On Tuesday, I had a late afternoon presentation in Abington, north of Philadelphia. Since Amy was not going to be able to get out of work on time, I made arrangements last week with her father to pick up the kids and take them to Aaron's baseball practice. This entailed having the following things ready at our house for him to grab before we headed to their school: car seats, dinner, baseball bag, and driving directions.
Then I found out I had to give a presentation earlier
that day in Raleigh, North Carolina. I decided to fly in that morning
rather than the night before, so it made for a long day but at least I
got to sleep in my own bed. (I'm up early anyway, so leaving the house
at 5 is not as painful.)
To make things even funner,
Monday afternoon I got a call from Aaron's school, saying he had thrown
up. Of course. Amy was able to leave work early to get him, while I
scrambled to find babysitters to stay home with Aaron during the day,
and to tell Aaron's baseball coach that he wouldn't be making practice
Thankfully, Amy was able to commit to extricating herself from work and staying home, which
greatly simplified things. We called the battery of babysitters to tell
them they weren't needed, and called Amy's dad to say there was no need
for a pick-up and ride to baseball practice. She even scheduled a plumber for a toilet leak, seeing as that she would be stuck at home anyway.
Family and house matters squared away, I returned my attention to my travel itinerary. On paper, it was supposed to go like this: Walk to El
station, El to 30th Street, Regional Rail to Philadelphia International,
US Airways to Raleigh Durham International, bus to downtown Raleigh,
walk five minutes to presentation location, give presentation, bus back
to Raleigh Durham International, US Airways to Philadelphia
Here's where it got crazy. Since the airport is in the southern
tip of Philadelphia, and Abington is north of Philadelphia, I scoped out
a number of alternatives depending on when I touched down. My best bet
was to Regional Rail it to Elkins Park and then cab it five minutes
from there. But since the Regional Rail only runs every 30 minutes, and
I was going to be cutting it close to begin with, my alternative was to
cab it from the Airport to either 30th Street or Fern Rock
Transportation, where I would grab a PhillyCarShare rental and drive the
rest of the way.
You probably know where this is going. First, that my flight was
late getting into Raleigh, so the bus was out as an option. I cringed
as I hailed a cab, realizing I was paying $46 for almost the exact same
origin and destination as the $2 bus.
meeting went long, which was more than fine from a business standpoint,
but knocked out taking the bus back to the airport. Thankfully, a
colleague of mine offered me a ride to the airport, so that was pretty
Third, our flight was delayed out of Raleigh,
because the plane was coming from Philadelphia and it was still stuck
there. (I guess I could've waited for the next bus after all.) So much
for scoping out all of the ways to get to Abington from Philadelphia
International. The Abington presentation would have to go on without me.
I got into Philadelphia an hour late, and took the Regional Rail and a bus home, picking up Jada on the way
home. When we got home, we got the report that the plumber had fixed
everything and Aaron was feeling better. After an itinerary like I had,
that was music to my ears. It's always good to be home.
PS Since this was probably my shortest business trip ever, it's not surprising it was also the lightest I've ever packed. In a thin portfolio, I had jammed papers related to my Raleigh presentation and my Abington presentation, plus some notes on my Penn class that I was going to work on while on the plane. I also stuck in a pack of gum, two granola bars, a stack of business cards, and two issues of Time. It was liberating to not have a bag, let alone a suitcase.