epcot (Wedding Reception)
  • Meeting lots of cool new peeps. And seeing old friends.
  • Parts of the Trip I Could’ve Done Without:

  • Paying an arm and a leg for DisneyWorld passes (when I could have gotten them for free)
  • Starting off the trip with Yoshi leaving a carry-on bag (with our boarding passes and confirmation numbers) at home
  • Having to navigate the Burbank Airport terminal carrying ALL FOUR of our heavy pieces of luggage (to check) + my two heavy carry on pieces while Yoshi went back home to get the missing carry-on.
  • Crashing and bumping into members of the Webber International University football team in the terminal while carrying all the baggage. The entire JetBlue check-in area was filled with BIG BIG guys wearing their green and gold team gear + various coaches, girlfriends, and tons of equipment.
  • Getting yelled at by some random guy for running over his foot with my 100+ lbs of bags. Oops. It wasn’t like I did it on purpose. For that split second only, I wished my bags weighed 1000+ instead.
  • Having to wait in line behind all these guys while carrying all the baggage to check my bags.
  • Finding out there was a separate check-in line for non-football members after I’d already waited for 20 minutes behind them. I was still carrying all that crap the whole time.
  • Finding out that the stinky football team (I found this out from standing near them and realizing they’d been in LA for 3 days and had no laundry facilities) was going to be on our 4 hour+ flight from Burbank to Orlando. Once we all got on the plane, it turned out that the team filled the entire back half of the plane and the flight attendants had to move several football players to the front of the plane to redistribute the weight on the plane.
  • The rain and tornado on Tuesday in Orlando.
  • Not being able to find postcards anywhere that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Not being able to get my postcards out until we were about to leave Orlando.
  • Getting lost numerous times while trying to get from place to place on the Disney properties.
  • Realizing that I’m too old for certain thrill rides because I got queasy from doing the “Mission: Space” ride at Epcot.
  • Our friend Mary being sick and having strep throat the entire trip.
  • Being too tired to think clearly and putting two boxes of soy milk in a duffel bag which subsequently got punctured and destroyed almost everything in the duffel bag.
  • Getting airsick on the flight home. I didn’t barf, but I felt like I was going to for the rest of the night.
  • Getting reminders of all the work and stuff I have to come back to when I return to L.A.
  • Only getting a week of vacation.
  • ::this post was brought to you courtesy of the free wi-fi and yummy croissants at Aux Delices on Colorado in Pasadena.::

    No need to alert the authorities…

    I’m back in one piece.

    Hooray for sleeping in!

    Is it really sleeping in if you simply maintained your regular sleep schedule but that the hours themselves are in a different because you’re in a different time zone?

    I’m not sure exactly what time I went to bed last night, but I think it was probably 3am PST (that’s what I remember my laptop saying anyway).

    I got up at 11am today. That would be 11am EST.

    Making it 8am PST.

    Hooray for 5 whole hours!

    (I’m not complaining… that’s more sleep than I got the two nights before leaving for Orlando, when I had a combined two whole hours.)

    Why does real life keep intruding on my vacation?

    Actually, it only happened a couple of times today and it really wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t even the Bossguy calling, either, so that was good.

    We spent the entire day yesterday traveling to Orlando, Florida. I’ve never been in Florida before this. The trip itself was an adventure. We settled in last night and got up early to be tourists.

    Spent most of the day at the Kennedy Space Center, had dinner in Cocoa Beach and almost got lost trying to get back to Orlando.

    Nonetheless, we’re back at our resort and I’m sitting in the lobby, taking advantage of the free wi-fi.

    Haven’t had a chance to download any pix off my camera yet, but if you check out Joz’s flickr photostream, you might get a peek or two of my vacation from my cameraphone.

    More later… I promised Yoshi a turn at the keyboard…

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