Archive for Travel Man

Connecting on the WiFi from 30,000 feet

Event-WiFi-My-Meeting-ProfessionalMy Travel Man has a crazy work schedule. He’s home, he’s gone, and then he’s home again.  Sometimes his trips turn around so fast it makes your head spin, and that’s no joke, for him and for me.  In the last few weeks I have realized that his travel communication has taken a new turn.   Whenever my Travel Guy is gone for a few days we always make sure we get in some video chatting time.   This is really important for him and for me too, to have the personal connection time.  Normally we chat on either Facetime or Google Hangouts.  Google Hangouts usually has a fairly decent connection either domestically or internationally.  We have used it in both instances, and had fairly good video success.  Just a little long distance relationship advice.

Now back to my original story – the airlines (in our family meaning Southwest Airlines) have recently updated their WiFi service and it is now available on most flights across the country.  What this means for my Road Warrior of a husband is that he can stay connected to home and chat with me while he is 30,000 feet above wherever he is flying to or from.  It’s a great techie tool for him to stay a little more connected with me at home, and keep up on all of the latest news with the kids and grand-kids.  For instance, we have recently had a rash of a certain cat in the house (who shall remain nameless) bringing in his latest catch for me to see. So I’m able to chat with my hubby and let him know we have yet another mouse or lizard in the house.  I’m sure on the other end he has a little chuckle as he knows how much I hate to have anything crawling around on the floor that does not belong there.

And you know it’s more than just a little mind-boggling to realize that we can chat with each other the whole time he is in the air.  I’m still completely amazed by this fact. You realize my mind-boggling won’t even register with our grand-kids.  They will be growing up thinking this is “par for the course”.  Nothing out of the ordinary for them.

Also there have been occasions recently where I will have the grand-kids here with me and I allow Evan to type a few chat messages to his Papa.  He always takes a “Selfie” to send along too with a sweet loving message.

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So here is the way my Travel Guy’s flights go these days with his new-found WiFi connection while he is in a big metal tube in the air.  He has a nice tablet computer that goes along with him wherever he goes.  He is normally able to watch a movie, or a TV show via the airline connection, chat with his wife, and check his email messages.  That’s a ton of multi-tasking while on a travel assignment.   I suppose it could be a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because we are able to stay more connected than before, and a curse because he doesn’t really get any time off from his work e-mail.  A fine line and a tightrope that a lot of people walk these days I’m sure. 

My Travel Man really likes to geek out since he’s on the road so much, and I’m truly glad he’s got all the techie do-dads he needs to make his travels just a little bit easier. The added bonus of the WiFi in so many places makes our connection with one another all the more convenient, and we definitely like it that way.  Being able to stay connected like we do is what makes the distance between us just a teenie bit more tolerable.  

Flying Solo

photo (2)Yesterday  was a fun day. Travel Man arranged for me to  fly up to meet him in Oakland, California so we can spend some much needed time together this week. He’s a great guy.
You see normally when we are traveling together we’re most often taking a mini-vacation (I define this as 4 days or less).  When we do travel together I really don’t think about much except packing my clothes and following him to the airport.  Yesterday was a bit  different though.

For this trip I will be with Travel Man for a few days while he is working in Northern California.  So here’s how my morning went to get the travel day started.  I drove myself to the airport, parked in long term parking, checked my bag curbside (always better to check a bag than carry on!), got through security fairly quickly without using the preferred frequent flyer lane (because I’m not with Travel Man), and got my iced tea and a magazine. Phew!! I know I can do this on my own, it’s just a good reminder for me when I do.  We  most often fly on Southwest Airlines for the great reward perks.  If you are at all familiar with Southwest’s seating you know that there is no assigned seating, just assigned boarding designations.  So, my Travel Man was not with me to get on the plane ahead of me and save us our seats together.  I would be picking my own seat.  This part of my trip is a new experience for me.  I got a window seat of course as it’s always my favorite thing to look out the window when travelling.  I was the kid on family vacations that never slept in the car.  Always watching out the window and taking in the sights, and I’m still that way.

Travel Man was flying into Oakland from Buffalo, NY via Chicago.  My  flight was a short “up/down” (defined by me as less than two hours of fly time), Ontario to Oakland.  I am pleased to report that there were no glitches in the travel matrix yesterday, and our meeting in Oakland was pulled off successfully.  We were able to take the short drive to San Francisco and see both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge.  It was a bit of a stressful drive through the city, but a beautiful day for taking in the sights.

I’m a lucky, lucky girl that I am able to travel to where my husband will be working for the week.  His schedule’s a little crazy right now and any extra time we can glean together is a blessing.  I keep reminding myself that it’s definitely a bit of a different lifestyle.  My Travel Mans’ mode of commuting from city to city is an airplane (or as we jokingly say a “flying tube”).  It’s a different kind of life, but it’s our life.  It’s important for us to make the best of it, and our precious time together.  That’s my life lesson for the day.

One of the Happiest Places on Earth

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As you may or may not know my husband is a Travel Man/Road Warrior/Lives out of his Suitcase kind of guy.  He travels frequently for his job, and his mode of commuting is usually an airplane and a rental car. My job is to make sure Travel Man gets to the airport on time, and I am usually the one picking him up when he returns home.

Some months we’re driving back and forth to the airport so often it feels like we can do it with our eyes closed.  I do have to admit that I have learned to time my drive to the airport to pick Travel Man up to perfection.  I’m always tracking his travel home on an app for the iPhone called FlightAware.  Once the flight tracker shows his flight at 23 minutes until arrival I head for the airport.  I have yet to get my pick up timed to the point where as I drive up the road to make that left turn into the airport, Travel Man’s plane is flying over my head to land.  That time will come soon enough.

Since Travel Man is on the road so much when he lands at the airport home from work, I want my face to be the first one he recognizes when he is riding down the escalator to baggage claim.  So, I always park the car and I always walk in to meet my hard-working husband.

Usually while I’m in waiting mode between the escalator and baggage claim there are many, many happy moments to be noticed. This is one of those places where the happiness is happening for a multitude of reasons.  The grandparents meeting their grand-baby for the first time.  The military dad coming home for the holidays greeted by his 4-year-old daughter. (This one was a tear-jerker.)  The crowd actually parted to make a path for this sweet little girl to run up and meet her Dad.  The missionaries greeted by their families and friends after two years away in Chili.  Two big groups of family and friends.  That was an amazing sight.  The dad and his kids greeting mom after a trip away for whatever the reason.  Smiles all around.  The college kids coming home for the holidays or for summer break.   Dad coming home from a business trip greeted by his young sons, and his wife.  The sons just leapt into his arms for a big hug.

Hugs are all around, and the happiness is infectious. You cannot help but smile, and feel just a little bit cheerier when there is all of this happiness going on around you.  I’m  getting a little carried away with my happy words, but it’s the best way to describe the situation to you.

1-IMG_0112Then the happiness turns to me, and it’s my turn. There’s my Travel Man riding down the escalator.   When we see each other for the first time we give a little wave, maybe I blow him a kiss, and then it’s our turn to hug.  The airport baggage claim.  One of the happiest places on earth, in my opinion of course.

Some Thoughts from 30,000 Feet

1-IMG_0692This post was penned a few weeks ago, while I was on the plane with Travel Man going back to Illinois to see our family.  I wanted to share it with all of you because we were having so much fun together, and I always love sharing tales of my Travel Guy’s crazy work lifestyle.

June 20, 2013:  This weekend Travel Man and I are actually taking a little vacation trip together.  Yay!!  I’m writing this post from 30,000 feet somewhere between Denver and Milwaukee.  It is so nice to see Travel Man relaxed, laughing, and smiling.

He has had a harried three weeks.  He’s been through or in the airports in these cities:

Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Sacramento
Oklahoma City
Omaha
Denver
Philadelphia
Chicago Midway
Toronto

So needless to say he’s been making the “rounds” so to speak.  He’s been in a lot of airports, and had lots of rides in “tubes”.  That’s my new catch phrase for his airplane travel, or should I say where his office is located!!

He’s been getting a little burnt out on the airport/airplane routine.  He’ll ask me, “What day is it?, or Where was I last week?”.   Thank goodness for our electronic calendars.  That’s how we keep track of all of his travels.

Getting to take a trip just for family and fun is just plain good medicine for his soul right now. Plus we get to be together for a few days too!! Bonus!

Travel Man wanted me to write about our travel experiences on Southwest Airlines.  I’m saving that post for another day.  Today is about how great it is to be able to spend time with my husband.  Every trip we take no, matter how big or small becomes an adventure with him.  He’s a professional people watcher, because he’s in airports and amongst the crowds so much.  He loves to try to guess where people are going, or which person belongs with who, or what their life story is.  It can really be entertaining.

This weekend we are heading to Illinois to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.  We are looking forward to some big hugs, lots of gabbing, and then some more hugs.  My parents are there, and my brother and sister are joining us too.  I think it’s the first time we’ve all been in Illinois together since 1986.

This weekend I am determined to get the story of how my grandparents met committed to paper or some sort of electronic device.  A story that I want to have for posterity’s sake, and for all the grandkids to hear.

More on our weekend travels soon.  Memories will be made, pictures will be posted,  and then the long, goodbye hugs will be upon us.

Postscript: As you can probably tell I wrote this post prior to my Dad’s unexpected passing.  See my post from July 4, 2013.  Little did any of us know that fate brought us all together with my grandparents one last time.

An Unexpected Lunch Date

parental pictureMy parents are travelling across the country this week to visit my grandparents in Illinois.  Travel Man is working in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this week.  Ironically,  my parents happened to be driving right through Sioux Falls today, and were able to hook up with Travel Man for a quick-lunch.  What are the chances that the stars would align, and this would happen.  It’s a kismet, karma kind of thing.

I think it was all meant to be.  You see my siblings and I, and Travel Man were worried about our parentals taking this driving trip.  And to Mom and Dad, when you read this blog post, you have to know we were worrying about you.

 If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that my Dad is winning his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer!!  He’s been doing some alternative chemotherapy since last June, and he’s winning the fight.  His strength and endurance are not yet 100%, but his will and his attitude are at 150%  plus.

Never the less being the good kids that we are we were worried about them taking this drive.  We put our minds at ease knowing that if they had any trouble while they were on the road we were just a plane ride and a car drive away.  There was also this little thing of thinking that we could tell our Dad what to do. Ha!  That would definitely not be happening.

So, as of this writing they have already been on the road for ten days.  They visited my sister and her husband in Montana,  and stopped in South Dakota for a day of rest, and driver’s license renewals.  Next, they are on their way to Illinois to see the grandparents.  All in all a good trip for them so far.  Any worries that we all had we are just tucking under our chairs, and wishing them safe travels.  For me, my parents adventure is  a great lesson in perseverance.  Doing what you want to do, when you want to, and not letting anything stop you in your tracks.

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