January 06, 2008

It's gonna be a L-OOOOO-NG week...

I peeled my (_]_) out of a warm bed at 4 AM this morning in rain-soaked California and headed for a quick shower. On my way to the airport. For a 6:30 AM flight to Dayton. Through Dallas, since I didn't want to get stuck in snow this time of year. All in the name of professional development. Week three of a six week program designed to turn me into a lean, mean six sigma process improvement machine.

Now our Dayton office has a bit of a bad food reputation among my colleagues in California. I've been told to take my own coffee (and to stop at a grocery store and pick up bottled water with which to brew it) because the office coffee is reminiscent of folgers brewed in dishwater, the hotel water tastes like a swimming pool, and there's neither a Peets nor a Starbucks within a 15 mile radius. And the *food* is worse than that. We shall see...

For now, I just need to get from here to there. With a minimum dependence on fast food.

So John packed me a bit of a care package. Some tasty salted pig parts, sandwiched between homemade parmesan bread. A few hunks of Iberica Spanish cheese. A handful of dried white peaches. And 4 mandarin oranges.

Once through the security maze in San Jose, I slid back into my shoes and set off in search of Starbucks... it was going to be a long day and I needed one last fix. I sipped my orange scented latte with the first of my mandarins.

One positive side effect of the recent west coast storms was a tail wind into Dallas, where we arrived an hour early (and killed about half of that waiting for space at the gate). I settled in to wait for my connection with a sandwich, another mandarin, a couple hunks of cheese, a big bottle of ice water, and a textbook on statistics.

I was on the ground in Dayton by 5:30 eastern, had my luggage by 6, and grabbed a cab to the host hotel. It was close to 7 by the time I was settled in and ready to think about food. I pulled out the hotel guide to see what was in walking distance.

Hmm... there are the usual complement of fast food joints: the arches, the king, the colonel and yet *another* Arby's (roast beef of questionable origin's clearly popular in this area...I spied no less than 9 of them on the 7 mile trek from the airport. And 39 listed in the Greater Dayton Area Yellow Pages). Perhaps not.

There's a Cadillac Jack's across the street. Not a candidate for dinner on my own the night before the Buckeye's battle LSU.

And there's a pizza place that delivers, but the pictures in the ad don't look good. And if you can't make pizza LOOK good...

Exercising my burgeoning skills in data-driven decision making, I ripped into my care package and dined on a couple of oranges, the last of the pig parts and cheese, the baggie of peaches and a bottle of water I'd procured in the lobby. And sent thank you vibes flowing across the country...

From the Archives: In an exercise of deja vu all over again, John kept me fed.

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breadchick said...

Oh I know that feeling only too well; get to your hotel in the middle of nowhere without a rental car and no choices for dinner.

A few years ago after getting stranded in Detroit at 1AM due to a "mechanical" problem, I was put up in a hotel without a restaurant and with no access to food of any type. Of course, since I arrived in the Detroit airport after 9pm (this was many years ago in the old Detroit terminal), there was no place open in the terminal either to get anything to eat.

I had three breath mints, a package of crackers from the vending machine at the hotel and the last bit of a bag of peanuts I didn't finish from an earlier flight for dinner on that trip.

Ever since then, I keep in a Ziplock bag in my computer bag two packets of instant oatmeal and a plastic spoon. That way, even if I find myself stranded and having to sleep at the airport, I have a meal.

Have fun in Dayton!

Tartelette said...

Good luck with the travelling plan, does not sound like fun but we are all thinking about you!