Moon Shots and Magic, Day One

Just a travel day, really.

I decided not to take a chance on the Metro Green Line and ordered a shuttle. Which arrived shortly after 2 AM, after failing to follow the specific directions I put on the website. Hello? There's no parking on the north side of this street. Hello? Turn on C-------- St and then come up the alley. No, don't drive past the alley. Um, it's a dead end; you'll have to go out the same way you came in.

The flight was scheduled to take off a few minutes after 6. So we all (there were 4 of us in the shuttle van, besides the driver) arrived at the airport at 3 AM. Then the driver dropped my laptop as he was attempting to hand it over to me. Nothing's open at the Southwest Terminal. TSA agents start wandering by about 4 AM. Southwest agents finally start showing up about 5 AM. Then I somehow managed to miss taking the fingernail clippers out of my pocket, so I ended up with getting a government-sanctioned grope.

By the time we got through the Rethuglican "how can you call yourself a proponent of smaller government and then create another governmental agency?" nonsense there was no time to do more than grab a couple of croissants and a cup of Starbucks' crappy coffee before time to board.

Lousy weather, the attendant turbulence, then a late arrival in Denver because we were routed in from a different direction. With only about 30 minutes between scheduled arrival and scheduled departure and the late arrival, I had just enough time to hunt down a schedule monitor, find my flight on the list, and scurry over to the gate. Where, of course, my boarding group was nearly done and they were getting ready to call the next group.

M (the MH of last year's OKC/DFW trip) was trying to text me when we spotted each other. We had three seats to ourselves, since the flight was only about half full. And she, bless her, had picked up a turkey sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie, two bags of chips, and a couple of bottles of water. So once we'd settled in our seats and they'd taken the plane over to the de-icer (yes, it was raining in Denver and cold enough for ice to form!), and we were finally in the air, we had lunch.

More turbulence on the Denver-to-Orlando leg, with the worst of it coming as we were on final into Orlando--one of those heart-stopping altitude drops.

CR (the C of last year's OKC/DFW trip) was waiting for us at the food court, so the three of us headed down to baggage claim, got M's and my luggage (C had already collected hers, since she arrived about half an hour ahead of us), then went over to pick up our rental car. Then off to the hotel, where we checked in, dumped the luggage in our rooms, and then went to dinner at The Golden Corral. Which, by the way, isn't as good as the one in Greeley was back in the mid-'80s.

Back to our rooms, where we chatted a bit, then crashed.

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