Thursday, November 29, 2007

AU SNAFU (2005)

I'm sitting in the Vegas airport getting ready to board my red-eye back home to Panorama and Prospector.

AU this year was more of a blur than normal for me. I flew in on Tuesday afternoon and I'm leaving on Thursday night. There were two big booth nights this year that were amazing fun but very draining. I always find it difficult to make time for meals, breaks and fun in the midst of so much good old fashioned CAD frenzy. It's even harder to make time to visit with old friends who have their own booths to run, classes to teach and clients to meet with. I mean, even the DWF Spot didn't have time for me. I didn't see him once. Or maybe he got fired... I can't be sure.

I was trying to remember the other years I attended AU. This was only my third time. Each year is marked with it's own interesting memories... but my favorite is from AU 2005.

AU 2005
Beth and I were super keen that year. We got up for breakfast at 6AM and had to be forced out of class at 6PM. We went to every single session and read handouts on the shuttle bus and at our hotels at night. It was fun, educational and uneventful with one big funny screw up as we were leaving.

We had called the BeeLine shuttle to take us to the airport at 545AM. A white van pulls up to the hotel. Beth asks the driver if he is our BeeLine shuttle. He says yes. We get in.

Beth's cell phone rings. It's our BeeLine Shuttle driver. He's waiting at the hotel for us. Hmmm...

After figuring out that our current driver is not a kidnapper, but merely a complete idiot, we decide to just let him drive us to the airport. Funny thing is- he wants to charge us $50, and between the two of us we only have $15. He drops us off with his tail between his legs and we go into the airport.

So... our terminal is decidedly dead. Our flight is not listed on the board. Lovely. Turns out our flight was cancelled. Not just cancelled due to weather or something, but totally and completely removed from the flight schedule. Weeks ago. I guess when we checked in for the flight down the airline didn't feel the need to let us know this. Yeah, ok, we should have confirmed everything again, but C'MON.

So here we were. 6AM. We had barely dodged being stuffed into a gunny sack and thrown into the Everglades, and now we had no way home.

Luckily, we didn't have to rent a car and drive the 15 or so hours back to Philadelphia. Air Tran hooked us up with some surprisingly affordable and comfortable one way tickets.

My way out this year was uneventful, almost pleasant really. And though it is hard to say goodbye to 9000 of my closest friends, I'm ready for it to be done.

But the fun is only beginning really... smell that? It's beta season.

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