Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trains, planes and bicycles

Busy week. No excuse for not blogging, but there it is.

I leave tomorrow morning on a train. Heading to Kansas City for a trade show. I am excited about the show as I get to meet some of my field reps whom I've only spoken to on the phone. These are great people who work hard and play hard, and the weekend promises to be fun. And I'm excited that I get to ride on a train. I know it's ridiculous, but I absolutely love taking trains. There's something old fashioned and nostalgic about it. And it's relaxing and peaceful. It's the way travel is supposed to be...the way travel used to be before the airlines figured out that they had run themselves into the ground and the only way to survive was to cram people like sardines into the most uncomfortable seats possible and treat them like shit in every other way possible.

This weekend begins my one-woman strike against the airline industry. Whenever possible, I will take a train instead of an airplane. I was given the choice on how I wanted to get myself to KC. The train takes a couple hours longer, is half the price, doesn't require security and restrictions and checking a bag, and my car parks for free. I have plugs for my laptop, and my phone works the entire time I'm traveling. Plus, I'm leaving out of the train station that's like two miles from my house. If you add in the airport security bullshit and the parking pains, the time difference is negligible. Oh, and the KC train station is one mile (I know this, I googled it) from the hotel and convention center. And because the train is so much less expensive, I upgraded to business class and still saved a boatload of money.

(OMG, I just checked out the hotel's Web site where I am staying - someone else made my reservations and I'm just now getting to it - and there's a Starbucks in the lobby! Insert joyful squeal here!)

So I leave tomorrow at 8:59 a.m. (they couldn't just say 9?) and return Sunday night, just in time for Zozo's birthday Monday.

We bought her a bike for her birthday. She's been asking for a bike, a big-girl bike, for months now. She was very explicit: "I want a princess bike with a basket on the front, and tassels on the handlebars, and the basket has to have a zipper so I can close it." We went to Target Saturday to look at bikes. There it was, one bike that met all the requirements. I think she had seen it, fell in love with it, and memorized the features so as to ensure she could tell us exactly what she wanted.

We looked at all the bikes at Target, and all the bikes at Wal-Mart, and only one had everything she requested. Damn. So that's what we bought, although it about killed us because we are so not into the princess shit. We stood in the aisle at Target and discussed it.

"Do we have to get her this one?"
"I think so. It's the one she wants."
"Yeah, but it's"
"I know." Sigh.
"Okay, let's get it then."

M has the unenviable task of putting the thing together, which makes me doubly grateful I will be out of town this weekend and won't be around to help. And by "help" I mean "listen to the curse words fly and get snapped at when something doesn't work."

She'll get her bike Monday, and I can't wait to see how excited she is. It's one of those growing-up milestones. I still remember getting my first big-girl bike, and how much I loved it. And when my Daddy taught me to ride it without training wheels. I will enjoy watching M do the same for his little girl. It's circle of life stuff, right there.

I'm also sad, because the fact that she indeed will have a big-girl bike means that she is indeed growing up. No more trikes for her. I feel like I'm going to blink and she'll be bugging me for the car keys.

Okay, time to wrap things up and get ready to leave. Time with Zozo tonight, and laundry, and maybe some more work getting the house ready for the party (I'm gone this weekend, then Monday is The Birthday, and then M leaves Tuesday for RI and doesn't return til Friday night, the night before The Birthday Party...yikes!).

I'll try to post pics from the weekend as I go, much like I did during the Bowling Green trip. Am loving the iPhone and the flexibility it offers.


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