Friday, November 9, 2018

Quick Takes (38): An Adventure or An Inconvenience?

- one -
“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered;
an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.”
– “On Running After Ones Hat,” All Things Considered by GK Chesterton

- two -
I usually end my Quick Takes with a quote from Chesterton, but in order for this post to make sense, I needed to start with it.  This has been long one of my favorite quotes from the prolific writer.  But, after my work trip last week, I'm beginning to question that.

I had to go Las Vegas for a training class on new database technology.  I wasn't terribly excited about the location and the time it would take to get there.  But, thankfully, the class was held at a business about ten miles north of the strip so I wouldn't have to deal all the craziness that is Vegas. 

- three -
I booked my flight on a new-to-me airline because of the timing of their return flight.  I wanted a red-eye and they were the only one who had it.  On Sunday, I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, checked my bag, and then wandered down to the gate.  Maybe five or ten minutes after we were supposed to start boarding, the gate attendant announced that the flight would be leaving late - by three hours.  And the reason?  The plane was still in Florida and hadn't left yet!

I was flying through Denver, so there was no way I was going to make my connecting flight.  There were about fifteen of us on the flight in the same situation.  They told us to line up at the desk and they would get us rebooked on other flights.  After twenty minutes of waiting only two people were taken care of.  So, I did what any self-respecting business traveler would do - I called our corporate travel agency. 

Since it was Sunday, I had to connect to the emergency support.  Mary Ellen pulled off a miracle and got me on the airline I usually fly, and it was only an hour behind my original schedule.

- four -
When I arrived in Vegas, guess where my luggage was?  Back at the original airport.  I spoke with someone at the airline's baggage office and she thought that it should arrive overnight and they would have a service deliver it in the morning.  Sometime after midnight I got a call informing me that the delayed flight had actually been cancelled and my bag would arrive on Tuesday. 

I could wear my travel clothes one day to class, but definitely not two.  A trip to the store was now on the agenda for after class on Monday.

- five -
If the airline issues were the only problems I had on this trip, I would have chalked it up to a rocky start.  My computer, which was needed for the class, gave me the "blue screen of death."  I forgot the power cord and my corporate card was denied when I tried to buy a new one.  A family member became ill and I couldn't find an earlier flight home.  An order at a restaurant was delivered with the wrong food. 

That red-eye flight home, the reason I chose this airline, was less than restful.  The flight attendants decided to catch up on their weekend plans, loudly. And getting a refund from them was a hassle.  They only wanted to refund about a third of the cost of the flight.

Last week felt more Jobian than Chestertonian!

- six -
The trip did, however, have some good points.  I was able to pick up an outfit at Macy's, on sale, at a great outdoor mall.  Oh to have an unlimited budget and more time.  There were some really great stores there, including one of my favorites, Lucky Brand.

On the way to the mall Monday night, the road I took to get to the highway dead-ended at a small mountain.  If you have ever driven out west, the mountains will seem reasonably close, but they aren't.  Usually, for me anyways, they end up being a couple hour drive.  So, during our lunch break on Tuesday I drove back to that mountain and snapped a few pictures.  There was a new neighborhood going in nearby, so I played looky-loo and toured one of the model homes.  The prices were in proportion to the mountains viewed from the homes, big.

- seven -
Class ended early on Wednesday, and I had time to kill before the aforementioned red-eye, so I decided to take a drive.  For all the times I have been to Las Vegas, I didn't realize just how close Red Rock Canyon was.  It was maybe a twenty to thirty minute drive.  I popped into Micky D's to get some beverages and took off.

What a glorious place! I had both the feeling of being insignificant in such a large place and in awe of God's majestic design where absolutely nothing is without meaning and purpose. 

Had I had a bit more time and a traveling companion, I would have driven the thirteen mile scenic loop.  It felt just a little too remote to do by myself.  It's definitely a place to which I would like to return.  I was able to get some beautiful photos while at the visitor's center.

An Adventure or An Inconvenience? How about both!

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at This Ain't The Lyceum.
Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Right Sized Celebration

Four years ago today I celebrated a milestone birthday.  I wanted a party and Tim obliged.  He invited our family and friends, some of which I hadn't seen in a number of years.  After dinner, when it was time for cake, I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my then two year old niece on my lap.  Standing, on the other side of the table, were all those people who came to celebrate with me.  It was a beautiful sight and, oh, how I wish I was the one with a camera!  It was everyone I loved and who was important to me.

This year's celebration was much more low-key.  I took the day off from work and we had planned on doing something.  For a bit we thought about taking a drive down to Amish country, but the weather forecast, with almost certainty of rain, nixed that idea.  A visit to the art museum was briefly a possibility, but I just wasn't in the mood for that.  I really wanted to stay closer to home.

So, after voting, we went out to breakfast at a local diner and then stopped in our church's adoration chapel for a "Holy Hi".  It's our version of a Holy Hour, only shorter.  How good it was to sit there in the presence of our Lord.

When we got home, Tim disappeared into the house while I was wandering the yard with the Hairy Beast.  He came out a few minutes later with my niece's kite that she left when she stayed with us a couple of weeks ago.  We had such fun - the two of us flying a Disney Princess kite in the backyard!

Later on we had a glass of wine by a fire.  I read, caught up on some TV shows online, and took the dog for a walk.

It was very different from four years ago and absolutely perfect.  It couldn't have been a better day.