I am cringing at the title of this post. I never considered myself a travel wimp but the experience I had over the last weekend has made me reconsider.
I traveled to Las Vegas from New England for a blogger conference (BAM – Bloggers at Midlife). Las Vegas is on Pacific Time, I am on Eastern Time – which is 3 hours earlier. I didn’t think much of this until I actually had to live it. Since I am paying for this conference myself, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on airfare. The compromise was a reasonable fare with a four hour layover in Denver. Denver has a beautiful airport, it could have been much worse but still, four hours is a long time. I chose to take a soft sided carry-on bag (no wheels, I might add) that got heavier and heavier as we explored the airport, looking at the shops and trying to find things to do. By the time we got on the connecting flight my hand hurt and my palms had red marks from the straps.
We finally landed in Las Vegas, got our rental car and headed to the hotel. This hotel was beautiful and huge – a resort with golf course and spa facilities. We managed to park and haul our luggage (I also brought a massive and heavy lap top bag) into the lobby to check in. That was the easy part. Once we checked-in the cheery, smiling desk person tells me the room number, hands me the keys and pulls out a map. I really, honestly thought he was just going to circle the room and point to the elevators behind me but no, this was an actual map of the huge facility. Then to my horror he started drawing lines to show me the path I had to take, in order to get to the next tower, where my room was located. Lots of long pen marks through multiple building. I looked at him with a blank stare – are you kidding me? Now, I have to actually travel to my room?! AND, it’s going to take a map to get there! By this time I was in charge of our entire luggage pile, my daughter-in-law had booked a hair appointment at the spa facility and she was late for it. So no, he wasn’t kidding as he gleefully handed me the map. I had been up since 5 am, it was now about 8 pm on the East Coast, I AM TIRED, I am low on coffee and food. I forced a smile, took the treasure map and drug the luggage the 3 miles to my room. Geez…now all I want is a nap.
I am an early riser, Las Vegas was made for night owls. I woke up at 3:00 am PST ready for the day! Of course, the Starbucks in the hotel won’t open until 6 am and its dark outside. Oi! However, I did finally rally and managed the rest of the weekend without any additional drama but then… I had to travel home.
For some reason, that I do not remember, we decided to take the red-eye home to arrive early on Sunday morning. This overnight flight left at 11:30 pm – there is a reason it is called the ‘red-eye’! If you do the math, that would be 2:30 in the morning ‘my time’. I am not a good late night person. I couldn’t sleep very well on the plane, the seats had these monitors in the back of them that glowed all night (nobody was watching them) and then we had to literally run half way across the airport to catch our connecting flight! We were almost the last ones to get on before they closed the hatch. We were determined NOT to miss it. I thought I was going to throw up (probably from sleep deprivation and running a sprint) – luckily I didn’t –that may have delayed us.
Here I am (a few days later) just starting to feel normal again. However, since my husband and I want to travel more and we also would like to travel with our kids and grandkids, I have to analyze and deal with my issues over the past weekend.
Here are my ideas. Purchase a reasonable WHEELED carry-on, get a lighter laptop or just don’t bring it and use my smart phone (I will just have to manage the much smaller screen), NEVER, EVER fly a red-eye flight again and always make sure there is a reasonable layover time between flights. Oh…and drink more water. I got dehydrated because I didn’t want to drink anything on the plane and have to crawl over people to use the bathroom. Sigh…
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