There were only two, small hiccups during the trip.
The first involved the hotel in Austin. The hotel was GORGEOUS and I can highly recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Austin (I'm only linking it for anyone looking for accommodations, not because I'm being asked/paid too). It's not an inexpensive hotel but the stay was worth it - particularly since I wasn't paying for it. The room/suite was HUGE and beautiful. They also offer a complimentary breakfast and a "social" hour for all guests; not that I took advantage of those amenities. This hotel was perfect and the hiccup was of no fault of the hotel or staff.
No, the fault lies with me.
The first time it happened was a total accident but by the third time....
I think the folks at the front desk think I'm an idiot.— Gigi (@gigirambles) March 23, 2017
I think this sums it up quite nicely. *sigh*
You'd think I would have figured it out after the first time, when the person at the front desk said, "You must have gotten the card key too close to your phone." Did that register with me? No. No, it did not. Because I repeatedly shoved that card key into my back pocket. The same back pocket that held my phone.
The second hiccup involved the parking lot at the Charlotte airport long term parking. No, I didn't forget where I parked. I wrote it down, remember? The shuttle driver dropped me right where I needed to be - but despite all my best efforts, I simply could not find the ticket stub that clocked me in. I panicked just a little because all the signage led me to believe that this was a fully automated parking lot so I couldn't suss out how I was going to get out without that ticket.
I finally chased down a shuttle and the driver informed me that it WASN'T a fully automated lot and the attendant would be able to help me out - so crisis averted.
And? Guess what I found today? That stupid ticket. And it was in the most obvious place. Of course.
The rest of the trip was wonderful. I learned a great deal during the training (which totally justified the cost - which I will share with my boss over the coming days - once I get caught up) and had SO much fun catching up with my oldest friend. It was during the course of our visit we realized that we've been friends for over 30 years - this shocked both of us. We simply couldn't figure out where the time had gone since we are both still SO young..
We stayed up late into the night talking and binge-watching season one of This Is Us (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it - as long as you have a big box of tissues with you). We both felt a little guilty spending so much time with the television but believe me, we still had plenty of time to catch up and have fun.
The majority of the nights found us up until 2:00 am (yes, ME, up that late!). On Monday, we both decreed it an early night so I could get up to fly home only to find ourselves going to bed around 12:30 am. That's what the power of a friendship separated will do to you; it will force you to stay up far too late, for far too many nights trying to eke out every last bit of time you have together.
I met her brand new grand-kids - they are SO cute - and marveled over the fact that her sons are old enough to have babies of their own. We hit Galveston for a few hours. We shopped. We ate. We had a wonderful time.
We agreed that we need to meet up at least once a year. But we both know - as you probably do - that life will most likely get in the way of that; so we will settle for whatever time we can take.
The only thing that I didn't like? The traffic. Austin traffic was bad but compared to the Houston traffic, it was nothing. The morning I was to leave we were up having coffee, saying our goodbyes, and glancing at the local news. It was 5:30 am and the traffic report showed the Gulf Freeway in bumper to bumper traffic - AT 5:30 IN THE MORNING!
I remember traffic being bad when I lived there but I don't remember it being as bad as it is now. I have since vowed to never, ever complain about the traffic here again.
And despite what life may throw at us - and the traffic, I'm hoping to get home again soon. Maybe next time, I'll actually be able to see a few other people too...I doubt it though. She is one of my favorite people that I want to spend time with...