Monday, February 11, 2008

Nashville, Day 1: Planes, Monorails, and Rental Cars

So there I am, six hours into my eleven-hour day of airplanes and airports, running at breakneck speed through Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, from my two-hour-late flight, attempting to make a connecting flight to Nashville.

The funny thing about DFW is that it is entirely symmetrical -- each hundred yards looks exactly like the hundred yards before it. I hop on the inter-terminal train thingy, and when I get off, I'm momentarily disoriented to see no change in the terminal outside the train, as if I had entered an elevator, felt it move, had the doors open, only to find I hadn't gone anywhere.

After that little existential quandry, I race to the gate, where I find that my flight did indeed leave an hour ago, and that the polite but misinformed gate attendant back in the other terminal who told me that my flight was currently boarding was either cruel or decided I looked like I could use the exercise.

Waiting for the next flight, I call ahead to the car rental place in Nashville, only to be told that they will be closed by the time I arrive. However, they tell me they'll hook me up with a car at the National rental place (which stays open later) for the same rate. I love Tennesseans.

Anywho, I get my last flight, and, once in Nashville, easily get the new rental car. It's a Pontiac Genitals, which is really lame, but it comes with satellite radio, which after listening to the cool stations I decide I really like.

I drive to the Embassy Suites, trying to stay warm in a car that had been chilled to 26F by the lovely southern weather. Google maps directs me on some crazy circuitous route involving only back roads. I check in with the nicest man in the world, who is wearing a very amusing Cosby sweater.

I head up stairs, drop off my bags, weary, and open the little "welcome to our hotel" binder to find out when the bar closes: 12 midnight. My watch shows 11:48 PM. Sweet. So, I dash down to the lounge, only to come out of the elevator as the bar staff are locking the door to the bar. Balls!

Now I'm weary, aggravated, but also on a mission. I ask the Cosby-sweatered check-in person where I could find a convenience store. He gives me directions to a gas station store, but then says in a disapproving manner, "But, it depends on what type of ... item you're looking for." with a politely distant but disapproving head tilt. "Tylenol," I lie. "Oh, well then," he says, obviously encouraged that I was not in fact seeking alcohol, "you'll definitely want to go to Wallgreens."

He proceeded to give me directions to the store, and I pretended that I would in fact go there, and pick up said Tylenol, instead of what I really did, which was to drive to the "Mercado" attached to the nearest gas station to pick up a 24 ounce can of Budweiser.

And now, after the difficulties of the day, I'm here in the privacy of my own sweet-ass suite (seriously, it's got two rooms, each with its own flatscreen TV), getting ready for the week of VMWare classes that start tomorrow, enjoying the King of Beers in my underpants. God Bless America.


Freddy y Blue Demon said...

I don't know what VMWare is, but I don't think it's related to babies.

By the way, the BBQ in Nashville is nothing special, but you should go to Prince's Hot Chicken Shack.
It's out of the way, and service takes forever, but you'll like the fried chicken there. It burns your ass!

Zatoichi said...

That, my friend, was a superlative post.
And, as a foil to your sweet-suite-king of beers-underwear description I'd like you to know that I enjoyed your post whilst sitting in a Catholic school classroom, eating pizza, attached to a breast pump, listening to Diane Rehm. Wish I had a beer. Wish I'd remembered my underwear. Enjoy Nashville!

Kathleen said...

genius post.

I was stuck in DFW for several hours once. I was so depressed I ate a Jack Daniels burger at TGI Fridays. It was quite the low point.

I'm outta here, I think it is time for some "tylenol".