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[personal profile] d_aulnoy
Can I have "What is travel?" for $1,000 Alex?

I love going to conferences, I really, really do.  It's just that I hate getting to them, and for that matter, getting back from them.  

ICFA was actually fairly painless, as these things go.  I mean, sure, I tried a new medicine the night before I left without realizing that one of its rare side effects (I am the queen of rare side effects) is wakefullness, which meant that I went to bed at midnight, stared at the ceiling for a few hours, got up for my flight, and was a little punchy the first day ... but what's a non sequitur or three between friends, right?  But aside from that and the con-crud, that trip went swimmingly.

(An aside: Dear Company Whose Products I Saw in the Orlando Airport: You are so twee.  There is no excuse for luggage tags that say things like "Don't Board Without the Lord" and "Bless this Baggage."  If God has enough time to watch over your checked luggage while tsunamis are happening?  Either he's got a bad case of tunnel-vision, or, more likely, your customers are smug, self-satisfied, self-obsessed asshats.)  

On the other hand, York?  York is sort of shaping up to be a clusterfuck. 

Point the first: they did warn me to book my accommodations early, but I thought "inside of a week from getting the e-mail" was early.  Nope.  The 4-night stays were booked solid by the time I got around to it, which means I'm spending the first night in one place, and the next three in another.  It will be so much fun schlepping my suitcase across a busy campus in the middle of an eventful conference.  

Point the second: V and I intelligently booked an 11:30 AM flight home from Manchester to Newark, thinking it was the best balance between not getting up too early and still having a semi-usable workday upon getting home.  Nope.  Continental fucked us by moving the flight back two hours.  Do you know how early you have to get to the train station in York in order to catch a 9:30 plane out of Manchester?  3:40.  Military time, y'all.

Happily, my husband has, like, a black-belt in airline-fu, so we're transferred to a later flight with a London layover ... it'll mean getting home late Sunday night, but, hey, at least I'll be alive upon disembarking, which could not be guaranteed if I'd gotten up at 3 in the damned morning.

You know how the Lady of Shallot is weary, weary?  Me, I'm wary, wary.  Travel sucks.  

Date: 2011-03-22 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
York is a very easy campus to navigate. There are ramps everywhere.

Date: 2011-03-22 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-aulnoy.livejournal.com
That is good to know: now I will just need to find the cunning gap between the closely spaced panels!

Date: 2011-03-23 06:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
Oh, and make sure you have some flat shoes. The city of York is all cobbles. I gave up high heels two weeks into my freshman year.

Date: 2011-03-23 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-aulnoy.livejournal.com
More valuable info! You know how I am with the heels. Looks like it's going to be an all-Fluevog weekend, then ....

Date: 2011-03-23 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
Hats and umbrellas not great either because it can be windy, but a Hermes scarf never came amis (I used to have a huge collection of headscarves, I never wear them now).

Date: 2011-03-23 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-aulnoy.livejournal.com
Headscarf, check - *and* you just reminded me to pack my fancy conditioner. I learned my lesson about British water and my crazy hair last time!

Date: 2011-03-23 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner for frizzy hair, available in Boots.

Date: 2011-03-23 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
And make sure you go to Little Betty's tea rooms on Stonegate (it's older and prettier than the larger Betty's, it used to be known as Taylor's and belonged to the tea company). Do not be put off by the line, it moves fast.

I once went there with a woman I was besotted with, and we found ourselves taking tea with two elderly women who had lived together ever since they met at Leeds university in 1921. They wore gloves and hats, and were ever so ever so genteel. And they new exactly what we were and we knew what they were. It's that kind of place.

Date: 2011-03-23 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-aulnoy.livejournal.com
Oh, that sounds magic - thank you, thank you, thank you for the tips! V and I are taking the red-eye tonight so as to have a day to recover before the conference starts. Factoring in time for a nap, that means we'll have a nice span in which to explore York proper, and I love the idea of this ....

Date: 2011-03-23 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fjm.livejournal.com
The Museum Gardens is a lovely place to stroll. Skip the Jorvik Viking Centre which is for tourists and instead check out York Castle Museum or the Yorkshire Museum (which is in the Museum gardens and round the corner from the art gallery which has a splendid collection of male nudes).

York will be lovely this time of year with the wall banks covered in daffodils.

Date: 2011-03-22 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rozk.livejournal.com
London layover? Does this mean I get to hang with you two for a little while? I will even come to the airport on the train to do this...

Date: 2011-03-22 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-aulnoy.livejournal.com
Oh, man, would that we could (btw, did I miss a call from you this Sunday? I have no messages, but it looks like a got a call from a London # while I was on the plane). Sadly, our layover is less than two hours, which between delays, the general layout of Heathrow, and the probability of long lines at security means we won't be able to count on getting out and in in a timely fashion. BAH.

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