Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Good Kind of Sidetracked

A Door Watch update, for those keeping score at home: I ran into the guy from the board last night, and he said they've been wondering where that door is, too. It was supposed to be done last week, and they're tracking it down. Apparently the guy making the door has gone MIA. This one job may not be too big, but he's screwed himself over for future work, since we'll be needing a lot more of these doors soon and they won't be going with him when it comes time for a bulk order.

In other news, last night was the last dance class of the summer session. I stayed after for the jazz class because we were making our traditional trek to Sonic for milkshakes afterward (something we do at the end of each term). I don't know if it was because the ballet class was challenging or because of the jazz, but my legs are currently unhappy with me, from my hips to my toes. Actually, just about every muscle in my body feels at least tired, if not sore. I felt moderately competent (at both ballet and jazz) for a change, so I may have been a wee bit overly enthusiastic and pushed myself harder than normal. The trick will be to force myself to exercise regularly in the next three weeks before the fall session starts so I won't be starting from scratch.

In writing news, on Monday I got to write a scene that's been in my head a long time. In fact, it may have been the first scene from this book I ever envisioned, before I even knew what the main plot was. At one point, it was going to be the opening scene, but then other stuff happened. It felt so good to get this scene out of my head and into words, but then I got to the end of it and felt a little lost. That's when I realized I'd skipped over a few things in my eagerness to get to this scene. There was one scene I'd planned, and then a few other things that needed to happen occurred to me. Yesterday, I re-read the parts leading up to the gap and figured out what I needed to do. Then I got sidetracked.

But it was a good kind of sidetracked. I was researching that bus option, looking up reviews, etc., and then I looked for the location of the San Antonio stop on Google Maps, since their map didn't tell me anything, and I had the map show hotels so I could get a sense of where it was in relation to my hotel and the convention stuff. Just to make sure I had my bearings, I clicked on the little flag for what I thought was the hotel adjacent to the convention center, and it turned out to be a Hyatt. It was so close to the convention hotel that the flags overlapped. Just out of curiosity, I went to the Hyatt site and searched for rooms at that hotel for the time of the convention, and they had a room for more than $60 less (when you include the difference in tax) than any convention rate, and it was closer than the overflow hotel. So I made a new reservation and cancelled the one I'd made. It did require a pre-purchase, which gave me pause, but I figured that I'm going anyway, barring a serious crisis, and saving nearly $400 for the stay is nothing to sneeze at. Not to mention being much closer to the action, just across the street from the party hotel and adjacent to the convention center instead of several blocks away.

I'm leaning away from doing the bus thing. The reviews for the service in Texas were fairly good, but the reviews for the company as a whole around the country were pretty bad, with most of the fault being put on difficult customer service. One complaint that came up a lot around the country and even in Texas was baggage handling. They don't really check bags, just stow them under the bus, and apparently they have a bad habit of forgetting to load all the bags and just leaving them behind. You don't know your bag isn't on the bus until you arrive, since you don't check bags you have no proof that you gave them a bag, and since they just have stops, not terminals, their staff just leaves the bags sitting there on the street instead of taking them to a safe place to be picked up later. Since this is a business trip, having my stuff is pretty mission-critical. Another review brought up a possible issue that hadn't occurred to me: since they're not in the air, there's cell phone coverage through most of the trip, and there will be people who talk on their cell phones the entire way. For some reason, listening to one side of a cell phone conversation is annoying in a way that two people nearby talking to each other isn't. It would be nice if they designated a quiet area of the bus, but apparently they don't think of that. It would probably diminish my convention experience if I were arrested for shoving a cell phone down someone's throat after the second hour of non-stop yapping of the "Yeah, I'm on the bus now" variety. I'm saving enough on the hotel that I can afford the parking rates, and although driving that distance is tiring, so is listening to annoying people for that amount of time. It's also nice to have the time and packing flexibility, and catching the bus would require a bus/train ride downtown.

Yes, I'm putting too much thought into this, but I really enjoy travel planning. I plan trips just for fun, even without any intention of actually taking them. In some cases, the planning is the most fun part of the trip. I love researching all the options, and it only becomes stressful if I actually have to make a real choice. Yes, I'm strange.

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