Thursday, July 17, 2014

Smooth Sailing

Greetings from Detroit!

Despite starting with a minor glitch, I had a fairly smooth travel day. The glitch involved the city bus I catch right behind my house to go to the train station where I catch the train to the airport (well, for now the very final stretch is on another bus, but the train will go all the way starting in a few weeks. I may plan a trip just so I can do that). I was heading out to the bus stop about ten minutes early to allow myself time to get there and be sure to be there when the bus arrived, but when I rounded the corner from the driveway, I saw that the bus was already sitting at the left-turn signal -- and my stop is right after the left turn. After sprinting across the street and to the bus stop, I noticed that the bus hadn't moved in spite of the light being green. And then it didn't move on the next light cycle. For a moment, I wondered if this was just where the bus was waiting out being ahead of schedule, but it still didn't move, and then I noticed that it was actually partway into the intersection, so it must have been stalled. I was starting to think about a plan B because the bus only runs once an hour when another bus showed up, the passengers on the stalled bus were loaded onto it, and it continued the run. It turned out that the stalled bus was actually from the previous run, and that weird grinding sound I was hearing inside my house that made me think my neighbors were using power tools early in the morning was that bus. The one that showed up was the one I was planning to catch, running about five minutes late, but I still caught the same train. After that, everything went smoothly. I somehow got designated as pre-checked by the airline, so I got the security line where you don't have to take off your shoes or take your computer or liquids out of your bag.

Traveling with a tote bag instead of a wheeled suitcase was so much easier. There was all that running to the bus stop, getting on and off buses and trains, and it's easier to navigate around the airport. There may be something I wish I'd had (like a pair of sneakers -- if I'd known I'd get the easy security line, I'd have worn them and packed my smaller, lighter shoes, and then going on walks would be more pleasant), but I'm definitely a fan of minimalist travel. I need to get a tablet to cut out the computer weight, though I'm really liking having my computer with me.

It'll come in handy, too, because the person who was running the children's session I'm doing got stranded by car trouble, so I'm pulling a plan together, and having my computer means I have my iTunes library (which I guess I'd have on a tablet, if I bothered to move everything over, but I don't know if I'll have speakers, and the laptop's probably louder than a tablet) so I can find a few songs for "music and movement." As I assured her when she e-mailed about it, I do this once a week during the school year, so I've got a lot of material in my head. Google even came through and got me the lyrics to some of the funny "repeat after me" songs that I couldn't quite remember all of.

Otherwise, I have my reading this afternoon, and I have been notified that there will be fresh baked goods present, in case anyone who's reading this and in the area needs an incentive.

My big challenge for the weekend may be finding food. The convention hotel is in the same building/complex as the GM headquarters (there are even cars in the lobby -- it's like a showroom), and it's kind of a mini-mall with a food court. But it looks like the food court shuts down for dinner and on weekends. I'm in the hotel across the street, connected by a skybridge, and there's a Chinese restaurant in this complex that's open at night, so I was able to get dinner. We may be limited to the hotel restaurants on the weekend, but my hotel's restaurant isn't open on Sundays. The one restaurant I'm sure will be open Sunday night is a fancy Italian place overlooking the river, so I may follow my end-of-convention tradition of waterfront dining and allow myself a little splurge.

Now I'd better make sure the files I might need for my reading are easy to access on the laptop because I don't want to be one of those authors who spends most of the reading slot going "Now, I know it's on here somewhere."

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