Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seeing the Signs

Sometimes there are subtle signs that a trip might go wrong.  The first sign on this  trip is the destination – Laredo, Texas.  This is my first trip to Laredo but I have been to McAllen, another Texas/Mexico border town.  I hated it there.  It was hot and windy and ugly.  I don’t have high expectations for Laredo. 

Laredo, proud hometown of two boxers I have never heard of.  The airport consists of 4 gates, 1 restaurant that was completely empty when we arrived (outside of security) and 1 duty free shop (inside of security).

At the airport, I ask the woman next to me if she has been to Laredo before, and she confirms she has, she goes regularly for business.  I ask if she has any recommendations for sights or restaurants.  “Not really”, she says.  “I work with a hospital and we are told we should go directly from the hotel to the hospital and back again.  They recommend we don’t venture out alone.”

I feel concerned that the Department of Public Safety was forced to place a "Closed By DPS" sign on this elevator at DFW Airport.  

When I begin packing, I always check the extended weather outlook.  I made the mistake once of not doing this on a trip that took me from Chicago to Des Moines, Iowa to St. Cloud, Minnesota over a week.  In the winter.  One of my customers told me to bring my winter coat.  I said, “You are aware I live in Texas, right?”  The people in Minnesota took pity on me and accompanied me to buy snow boots during lunch (and yes, they were MEN’S boots).

I won't need snow boots on this trip.  I get fussy when the temperature gets over 80.  I guess it could be worse though, I could be here in August instead of March.

I still have those boots.  And two winter coats.  And a variety of other clothes for all possible situations.  And umbrellas in various sizes.  I brought one of those umbrellas with me.

But as I mentioned in my last post, even with safeguards in place and my experience as a traveler, I still forget things.  This time, two things.  I have no casual, comfortable clothes to wear while sitting around my hotel room, other than a nightgown or the clothes I wore on the plane, and I don’t have my cell phone charger.

Fortunately, there is a Best Buy next door.  I know this because it is the view from my hotel window.  I can also see there is a Target behind that so the necessary items can be acquired at some point. 

Some signs like these are subtle, but there are also actual signs that this trip might be headed in the wrong direction.

This sign is prominently displayed on the registration desk.  I can hear the wind howling outside my window right now.

There is another sign that pool is closed due to maintenance.  Of course I remembered to pack a swimsuit.

What I read on the plane:  Life is Short-Wear your Party Pants by Loretta LaRoche

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