During my textbook publishing days, this would be the time of year when we’re all getting ready for our annual National Sales Meeting. The NSMs would mean a week or so of intense product presentations and drinking. (This is publishing, after all.) And, of course, a parade of familiar faces I had trouble attaching to names. (One of many sales skills which I lack, unfortunately.)
On this particular occasion, the NSM was being held in Boca Raton Florida. In January. So the opportunity to leave behind the cold of New Jersey was certainly an enticing one, to be sure.
After driving to the office to meet up with my friend Martha, we piled our stuff in my car and headed out to Newark Airport and long-term parking. We had plenty of time to catch the flight (this was pre-9/11 so you didn’t need to show up days ahead of time) so we swung around by the gate and dropped off our luggage to be checked in. Then we made our way to the long-term parking lot and walked over to the airport shuttle stop with about 90 minutes to spare.
And waited for the shuttle.
Finally, the shuttle appeared and we hopped aboard.
And it proceeded to do a grand tour of all the long-term lots before finally depositing us at the terminal.
About 20 minutes after the flight departed.
Well, that was lovely.
We got our flights switched, and I vowed not to do long-term parking quite that way again.
After waiting for what seemed like forever we made our flight and, after a short time that always seemed longer, we descended into scenic Boca Raton.
We headed over to Baggage Claim to find our luggage, but of course it wasn’t there. Remember when we checked the baggage earlier for our scheduled flight? Well, it didn’t make that flight any more than we did.
And it didn’t make our actual flight, either.
So now we had 10 days in Boca with nothing but what we had in our carry-on bags.
So we waited, thinking our luck had to change. And you know what?
It did. A while later, another flight landed from Newark that, miraculously, had our luggage.
So we headed to the hotel and had a great meeting. So much so, in fact, that when it was over we realized we had a morning to kill before our flight.
So we headed to the beach for a relaxing soak in the sun.
During which I fell asleep, and got my back totally sunburned.
So I’m on a plane heading home with a sunburn, and it’s starting to steam. Which was actually helpful, because when we landed and hopped the shuttle(!) to long-term parking, I had to dig my car out of the snow drift that had formed around it.
So the extra warmth was a benefit, even if the sunburn was not.