Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GHC: Travelling is Fun

The four of us executive members of Carleton's Women in Science and Engineering have arrived in Denver, Colorado, and can't wait until the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing gets started! But I have to say getting here wasn't quite as easy as it could have been...

We congregated at the Ottawa International Airport at 1pm today, meeting two full hours before our flight was supposed to leave. Of course, nothing is that simple, so as we tried to check in with our pre-printed boarding passes, we learned that our flight had been delayed and we would miss our connection in Chicago. Great. Although we booked with Air Canada, our flight was with United Airlines. We got switched to Continental and flew via Newark, New Jersey.

After running to the other end of the airport to get new tickets printed, and then running back to the new checkin desk, it was off to US Customs. It was surprisingly easy for me to get through, and once I was done, I waited in the gates area. And waited. And bought a muffin and cookie from Tim Hortons. And waited some more. Finally, two of the other three showed up. Where's the fourth? Oh, you didn't see her? Hmm...

Turns out our fourth member, who happens to be travelling with a Mexican passport, got a "random" security interrogation. Luckily, she's apparently used to it as she's flown to the US several times, but this almost caused her to miss the flight! We were so worried she'd be left behind to find her own way. She says that as she came down the escalator, she saw the boarding lady all the way on the other end of the gates area start to walk away after final call. Our fearless WISE webmaster managed to run across and get on the plane. Phew.

I was so glad to get to Newark and off the teeny little Continental express plane. Although it was only three seats wide and I got to be on the side of the aisle with one seat, I couldn't take any more of Mr. Sniffles. The guy right behind me was obviously under the weather, and couldn't seem to contain his urge to snortle, sniffle, gag, etc. Loudly and disgustingly. Nice.


(We stopped by a 50's style diner in the Newark airport and got a milkshake and junk food to go. I never got to eat mine, but it's ok - it was bad for me anyway! I'll be eating well the rest of this trip.)

The flight to Denver was mostly uneventful. I watched Speed Racer and chatted a bit with my seat mates. One was a really tall guy (who necessarily took up half of my seating room in addition to his own) returning home from a trip to Italy. The other was a young woman who was also returning home, but in her case from a CD release party for her friends in New York City. She was very nice and even ended up giving me a dollar bill for the headsets because they ran out of change.

So now we are here. Tomorrow, we are going to Keystone resort, and all but one of us are doing bag stuffing as part of our Hopper Volunteer duties. Our room is going to be great; it's a suite with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We'll each get our own bed! Who says travelling isn't fun? ;)


Christian Muise said...

If you see Lila from U of T, say hello for me ;).

Gail Carmichael said...

Hehe, ok, but perhaps you could help me out by at least telling me if she's a student, prof, etc :)

Christian Muise said...


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