It’s that time of year when my suitcase becomes my home, traveling coast-to-coast and shaking hands and getting in touch with industry leaders. I have come to recognize the value in business travel. However, sometimes it can be brutal. Case in point: our publishing team’s recent attempt to return to the east coast from Chicago. It was a journey filled with as many great surprises and mini victories as tired defeats. Anyone who has flown out of O’Hare surely understands.
The adventure began July, 23, 4:00 p.m. when during our ride to O’Hare, we discovered our car, riding parallel with Obama’s motorcade. Yelling like a bunch of girls at a Beatles concert, we got the thumbs up signal from secret service, (a giant triumph in my book).
At 6:40 p.m., delayed, we killed time singing bad 80’s songs via Pandora stations on my blackberry in Chili’s Too. This was fun, but a little long for my battery. The red light dying battery indicator began to flash. One of my cohorts, picked up the charge; Pandora would continue.
The adventure culminated when the white fedora-wearing, Mickey Dolenz, drummer for The Monkees, popped in. He was hopping a flight to upstate New York for a gig, he said. (Yes, we played Monkees’ songs on Pandora).
While the delay was a bummer, we made the best of it with lots of laughter. At 10:00 p.m., exhausted, I hurried onto the plane, buckled in and prepared to sleep until we touched ground in Philadelphia. A good dream, but it wasn’t to be. After sitting on the plane for a lifetime, at 11:30 p.m., we were informed there would be no flight to Philadelphia tonight. Everyone pulled out there cellphones to rebook, I looked to mine—blinking red, dying battery—darn that Pandora!
At 12:30 a.m., somehow, I managed to find an outlet. After five calls to the customer service line and a 45-minute wait in line, I rebooked a flight late the next morning. At 1:30 a.m., I finally arrived in my courtesy room, which, dare I say left a lot to be desired, but it was a bed. At this point, not only was I exhausted, I was also starving. (While I, typically do not shamelessly plug products in my editor’s note, this month is a sincere exception.) At 1:45 a.m., I remembered, deep inside my bag, I had tossed a pack of Maple Ridge Farms’ brownies they had kindly given to us. Also in my bag was the softest, T-shirt that had been given to me by American Apparel. At 2:00 a.m., delirious with joy, I quickly changed into my comfy tee and ate my brownie. VICTORY!