Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

speaking and trains, planes, and automobiles

Wednesday I prepared to fly to Washington, D.C. An ominous portent arose, or as close to an ominous portent as surburban life offers. My Southwest Airlines flight had half-boarded I was in the unboarded half. Then the boarding stopped, as the computers for the airline went down. The net effect at the time seemed to be merely a ninety minute delay in my arrival. But in fact this was the overture for the trip.

I landed at Reagan, impressed with the view of the Naval Research Station as the plane landed at the airport. I caught a Metro train into the city. I got off at the Farragut West station and walked the fifteen minutes to the Mayflower Hotel. After checking in, I went to the nearby Dando's peri peri, the Afro-Portugese chain place, for dinner. I had never visited one before. I really enjoyed my chicken wrap and peas. Later, I was surprised to learn that the Weight Watchers app assigned its Smart Points approach to this place, and that the chicken wrap and spiced peas were almost exactly the wrong thing, points-wise. But this is why I rarely spend my bonus points.

I got up early the next morning and made my way to the Grand Ballroom to attend a legal seminar. The content was great--I was glad I had been invited. At 2:45 p.m., my part in the seminar came along, as I was one speaker on a panel. I had been asked to speak not that many days earlier, as a kind of fill-in. My panel went well, and I managed to look and sound the part. It was one of those days when my natural light south Arkansas accent did one of its automatic changes to a less southern sound, just as once in a blue moon my hazel eyes show up as blue.

I had an early evening flight, so I reluctantly had to miss the last hour of the seminar. I got a sandwich at Subway. Then I hopped the Metro Train back to the Reagan Airport. I have ridden Metro over the years, but this was my first experience of five p.m. rush hour ridership. It was fun in a kind of people-of-good-will packed like friendly sardines way.

I was so pleased with myself in making good time as I walked up to the airport. Then I learned that my flight, the last flight to Dallas on my airline, had been cancelled. Southwest Airlines' IT problems of the prior day meant flights failed to take off due to dislocated crews. I had my assistant in Dallas find me a flight on a different airline. But I waited on hold for an hour or so and in line for an hour or so to try to see if Southwest could solve the issue. I finally met with a great gate agent, who could only offer me Saturday passage. I had a 1:30 p.m. business matter Friday in the Dallas courthouse, so this did not work for me. I collected my refund, my compensatory cash voucher and a hotel room voucher.
I stayed at a Hyatt in Crystal City.

I was complimenting myself on fleet-footed, courteous reaction in a stressful travel situation when I noticed that my wedding ring had gone missing. In all the running from gate to gate and hauling my bags about, it must have slipped off.
I had lost a wedding ring once before, on our honeymoon, but that was in the Atlantic Ocean during a snorkeling expedition. So it was not entirely the tragedy the very first ring might have been. But it was a disappointment in an otherwise presentable day.

I woke at 4:00 a.m., caught the hotel shuttle at 5, caught my plane at 7:15, and arrived at DFW Airport at 10:30. I caught a shuttle to Love Field Airport, grabbed my car, and drove to downtown Dallas. The temperature was 15 degrees Fahrenheit higher than Washington, D.C. I made it to the court by 11 a.m.

A colleague met me at the courthouse with notebooks of documents I needed. We ate lunch together. We were getting ready for my matter, when he got an email. He had been called into an emergency meeting on another matter in the courthouse.

I was in the courtroom from 1:15 through 3:00, and then I drove back to my office.
I was grateful I had packed an extra tie and an extra dress shirt for my trip.

I drove back to my office, and finished out the day. Tonight we dined at Silver Thai Restaurant and talked of family business. Tomorrow I have a Saturday. I hope to get some exercise before the heat comes up.

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