I had to fly up to Indianapolis on business for a few days. I used Southwest Vacations to book my hotel and rental car at the same time. I have to admit that I will never use Southwest Vacations again. They charged me for my hotel, but didn’t pay the hotel, so I had to pay a second time. That more than offset any savings I could have seen by using their service. I filed a complaint with Southwest and repeated my complaint on the survey they sent to me. There was no response.
I have been pretty tired since the trip to Honolulu, so except when I was out meeting with my associates, I held up in the hotel room. It is the same hotel I always stay at in Indy. They serve a passable breakfast. I used GrubHub for all my other meals. I was impressed with the chinese food I ordered on the first night. It was from the Hong Kong Restaurant. I ordered too much, and found the next day that none of the dishes were greasy, and could be eaten cold. I did however microwave the leftovers.
The next night I ordered pizza from Papa Ray’s Pizza & Wings. It was pretty good pizza. It wasn’t among the best I have had, but it was good in the fact it is the first pizza joint I have seen in a long time that had green olives. When I was a child the family’s favorite pizza was green olive, pepperoni and mushrooms. I got that for old times sake. It just looked like a pizza, so no photos.
During my down time between appointments, I found myself watching TV, which is something I rarely do. I was surprised at how much I wanted to buy the cooking devices I saw advertised on infomercials. I knew that if I wasn’t limited to having only what I could carry, I would have ordered a pressure cooker that had a broiling lid!
Here is the travel gear stuff!
My business went well and I was glad to pack my bags to return to Houston. This was the first time I had flown with my new Rick Steves backpack. I have lightened my load so much over the last seven months that I realized I really didn’t need to have a pack with a waist belt. A belt was a must-have for me when I carried a 40 pound pack, but now at less than 19 pounds (8.62 kilos) for my pack, the belt is just a needless weight. I often found myself carrying my pack without the belt fastened. That way it was always catching on things.
My original pack weighed 3.5 pounds (1.59 kilos), which at the time seemed quite light. The Rick Steves back weighed in at 2.0 pounds (0.91 kilos) when I received it. After I took out the hidden pouch, stuff sacks, and interior compression straps, it weighed in at 1 pound 12 oz (0.785 kilos). When you are traveling as light as possible, that is quite a difference.
With everything added in for my trip to Poland, my under the seat bag is now weighing in at 4.2 kilos (9 pounds 4 oz), and my backpack at 8.6 kilos (18 pounds 15 ounces.) I took one photo of my new backpack alongside my under the seat bag, before realizing I needed to place something next to them to show scale. Both bags are now at a total of 12.8 kilos. If I fly on a very restrictive airline, I can put on my raincoat and scarf to lighten the bags up to the 12 kilo total allowed.
Back to the Travel Tale
As I dropped off my rental car I felt I was surrounded in a bubble of happiness. I had been so stressed out dreading my business trip, worrying that everything would go wrong, that when all went well I was over the moon.
As I was walking through the Indianapolis airport, I saw a woman who was sitting at a security checkpoint. It was the sort of checkpoint that is manned, for no other reason than to tell travelers that they were leaving the secure area and must turn back or go through security again. I said, “ma’am”. She looked at me as if she were thinking, “Oh god what does this woman need? I looked at her, strait in the eyes and said, “Smile!” She looked at me confused for a bare moment and a huge smile spread across her face. I said, “There, I knew that you had a pretty smile.”
Okay, I know what you are thinking. “What an asshole! Does she really think that just by her touchy feely crap, she can influence people?” Fine, you are due your thoughts. What you didn’t see is the smile that woman had on her face. I hope she remembers my smile at her as long as I remember the beautiful smile she returned to me.
(Actually Nomad’s Drink)
When I got to the gate, I used my Priority Pass benefits at the Fan Zone, which was right next to my gate. The pass is one of the benefits, which comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The pass gives you access to airport lounges all over the world. In some places it gives you a credit at a restaurant when there is no lounge available. At the Fan Zone, my tab was less than five dollars over the amount of the credit. Of course I tipped based on the original amount before the discount.
My friend’s husband picked me up from the airport. I was glad to get back to her house and take her dog out for a walk.