Lost in Airport hell

By reeset / On / In Digital Libraries, Family, Travel

I spend the weekend in DC as a panelist for an NEH grant.  It was a very interesting experience.  Having never been on an NEH grant panel before, I was somewhat amazed by the tremendous number of high quality research project currently being undertaken in the humanities.  If this is a representative sample of the work currently being done in the humanities then I’m very impressed.  Also, I was pretty impressed by the NEH process in general.  The panel itself was very organized and well run. 

Unfortunately, after my panel work I had little time to visit DC — something I generally enjoy doing whenever I get a chance to visit.  About the only thing I had time to do was visit the Christmas tree in front of the White House.  I have to admit — I love the Whitehouse.  I just can’t help be be a little giddy each time I see it (as well as snapping a picture or two) — and hopeful that’s something that won’t go away.  I’d hate to think that I was so cynical of my government that DC and its many memorials still didn’t stir that excitement. 

Anyway, this was my first time visiting DC around Christmas — so I made sure I took in the tree display and made sure I got many pictures so I could show Kenny the “big” Christmas tree and some of the DC buildings that we will be visiting this summer at ALA.

And finally, I got to hookup with a friend that I’d only meet through email for a late dinner.  He, his wife and a friend took me to a more traditional Moroccan resturant out around New York Ave. and 6th.  The name escapes me at the moment — but the food was fantastic.  It was a 7 course meal that one has to experience.  I’d definitely try it again (if I could find it :)).

Coming home, I missed my flight for the first time, ever.  I had an 8:20 flight out of Reagan but I wasn’t too bright that morning and managed to miss my flight by, oh, 2 hours.  Fortunately (I thought), the American Airlines ticket agents were able to get me on a flight a 1/2 later to Dallas and from there, had given me a ticket to PDX.  All I had to do was go to the desk and get my seat assignment (at least that was how it was explained to me).  I didn’t find out till I was in Dallas that my ticket was actually a standby ticket and as I found every time I visit Dallas — every flight going to PDX was oversold.  I spend 9 hours in the airport — watching 2 flights leave before I finally had to call it a night.  I was told by an American Airlines agent that they would simply put me on standby for the first flight to PDX tomorrow.  Ugh — I looked and every direct flight to PDX was oversold (again).  So I found my way to a ticket counter and met a very nice agent name Gloria that got me a reservation in a room at the Holiday Inn (note to self — apparently all airlines have special arrangements with local hotels for just such occasions) and got me booked for a flight from Dallas, to San Jose to PDX.  Its going to be another long day, but at least I should be home in the afternoon rather than not at all.  So, I’m in a room in Dallas — my bag {shrug}, I think its in Portland (it was tagged through) so I hope that its around when I get to PDX tomorrow.

I still can’t wait to come back to DC for ALA.  This is one of my favorite cities to visit and I think that Kenny is going to love it — especially the Metro (lots of trains).   But mark my words — this will be the last time that I miss a flight (with it being my fault).