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February 23rd, 2003

Another voucher... yippee!

Robert got up at 7:00, showered, and left for work at 7:15. I got up right after that, had a little coffee, put a load of clothes into the wash, checked e-mail (got some new donations for the Tour de Friends!), showered, and then packed. I made a sandwich to eat on the plane. I want to stay pretty close to my diet this week while traveling on business, which is always hard to do.

I left for the airport at about 10:10. I parked in Long Term Parking Lot 3 ("The Purple Lot"), and took the shuttle to Terminal C. The boarding pass that I'd printed off (new Internet feature) was basically useless. It really is just helpful for people who are not going to check a bag. Since the kiosk area wasn't busy, the guy went ahead and checked me in anyway. After removing just about everything but my underwear, I made it through security without setting off the alarm.

I made a few phone calls while there, one to Robert, one to Mom & Dad to see what time they're planning on arriving in Raleigh on Friday. They plan to leave Jacksonville around noon, which is good. That'll give me time to wash a load of clothes and repack, and hopefully, see Robert when I get back. Just before the started boarding, Steve called and filled me in on his night last night with Brian.

I arrived at get C15 at about 10:40, for my 11:57 flight to Orange County via DFW, and just as I sat down, the agent at the check-in counter put up a sign that said "If you are interested in being compensated for flying on a later flight, please register with the agent." I was the first one up there, and ended up being bumped for a $300 voucher. Cool. Now I have $700 worth of American Airline vouchers. I was re-booked on a 3:30 flight to Orange County via Chicago.

I rode out to UNC Hospital and surprised Robert. The look on his face when I walked up was priceless. I sat in the back with him, and ate my sandwich that I thought I'd be eating at the DFW airport. We did a couple of rounds of "Cruising" (the line dance), and I used the computer to print off directions to the Tailor/Cobbler in case he has a chance on Wednesday to drop my boots off for resoling.

I left the hospital just around 2:00 to return to the airport. I went back to Parking Lot 3, and parked in almost the same place. Deja vu. I was able to go right to the gate as my checked bag went out on the earlier flight, and I already had my boarding pass for the 3:30 flight. I took the exact same things off that I did going through the security scanner earlier, but this time the damn alarm went off. I hate that.

I arrived at the gate very close to the beginning of boarding, and found out they had, again, offered vouchers as this flight was oversold, too. Darn it. Oh well. I'm getting there late enough now as it is.

The flight to Chicago was uneventful. I had an aisle seat instead of a window, and was next to a nice couple. I slept almost the entire way. At O'Hare, I had a "personal sized" Chicago-style pepperoni and mushroom pizza. It was pretty yummy. My DFW to Orange County flight had no food service, so I assumed the Chicago to Orange County flight wouldn't either. When we boarded, however, they announced that it was a bistro service flight. Darn it. If I had known that, I wouldn't have eaten that pizza. I saved the bistro snack until the end of the flight, as a sort of "dinner" in Irvine. The country music station in-flight was killer! They had some great choices recorded this time, one being, "A Lot of Things Different."

Since I arrived way later than scheduled, on a different flight, and hadn't called to tell them, they had given out all the mid-sized cars, and they upgraded me to a Kia Sportage. The Sand Canyon Avenue exit off 405S hasn't changed in 3 months. All the cones are still up and construction seems to be "in progress." Yeah, right.

Upon check-in I had a note from Jim about wanting a ride in the morning. I called him and he was already asleep, but glad to hear from me. We agreed to meet in the lobby at 7:50.

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