Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Travelling noob

As a foil to my latest traveling post, I come to the blogosphere feeling like a noob.

I flew to a company location, that I've never been to before, in Maryland. I checked the weather, I packed the night before, I packed larger than 3 ounce toiletries knowing I would check my bag. It all seemed to be going okay.

I realized when I got in my rental car, I had no idea how to get from the airport to my hotel. After swearing out loud at myself, I calmly took my cell phone and used Google Maps Mobile. It couldn't find my hotel (it turns out I'm staying in the Courtyard Columbia by Marriott not the Marriott Courtyard Columbia). I followed the directions to Columbia and then decided I would use 411 to call the hotel and get guided in.

No such luck there. With all the web browsing to check my email in airports, my battery was almost dead. And as the nice recorded lady's voice on 411 said "Press 1 for the address," my phone died.

More loud swearing ensued. And I continued to drive in the direction towards the Columbia Town Center - there had to be hotels there. Maybe one of them would be mine!

I saw a movie theater and thought, "There are likely pay phones there and they'll have phone books." Right on the pay phone, wrong on the phone books. I tried Starbucks and they didn't have a phone book.s

So plan C or D formed in my head. I would go back to my car, get my chargers and either find the hotel online (T-Mobile Hot Spot at Starbucks) or use my phone and call and get directions. That worked and I was able to find my way to the hotel.

It turns out that about half of the people coming from out of town got lost too!

It doesn't help that the magazine on the last leg of my flight was the Road Warrior edition and there was a huge section about the Top 10 ways (reader contributed lists) to identify traveling newbies.

At least I used the alarm on my phone when my wakeup call was 10 minutes late!

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