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December 15th, 2005

Too long of a day of traveling...

Though the alarm was set for 3:45, I woke up at 3:10, and couldn't fall back to sleep. Even though I didn't get to bed until 1:00.

When I went downstairs to put the load in the dryer on "touch-up," I saw that the coffee pot had automatically came on, as set, at 3:45.



We were out the door by about 4:25, and drove directly to American Airlines curbside check-in at Terminal C. The guy who helped us was very nice, and I didn't mind the $5.00 tip to not have to drag all that shit on the shuttle bus from Lot 3 The Purple Lot. Skiing is such a cumbersome sport.

I got $200 out at the ATM upstairs, and we proceeded through the security check without incident. Well that is if you don't consider Robert getting his scissors confiscated an event. "That is, if you can call a wig, attire."



Though our original itinerary said our departure time was 6:25, and last night aa.com said it was 6:15, the sign at the gate said 6:40. Delayed due to some nonsense about the crew not getting in until way late last night, and still getting their "required rest."

Well, what about my tired ass that got in way late last night, and my required rest? But I digress.

Since we had a good hour to wait, we scouted around for some breakfast, and settled on some bagels with cream cheese. Robert had a cup of coffee with his.



To make a long story longer, the crew ended up sauntering in with carry-on bags under their eyes at 6:40, which threw the 6:40 departure time out the window.

We finally boarded at about 7:00, after which we were told we'd have to sit and wait to be de-iced. "There are already two planes in the de-icing line, so the tower has asked us to stay at the gate until they're ready for us. Also, it seems that at least one of their de-icing machines is not working."

10 minutes later... "Ladies and gentleman, we've been informed that both machines are working now, but there are three planes ahead of us (so the previous "two" was a lie!), and they've asked us to remain at the gate until they call us. Once they do call us, it should take about 10 minutes to get through the de-icing, and then we should be taking off about 5 minutes after that."

We finally took off at close to 8:30. Our connection to Reno in Chicago was departing at 7:55 CST, which meant that there was no way in hell we were going to catch it. And we didn't.



In Chicago, at around 9:30 CST, we learned that we'd been re-booked on a 12:30 flight (yes three freaking hours from then) to DFW, where we would catch a 4:00 flight to Reno! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

We checked to see if there was an earlier flight to Dallas. There was one at 10:30, but getting us to DFW earlier wasn't going to help us get to Reno any earlier. Whether we took the 10:30 or the 12:30 to DFW, we still had to wait for the 4:00 flight from DFW to Reno.

We decided to go ahead and get on standby for the 10:30, just in case there was some issue with the 12:30. We were 3rd and 4th on the standby list, and ended up making it on.

So, our original plans had us arriving in Reno at 10:30AM, and now we would be arriving at 5:36PM. This, of course, meant that we wouldn't be making our reservation for the noon run of the South Tahoe Express, which is transportation for the about 1.5-hour trip from the Reno airport to the South Tahoe resort we're staying in. I repeat, Grrrrrr!

Thank god for cell phones, which I used to move our noon reservation on the bus to the 6:15 one. I also called the lodge at which we're staying in Tahoe to let them know that we'd be getting in close to 8PM now instead of our original ETA of about 2:00.



In Dallas, we tried to get an earlier flight to Reno, or Sacramento, but there wasn't one.

We had a delicious lunch at TGIF's having the Spinach Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips, and sharing the Asian Salad ("This is not the salad of my people.") and the Ginger Sesame Chicken, all three of which were delicious.

Afterwards, I sat in the C29 gate lounge and worked on this blog entry, while Robert scouted out some dessert for us. We were looking for ice cream.

I asked him to take his phone with him to call me with an "available flavors report," and as soon as he walked away, I put in my iPod earbuds to listen to a podcast.

After a few minutes, I thought I heard my phone ringing in my jacket pocket, and sure enough it was him. I was on my laptop, I had my iPod earbud in my right ear, pulled the one out of my left ear, and I took the cellphone call in it. Can you say connected? Can you say geek?



Our flight to Reno was uneventful, but we ended up landing at 5:45 instead of the scheduled 5:36, which was significant because we needed every minute we could get to get our luggage and make it to the bus by 6:15.

They ended up holding the bus for as long as they could, and we finally boarded with all but one of our bags. Grrrrrrrr!

On the bus, I called American Airlines to tell them about the one bag we didn't get, but they wouldn't file a "locater ticket" until I could give them the number of the exact bag we were missing.

As we were throwing our bags under the bus at the last minute, we didn't have time to check the numbers of the tickets against the bags we'd gotten to determine which one was actually missing.

The agent said, "As long as you file the report within four hours, we'll deliver the bag to where you are free."

As we continued to ride on the bus, I started thinking about the bags we'd gotten, and in enumerating them in my head got this real sick feeling when I realized that we had 5 luggage tickets, and we had retrieved 5 pieces of luggage.

This meant that the other piece of luggage is either still sitting in the car, or up in my bedroom at home. Fortunately, there were very few things in that bag. Unfortunately, one of the few things were my new boots that go with my new skis. Fuck!



After 15 hours of traveling, we arrived at Lakeland Village, and checked into our room. Our "Return Guest" gift basket was in the room, which was nice, but not all that.



We had some dinner delivered, which was quite delicious in spite of totally almost $10 more when it arrived than we had calculated using the menu. Turns out the menus in the room here are old menus. The old, "Oh, those are the old menus," trick.

Robert had a steak sandwich, I had a chorizo and ground beef burger, and we split an order of potato skins. It was all good.



After dinner, I checked with the front desk to see what time the hot tub closed, which was 10:00. At about 9:15, we ran downstairs, and outside into the freezing cold in our swimsuits and a towel, and hopped in the hot tub, which was right by the outdoor heated pool. While it was cold as crap getting in and out of the thing, the time in it was fab.



Before falling asleep, we watched a rerun of Will & Grace, and an old Golden Girls episode.

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