The BobLog, Saturday January 10, 2004

Woke up from a mediocre night’s sleep to a now fairly warm room.  Mom had forgot her toothbrush, and the front desk didn’t have any, so we’ll need to pick this up later.  It was a little after 9 when we were packed and ready, and needed to be at the airport by 9:30.  Mom wasn’t too hungry, but of course I needed to have my breakfast (only got 3 meals the day before: no snack at night), so I hopped down to Denny’s, which was just down the street.  Got served right away, and made it back on time.  Oh, it might be worth reporting that it was –7 degrees this morning.  The bottles of water I had in the car were frozen solid.

When we got to the airport, the skycaps outside were able to take our baggage and check us in, giving us our tickets.  This was a real time-saver.  When we entered the airport, we saw my brother Ray by the ticket counter!  He had come down to be with us on our flight from Buffalo to Philadelphia. 

Next stop was going through security.  The line was huge.  Mom was the lucky one to be picked for the “special” screening (where they go through ALL your stuff), so Ray and I went with her (and received the “special” treatment also).  As it turned out, we probably made it through faster this way, then had we gone through the normal way (in the long line).  We passed through without any difficulties, and went to the gate.  I booted up my laptop and checked out the wireless internet they had there… looked like a T1 connection – pretty quick.  We had a snack at one of the restaurants, and met a woman who was a Christian, working at one of the restaurants, and had a good conversation with her.

We are flying first-class, as I had frequent-flyer miles to burn, so it was nice to be in the big seats, and have all the drinks and snacks.  Ray had his GPS with him, so he was tracking our position.  I was doing my cell phone research experiment: trying to see just where I lost the link.  The answer is: 50 seconds after takeoff, and it returns 60 seconds prior to landing.

The plane ride was smooth, and we arrived in Philly on-time.  There was a significant distance between our arriving gate and the departing gate (since we were just connecting here), so mom found an electric cart that took her to the gate, while Ray and I walked.  There are TON of stores at this airport!  There used to be a Staples, but it had just moved out two weeks ago.  Mom managed to pick up her toothbrush here.  We had a leisurely (but expensive!) lunch, and awaited the next flight.  I tried unsuccessfully to use the wireless network at this airport.

We boarded the next flight to Ft. Lauderdale, which is a bigger plane (a 757), yet with a smaller first-class section.  We basically had a stewardess for 8 people!  There were a few bumps at the start, but the ride was smooth overall.

1/10/04 – 7:00PM
We are now at the hotel.  It took a while to get the luggage.  I found the Princess lady, who called for a bus for us.  It took another half hour, but the bus finally showed.  There were only a couple of us going from the airport to this hotel, but apparently there are around 300+ people staying here at this Marriott that will be going on the cruise ship tomorrow.  The room here is very nice, and the service is excellent.  Definitely an order of magnitude above last night’s hotel.

We went to a nice Italian restaurant called Carlucci’s that is close to the hotel.  Awesome food, even though the chicken French was loaded with fungi (which I promptly removed).  Mom’s chicken marsala was also excellent.

It’s now 10PM, and we’re back at the hotel, very full, very tired.  They have free wireless internet here, but it’s funky – lots of dropped packets, and it looks like it’s a broken proxy server.  But at least it’s enough to get this section of the BobLog out to all you guys! 

Tomorrow afternoon is when we board on the Grand Princess boat.  They have a bit of an odd way of dealing with luggage – you’re supposed to leave your bags OUTSIDE your door in the morning.  They will be going around to pick them up.  I’m not real keen on leaving my stuff in the hallway, so I’ll probably take it down myself.  Nite Nite!

Hmm, unfortunately my camera card reader isn’t reading my new 128 meg card, so I can’t upload any pics yet.  Might have to wait until I get back.

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