The BobLog, Saturday January 10, 2004
Woke up from a mediocre night’s sleep to a now fairly warm room.
Mom had forgot her toothbrush, and the front desk didn’t have any, so
we’ll need to pick this up later. It was a little after 9 when we
were packed and ready, and needed to be at the airport by 9:30.
Mom wasn’t too hungry, but of course I needed to have my breakfast
(only got 3 meals the day before: no snack at night), so I hopped down
to Denny’s, which was just down the street. Got served right
away, and made it back on time. Oh, it might be worth reporting
that it was –7 degrees this morning. The bottles of water I had
in the car were frozen solid.
When we got to the airport, the skycaps outside were able to take our
baggage and check us in, giving us our tickets. This was a real
time-saver. When we entered the airport, we saw my brother Ray by
the ticket counter! He had come down to be with us on our flight
from Buffalo to Philadelphia.
Next stop was going through security. The line was huge.
Mom was the lucky one to be picked for the “special” screening (where
they go through ALL your stuff), so Ray and I went with her (and
received the “special” treatment also). As it turned out, we
probably made it through faster this way, then had we gone through the
normal way (in the long line). We passed through without any
difficulties, and went to the gate. I booted up my laptop and
checked out the wireless internet they had there… looked like a T1
connection – pretty quick. We had a snack at one of the
restaurants, and met a woman who was a Christian, working at one of the
restaurants, and had a good conversation with her.
We are flying first-class, as I had frequent-flyer miles to burn, so it
was nice to be in the big seats, and have all the drinks and
snacks. Ray had his GPS with him, so he was tracking our
position. I was doing my cell phone research experiment: trying
to see just where I lost the link. The answer is: 50 seconds
after takeoff, and it returns 60 seconds prior to landing.
The plane ride was smooth, and we arrived in Philly on-time.
There was a significant distance between our arriving gate and the
departing gate (since we were just connecting here), so mom found an
electric cart that took her to the gate, while Ray and I walked.
There are TON of stores at this airport! There used to be a
Staples, but it had just moved out two weeks ago. Mom managed to
pick up her toothbrush here. We had a leisurely (but expensive!)
lunch, and awaited the next flight. I tried unsuccessfully to use
the wireless network at this airport.
We boarded the next flight to Ft. Lauderdale, which is a bigger plane
(a 757), yet with a smaller first-class section. We basically had
a stewardess for 8 people! There were a few bumps at the start,
but the ride was smooth overall.
1/10/04 – 7:00PM
We are now at the hotel. It took a while to get the
luggage. I found the Princess lady, who called for a bus for
us. It took another half hour, but the bus finally showed.
There were only a couple of us going from the airport to this hotel,
but apparently there are around 300+ people staying here at this
Marriott that will be going on the cruise ship tomorrow. The room
here is very nice, and the service is excellent. Definitely an
order of magnitude above last night’s hotel.
We went to a nice Italian restaurant called Carlucci’s that is close to
the hotel. Awesome food, even though the chicken French was
loaded with fungi (which I promptly removed). Mom’s chicken
marsala was also excellent.
It’s now 10PM, and we’re back at the hotel, very full, very
tired. They have free wireless internet here, but it’s funky –
lots of dropped packets, and it looks like it’s a broken proxy
server. But at least it’s enough to get this section of the
BobLog out to all you guys!
Tomorrow afternoon is when we board on the Grand Princess boat.
They have a bit of an odd way of dealing with luggage – you’re supposed
to leave your bags OUTSIDE your door in the morning. They will be
going around to pick them up. I’m not real keen on leaving my
stuff in the hallway, so I’ll probably take it down myself. Nite
Hmm, unfortunately my camera card reader isn’t reading my new 128 meg
card, so I can’t upload any pics yet. Might have to wait until I
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