- Frequent flier free drink coupons. Beside the ones I earn, I have a few other souces. Now, before you get all in a huff, I’m not downing gin and tonics at seven in the morning on my way out. But a nice jack and coke on the evening flight home is great joy.
- When I get the free drink, and they actually give me the entire can and entire mini bottle of Jack Daniels. Yum.
- Food I can’t get at home. Don’t over think it people. There’s nothing better than a double double at In-n-Out burger accompanied by a facebook post of the meal. My friends who love In-n-Out and don’t get to eat it post profanity laced comments while those who can get it any time mention how much they love it. Chick-Fil-A in the south (although we have them in Chicago now). Del Taco, well, never. It’s just not very good. But you get my point.
- Do it yourself waffle irons. Some of the mid-tier hotel chains entice you to stay with them by offering a free breakfast. Many are nothing more than a box of cereal, some tasteless cut up pineapple and watermelon and luke warm, bitter coffee. The good places have a waffle iron. You fill a tiny cup with batter, pour it onto the waffle iron and in just one hundred and thirty seconds, a perfectly browned Belgian waffle is yours. With practice, I’ve been getting better at not overfilling the waffle iron and causing it to spill on the table.
- An entire row to myself. Remember back before 9/11 when planes didn’t seem to care if they sold all the seats on the plane? There were always empty seats. Nowadays, airlines are scraping for every penny with bag fees, ten bucks to check in early, headset fees, snack fees, barf bag fees, don’t even think of asking your flight attendant for anything fees. It seems that every flight is full. But I keep running into one except. One place I fly, the flight there is always full, but the flight home usually has empty seats. It’s nice not to get elbowed by the guy next to me who is asleep, or have the person in front of my jack their seat back the second I open my laptop. This week I had the entire row to myself. I stuffed my bag under the seat next to me, stretched out my feet and kept my books and magazines on the seat next to me. It was awesome. Now if I just knew why so many people fly to Oakland but so few out.
- ESPN’s Sport Center. I don’t watch Sports Center much anymore. In college, I watched it religiously. But in hotels, I start my day with Sports Center, because no matter what time I get up, in exactly one hour, I will have seen everything I need to. I still want to find the person who thought having news people standing up while on camera was a good idea. They are always fidgeting and rolling their scripts, and rocking back and forth. Get back behind the desk. Make me wonder if you are wearing pants or not.
- Fun rental cars. This doesn’t happen much. I usually end up with a Ford Tarus with 30,000 miles, and there was that one time I had a Hyundai Sonata where the power steering didn’t work, but every once in a while, you get a car that’s fun to drive. On this last trip, I had a Buick (insert). Once I got used to starting the car without the key and the terrible blind spot, it was fun to drive. It had some balls. It helps that my normal cars are lacking in acceleration and are, well, very practical.
- Having extra time to relax. On a good trip, I get to stop working at a normal time. Usually the hotel is close to the office, so my normal commute is gone. I get to work out, then head out for a nice dinner, with no cooking or cleaning involved. Since I am not at home, there are no after dinner chores to do. No taking the garbage out, no sifting through piles of junk mail, no cleaning the litter box. I don’t have to worry about picking clothes for tomorrow because I’ve only got three shirts with me.
- Coming home. This is the best thing. I know, totally cheesy, but I’ve never been on a trip that I didn’t want to come home from. Even better than that is the rare time the flight home lands early and the kids are still awake, not knowing that I’m getting home before they go to bed. The welcome home hugs and kisses are a lot longer and tighter if I’ve been gone for a few days.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Things about Traveling that I like
Last post I ranted on all of the bad things about traveling. This week I’ll put a positive spin on traveling.