Ramble On

Friday, March 23, 2012

Not Exactly the Glamorous Life

I've gotten into a little situation here where I am traveling more than usual.  Since I started consulting in 1998, I've typically had five or six trips a year, not a whole lot but maybe more than the average American.  Since I work primarily for government agencies, that has helped me get to 37 states so far (it is a goal to get to all 50 - I also would like to get to 50 countries, and have been to 25).

And I have to admit that I like it most of the time, even though the conditions have gotten progressively worse over the years.  In some years, I earn status on the airlines - although the inevitable irony is that the next year will be a slow travel year and I don't get to enjoy it.

There was the year I went to Richmond, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Topeka, Dallas (three times), St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati (three times), Boston, Detroit, Denver, LA, Fresno, and Oakland.  Then another when I went to Phoenix four times, LA twice, Atlanta four times, Orlando twice, Richmond once, and Boston once.  Those were both status earning years; so far, this year is shaping up like that, but the travel on my new job just hasn't been as exciting.

I've been to a small suburb of Dallas three times so far, since December, and also Indianapolis.  I've also had two overnights, non-flying, in Baltimore.  Now don't get me wrong, the change of pace was welcome, and the Dallas and Indi trips involved a great project - I'd just rather be doing it in Laguna.  But alas, this client doesn't do Laguna.

So I've decided to try and keep a sense of humor about it.  The location in Dallas is in recycled real estate that used to be a major bank branch.  When the bank closed, it took its toll on the neighbors - including a Whataburger outlet, shown in the opening photo.  As if the white paint could hide the iconic building - and any way the orange and blue stripes on the rooftop are starting to bleed through.

Then comes the treat.  We agreed to fly Sunday last weekend so that we could start early in Dallas on Monday.  I chose a flight via Philadelphia, and was rewarded with an upgrade to first class for the long leg to Dallas.  A treat like that at the beginning can make a trip that much easier - here's the photo of the meal...the choice was chicken or pasta.

Pardon me for the nostalgia.  But I do remember being treated this way in coach in the old days.

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