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"There's no point in being grownup if you can't be childish sometimes." -the 4th Doctor.

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My name is Romanadvoratrelundar, but the Doctor says it's too long, so you can just call me Romana.
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Godchild, #4Claymore, Volume 15Godchild, #3Her Majesty's Dog, Volume 2Claymore, Vol. 14Dragon Head Volume 10

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chicago and Back!

D.W.Q.: "Brigadier, a straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting." -the Third Doctor

Okay, okay, okay. Yes, I have been back from Chicago Tardis for over a week now. No, I haven't uploaded any of my pictures yet. (Bad, BAD, Ro!!) Next year, I hope not to have to move in between big events in my life-in fact, I hope not to move at all next year! But, man-I sure have been wiped out over the past few months. All last week I spent trying to catch up on sleep at home after work-I think I'm finally getting there... ;)

I met Elisabeth Sladen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But before I get to that awesomeness (and the awesomeness of meeting Colin Baker, and hanging out with people at the con), I'll have to share with you my travel adventure-because my vacations always seem to involve crazy travel situations. (Next week I'll share one of my favorite stories, just before I head out again!) ;)

I decided to take the Megabus into Chicago. Cheap trips (depending on when you leave). If you've never been on a Megabus before-it's a double decker bus, and I got to ride up top-Way Cool! :-D It wasn't too bad-I was traveling at midnight, so there weren't many people on the first leg of my trip. The bus was clean and quiet (until we picked up a rather loud snorer in Toledo (although I should talk-I've been known to wake the dead with my snoring...) The bus driver was pretty cool, too, with a sense of humor.

All was fine and dandy...until we hit the tolls in Indiana. At first we were doing ok-then we hit a toll booth that took a little longer than usual to get through...but we made it through. The next one, however-we were sitting at for quite a long time. This was around 4:15am. When we finally did get through, the bus driver then pulled off to the side and said to us, 'Uh, folks, we have a bit of a situation here. Apparently my bosses have not satisfied the state of Indiana with their tolls, and want me to pay $150. So we're just gonna pull over and wait for a state trooper to show up. I'm not going to pay one dime, and I'm about to call and wake up my supervisor'. Holy crap!! After waiting about 20 minutes or so, the bus driver got out and walked back over to the booths-when he returned, we were on our way again, but taking the back route, since his supervisor couldn't do anything for him, and the State of Indiana probably wasn't going to let us drive through any more toll booths. Yikes!

We got into Union Station about 45 mintues late. I had called my friend Gene (who was picking me up) as soon as I knew we were going to be delayed-he didn't mind waiting. You think my story ends here? No! Chicago Tardis was actually being held in a hotel in Lombard, IL-about 20 mintues away. Somehow, on the way back, Gene got turned around, and we couldn't find the highway! (After relaying this story to some friends here at work, they weren't surprised-the highways are rather hard to find if you're not from the area) After driving around a bit, Gene pulled into a gas station to ask directions. Go figure-the attendent on duty didn't speak English, so we had to go somewhere else. He pulled into a Walgreens and managed to get directions. However, we figure he may have left something out. Not intentionally, of course. You know how if you are so familiar with an area, you may forget something that comes second-nature to you while giving directions? After driving around some more, we figured that's what happened, and ended up pulling into another gas station and buying a map. I may not have my driver's license, but I do know how to read a map!!

After 3 hours of driving around Chicago, we finally made it back to the hotel. I was tired, hungry (I realized I hadn't eaten since 3pm the day before), and was wondering why the heck I was going through all this trouble. As we walked into the hotel, I spotted Elisabeth Sladen chilling in the lobby, and thought to myself, "You big dummy! THAT'S why you're here!!!" Ha! As we stepped into the elevator, the inner-child in me started shouting, "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I just saw Sarah Jaaaaaaannnnnnnnneeeeeee!" ;)

Skip ahead, skip ahead, skip ahead. It is now Sunday night (I promise I'll get to the exciting stuff later!!!!) I'm sitting at the airport doing two things I swore I'd never do again: Fly from Chicago O'Hare, and fly United. (both have been bad experiences for me.) My excuse? flying Sunday night would allow me to stay the entire day on Sunday, without having to take an extra day of vacation (with Christmas, this time of year I'm very tight with vacation days). So I'm sitting at the gate-had no trouble with security, and the screens are rather informative-they have the flight that is currently departing, with a little note at the bottom telling you which flight is next out of the gate. A flight to LaGuardia was scheduled to leave before us. So I glanced at the screen-we were about an hour and 10 minutes delayed (due to the weather-it had started snowing quite a bit on Sunday) Checked the game that was on (Bears vs. Vikings-neither team I wanted to win, but one of them had too), then called Paul to tell him I was going to be late. After getting off the phone with Paul, I checked the screen-next flight out: Cleveland, 11pm. I gave my sister a call just to squee about all the fun I had. She can't wait to see pictures! I had to let her go because she had to get up early for work. Time for another screen check: Cleveland, 11pm. Ok, good. I decided to read for a bit-I leafed through the current issue of DWM that I had picked up at the convention. Screen check: Cleveland, 11pm. Then I decided to read a chapter in a book I picked up. Screen check: Orlando, 7:15am.

Orlando? ...7:15...AM?!?!?!?!

What the...? I lugged all my stuff to the Departures/Arrivals screens in the hall-apparently, they switched gates on us, and now we were all the way down the other end of concourse B. They didn't even bother to make an announcement. I rushed down to my new gate. Boarding was to start at 10:30pm. It was just after 10, and we were still due to leave about 11pm. The screens at this gate, however, are less than helpful. In fact, they were out of order. The only people from United at the gate were flight attendants, and they had no idea what was going on. The flight before us was going to Boston. At 10:25, they were still loading people up for Boston-I figured they'd just wait until they were out before starting our boarding. (I have to say, at this point, I was a bit concerned that my flight might actually be cancelled. Last time I got moved around, they cancelled my flight.) Just as I'm debating whether to grab my stuff just to check the Departures/Arrivals screens again, a fellow passenger walks up and bellows: "If you're waiting for Cleveland, they've switched the gate on us again!" Much groaning and hurried walking ensued. I actually dropped my hat and gloves while trying to gather my stuff and get to the next gate. A gentleman stopped to help me gather my stuff. :) (Whoever you are, wherever you are-thank you!) When I got to the new gate, they had us leaving about 11:16pm. To be on the safe side, I gave Paul another heads up.

When we were finally situated, we left the gate. However, departure times are based on when you leave the gate, not when you actually take off from the tarmac. We had another 20 minutes to half an hour waiting on the tarmac to be de-iced, then waiting in line to take off. (There were two lines of planes-they'd let one in our line go, then one in the other, then let one in the air land.) By the time we hit Cleveland, it was 1:50 am-almost 2 hours from our original arrival time. I felt so bad-I was hoping that Paul didn't have to drive around the entire time. Luckily-they were letting people park and wait at the arrival doors (something they don't normally do-but since it was so late, traffic wasn't such a big issue.) I owe Paul a big batch of yummy brownies. :)

I didn't get home until about 3am, and didn't fall asleep until 4. Silly me, I still went to work that morning-even though I got up about 5 minutes before I had to be out the door!! It was a rush job-clean clothes, brush hair, but no makeup. Grab a cereal bar and run!!! I actually made it to work on time. However, in my rush, I had left my camera at home. LOL.

That's all for now-I'm gonna get my pictures uploaded. I've also promised updates for
the Idiot's Lantern and sarah-jane.tv. Stay tuned for more! :)

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posted by Romana1 on 12:39 PM | *

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