Thursday, May 18, 2006

Internet access! Finally!!!

A special thanks to the staff at the Hilton, Daytona Beach Ocean Walk Village! I had troubles all day with getting onto the Internet (proved to be an easy fix...which I accidently found tonight...after the hotel tech spent much time and effort trying to deal with this afternoon. And it isn't his fault he couldn't find it...but I discovered the hotel's system just wouldn't deal with more than one day at a time. Wait...let me tell this right...)

I tried to log in this morning (costs $10.00/day for access...same as several other hotels I've been in), and it would go through the entire process, but then tell me I didn't exist and therefore, couldn't have access. Drove all of us crazy till the tech finally threw in the towel and gave me free breakfast coupons as compensation for his not being able to fix the problem.

But I miss the internet...and knew my mail was piling up. So when I got back from "dinner" (more on that in a bit), I decided to give it one more go. This time, however, instead of trying to get access for my entire stay, I tried just for tonight. Voila! I'm here! Will I be here tomorrow? Who knows? Maybe tomorrow their system will decide I don't exist again! LOL

But I'm here now...and finally taking a breath. Talk about an exciting two days!

Yesterday I was up for 22 hours. Rose at 3:00 AM and left the house at 3:30 to go to the airport. May I say I have the most wonderful husband on earth? He never complained once about the awful hour, but got up with me and drove the two-hour round trip to drop me at the airport, then came home, got the kids up (I have may know what fun it is to get that age up and out the door in the morning) and off to school before heading off for his own classes (he's a college professor).

Flight took off on time; we were three minutes early landing in Atlanta. Good thing. We disembarked at gate A3. My connecting flight left from gate E31. Now I've been in a few airports before...that's not a long haul.

Except in Atlanta. I swear the airport must be laid out in one mile-long building. And no, I'm not exaggerating. You walk underground to get from gate to gate and beside the walkway (parts of which are moving sidewalks...thank the Good Lord above for those! You'll see why in a minute)...but beside the walkway is a gul-derned TRAIN! I'm not kidding. It's a self-contained subway system that simply runs from one end of the airport to the other and back again. And how long is the rail line? One mile!!!

Now I can walk a mile. Do it in 15 minutes on a good day and barely work up a sweat. Except there are only 25 minutes between the time I land and the time boarding begins for the next flight. I know what you're thinking. "Okay, Diana...that gives you a buffer of 10 minutes...what's the big deal?"

Remember I said "good day." I was so excited Tuesday night, I didn't get to sleep until 1:00AM. We got up at three to go to the airport, so I'm working on two hours of sleep in a 30-hour period. Add to that the fact that I'm carrying 40 pounds of luggage in one suitcase (filled with promo items, of course...the airline can lose my clothes and I'll just buy new ones. But my promo comes with ME!), and another 20 pounds (including this laptop) in my backpack. AND the fact that I had no idea the walk was that long until I was about halfway to my gate and I'd been walking for ten minutes already, so I wasn't rushing. That ten-minute buffer? Shot!

Thank goodness I got to the gate and found out that, while I was treking the bowels of the Atlanta airport, my flight was delayed fifteen minutes. Thank you, Lord! I sat down, took three breaths and then was up and getting on board.

And of course, hit the ground running! Will write more later tonight with stories about getting to the hotel (nothing could be easy, could it?) finding Ruby Storm (Ruby! Where are you?), and getting my picture taken with Rodney Chatman (could any man be sweeter?).

Until then, Play safe!


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