Nothing too interesting going on at the Burbank Airport. The United ticket counter moved acceptably quickly. I had to bring my luggage over to the x-ray device myself. (I guess this is why they really want to build a new terminal building so they can have proper security.) The scanner took a long time looking at my bag, which I can only guess is due to the odd electronics in there. (Well, nothing too odd, a few AC adapters and a microphone.
Next step was the security checkpoint, where a nice gentleman wanted to see what the weird things in my bag was. Having done this before, I knew that he wanted to see that my camera was really a camera. I offered to take a picture of him, but he declined.
I purchased a chocolate and vanilla swirl frozen yogurt to complete my rushed lunch. Then it was over to the nifty computer shelf (lots of AC outlets, only missing some stools) to see what kind of wireless the Burbank Airport had. For more information on that, see my previous journal entry.
Boarded the Boeing 737 and went to my aisle seat towards the back. The beginning of the flight was uneventful, and Stitch and I got to see the Grand Canyon.
Towards the end of the flight, 85% of the way to Denver, we encountered the worst turbulence I've encountered on 70,000 frequent-flyer miles worth of flying. I was very very happy to be on the ground again when we landed.
Denver International Airport is HUGE. I think the United Terminal (B) must be at least a mile long. And of course, when you have less than half an hour to catch your next flight, it's all the way on the other side. To complicate things I needed to pick up dinner. The tiny bag of "Fancy Pretzels" just isn't a meal. (Insert Rant on Airline Cost Cutbacks Here).
Knowing I was short for time (flight to depart at 6:20), I picked the place with the shortest line. Because I hate paying the exorbitant airport food prices, I also looked for something cheap. This happened to be Domino's. $2 for a Piece of "Pizza". How bad can it be? So I got two. $4.31 total. While waiting in line, I noticed a red sign on the cash register:
If we don't give you a receipt, your meal is free
My next stop was the gate, or so I thought. I got half way there, decided I wanted more food. I found a Poppy-Lemon muffin for a little under $2. When I pulled the money out of my pocket, I realized I had never gotten a receipt! I calculated that I had enough time, so I speedwalked back to Domino's and tried to get my money back. They weren't happy about it, but they did.
Having resolved the meal issue, I scurred to the gate and boarded with plenty of time, especially since there was a high number of people who decided to board at almost the last minute. This time, a window seat, so I can see all the flatness that is the midwest.
By the time I got to eat the pizza, it was cold. Then again, if it had been hot originally, it probably would only have been warm. Considering it was free, it really wasn't that bad. There was a little turbulence right after takeoff, but things smoothed out.
Arrived at STL airport with a jarring bump. First few slides of the Kida presentation are done. There was a very nice sunset visible out of the side of the plane -- clouds turning all sorts of nice colors. Made a quick call to the hotel to arrange a taxi, and then went to get my luggage. In an amazing fit of efficiency, the luggage was already coming out of the carousel when I got there, and my bag came out quickly.
Took a "County Cab" taxi to the Chesire. Turns out the flat rate of $21 only saved about a dollar over what the meter said, but if there had been traffic it would have been a definite win. The driver was a very nice guy and answered some of my touristy questions.
All checked in, up in my room. Nothing special, but perfectly sized for me. Two beds, and lots and lots of very nice looking wood furniture. Not enough power outlets, nor an extra phone jack, but that's ok. Local calls are free, so I can have a 28.8 connection to the outside world if I so desire.
Wandered back downstairs, and saw some people: Dominus, Dieter, Dave, Damian, Kevin, Geoff, and others.. (Not all at once though...)