Wednesday, August 03, 2005

There and Back Again - Episode 1 - Back from Indy

My oldest friend, (the one person other than myself I can count on to read this) sent me an e-mail inquiring as to my return trip while I was still in Indiana.
This post will close the book on this particular trip.
The rest of the trip there:
I did indeed board a second plane at approx. 6:30pm (Eastern Time in Motor City) that arrived, by the time you make the change to Central time, five minutes later in IndianaCity.
Out at the street I find the Rental Car stop and wait.  And wait.  And wait...
Now, to be fair, I am used to this to a certain extent.  I may have mentioned before, my rental-car company of choice is National.  (Now merged with Alalmo, though the merger is not reflected by joint operations at all destinations.)  This is not because they are the biggest, nor because they have the most frequent bus service to their lot.  On the contrary, It seems that the pattern is more like Three Hertz busses and two Avis busses pass by trolling for customers be for the Blue/Green NationAlamo (my suggested name for the merged company...  ;->) arrives and I can schlep my bags on-board.  In fact I most notice this pattern when traveling to a frequent destination: Boston's Logan airport.  I once made the comment to the young ladies working the National desk in Providence's TFGreen airport, that they could send some vans all the way UP to Boston and STILL come by more frequently than the on-site operation at Logan.
Why, you may ask, do I rent with National, given this complaint?  Two Words:
Emerald Aisle.
Unlike their four-letter competitor, who are happily to drive me to a reserved car, with Emerald Aisle, I get to choose my vehicle.
MrGadgets is a 'hefty' guy and this makes for a more comfortable driving experience.  Plus, they will, on occasion, get a bit behind populating the Aisle with four-door mid-size models.  In this case, they will make a SUV or Mini-Van available to me at no additional cost.  I find that being a bit higher than surrounding traffic is a major advantage, especially when driving in a new city.
This particular trip there was a wait.  There was also a message...
When I got there there was a Hertz bus PARKED at the pick-up area.  Another arrived and pulled over to check on the first.  And Avis bus passed, with no reason to stop.  A third Black/Yellow bus rumbled by.  Meanwhile the White/Red Avis bus arrived and began disgorging travelers returning home.  As the FOURTH Hertz bus came into view, I noticed there was an Avis right behind.
Soooo, this time there were FOUR, count them FOUR Hertz and THREE AVIS busses.  And at one point there were THREE Herz and TWO AVIS busses present AT THE SAME TIME.
As the big Hertz tigers began to rumble off, the Blue/Green NationAlamo finally came into view.
TELL me their is not God and that he doesn't have a sense of humor.
The drive was un-eventful and I arrived at the Residence Inn much the worse for wear, walking into my room almost exactly 12 hours after I had left my drive-way.  At that point I could have driven to Indy, turned around and been most of the way BACK to KC.
Sholda drove...
The week itself varied:
Lows: exhausting (working each break to make up for set-up time lost on Monday's trip in and just the nature of this Client) and exasperating (lost a key bit of tech.)
Highs included interesting eateries/shops.  (Ate some good food, including Russian, shopped some good stores, mostly Half-Priced Books and generally had more good than bad.)
I must say the Northern area of Indy and it's sub-urbs is obviously inhabited by well-heeled Hoosiers.
Only thing I regret is not being able to meet-up with a friend for coffee.  Maybe next time.
Like I said, I was exhausted at the end of each day.
One expected low was my now-dreaded trip home.  This turned out to be un-founded.
Arrived back at airport in plenty of time.  (Discovered back-road.)
Shopping Tip:  BrookStone had assortments of tips for the iGo power adaptor system.  These were reasonable choices and much cheaper than the individual RadioShack prices for same.  I will have to check other locations to verify if this is a regular offering.  (E-Mail with any reports.)
Unusual Ethnic Food Selection:  Indy has a new Kolache Factory franchise.  Kolache's are a Chech invention featuring dough surrounding meats and sauces (entree choices) or fruits/jams (dessert.)  They are franchised out of Texas of all places.  I first encountered Kolache Factory locations in Houston.  Quite good, give them a try, if you get a chance.
Flight home (my only reason for flying) was a dinky plane.  I was cramped but it was quite short and un-eventful.  I arrived home safe and sound a full hour and a half faster than having returned by car.
Shoulda...   Oh Heck! You get the idea.
The Joys of Business Travel (tm)


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