Wednesday, March 18, 2009


"Where is everyone?" I asked the guard checking my identification against the boarding pass I printed the night before. "I've never seen security completely empty of passengers before."

"You missed the herd," he told me as he scrawled his initials on the corner of my paper and wished me safe travels. I moved forward and hurriedly placed items in the bins an agent set out for me. I thanked her as she helped me organize laptop and baggie of liquids and continued to look around the empty terminal.

"It's positive reinforcement of bad behavior," I told the woman who sold me water. I had arrived late - a mere 20 minutes before boarding rather than my typical 90. I had been on schedule for a lengthy wait, but Adam required transportation so I changed course to fetch him. The timing did work remarkably well though and I spent the few moments I had to spare thinking of additional sleep I could claim instead of arriving at the airport so early.

The entire trip has seemed full of happy circumstances. I connected through Detroit, land of moving walkways. I walked all the way through Terminal A - from gate 70 to 4 - to take full advantage of the delightful devices.

Given the time it took to make my way across the airport, I had to wait mere minutes before boarding my next flight.

I scampered off the rental car shuttle first so I didn't have to wait in line to get my car.

They had a single vehicle left with a navigation system and I snagged it, making my way to my destination without confusion or angst.

I parked at my destination. For free. Both circumstances are almost unheard of at large institutions such as this.

I walked outside to one appointment through a positively beautiful day.

I also wore flats and was able to more quickly and comfortably through the pretty campus, spending more time admiring budding trees and blooming flowers than thinking about how I wore uncomfortable shoes.

I spent time getting my questions answered rather than hearing complaints. I call that an awesome visit.

I finished early, enabling an escape to the hotel where I shed professional clothes and curled into a nice nap before dinner.

We went to a fantastic place for our evening meal, meeting two collaborators so that there were four of us. There was interesting conversation and lively arguments. There was excellent wine and incredible soup (not seafood bisque, but good nonetheless). There was good bread and these odd little inter-course treats (not as sexy as they sound, unfortunately) and dessert that looked good but I had to wave away when I was too full. Dinners like this are frequent when traveling with Adam - he goes all out. I'm more likely to grab room service and sleep early. Still, his way results in some memorable dining experiences.

I've checked in for my flights tomorrow morning and have good seats - on the aisle, near the front. I also have a chance to get some rest before making my way to the airport.

Little factors, obviously, but it's been absolutely lovely to watch everything fall so neatly into place.

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