Readers Studio ’09

Many thanks to Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone for continuing the wonderful tradition that is the Readers Studio. It is now in its seventh year, and is stronger than ever! This is the second Readers Studio that I have attended – the first one being in 2003 – which was literally the first time this event was held.

I am going to do two or three blogs about the Readers Studio. This one will focus on the literal transportation – the coming and going from one side of our country to the other side – West Coast to East Coast – and back.

For those of you who travel often – bless your hearts! When I was younger I was in the service, and had the opportunity to travel more. It was physically easier to do, and also, quite frankly, a much more pleasant experience than post-9/11 travel.

I started my journey at 3:30 am on Thursday when I was picked up by the shuttle that took me to the airport (Seattle-Tacoma Airport). The morning was nice – no rain, small amount of fog – and the drive was pleasant (as were my fellow passengers).

The airline that I chose to use was United, and I was pleased on an overall level with their service. However, I have not flown since 2003, and had never used the self-service check in machines before. There was a representative from United there to help walk newcomers to the service through it, so I survived! šŸ˜‰

The flight to San Francisco (yes – San Francisco – I had to change my reservation, and ended up going the long route!) was great – aisle seat, happy me! šŸ˜‰ There was a three hour layover in San Francisco, but it really went very fast. The next leg of the flight – from San Francisco to Newark, was good – a window seat does help the time go by! šŸ˜‰

I had never been to Newark Airport before, and was a little uneasy about the monorail – mainly because I didn’t get in until 9:30 pm, and the airport was largely deserted. I found the area for the pickup from the Sheraton with no problem, but the suttle seemed to take a long time to get there.

The Sheraton itself is a really nice hotel, and I loved my stay there. The physical environment is pleasing, and the staff were all very gracious. When I got up on the morning that I left (Monday) there was a printout of my bill that had been placed under the door. What a nice gesture! They offered to print another one at checkout, but since there were no new charges, I didn’t consider that necessary.

The early morning flight to Chicago was ideal – the plane was not full, I got a window seat, and slept for the entire two hours.

Now the fun begins. Flight time form Chicago to Seattle – four hours. I had a middle seat – i.e. seat from hell! LOL Jam packed plane – a good time was had by no one. šŸ˜‰

It gets worse – the trek from the baggage area at Sea-Tac was incredibly long. I should have guessed – their written instructuions were to walk “in the direction of the traffic” inside the building from the baggage area (door 24) to door 00. I literally had to walk clear to the end of the building – a long enough trek that there should have been some type of shuttle. Thank heaven’s for luggage with wheels and handles!

Am I glad that I went to the Readers Studio? Of course I am! LOL Will I want to fly again? Of course I will! After I recover from this trip – in about ten or so years! šŸ˜‰

My next blog will be focused on the wonderful people that I met at the Readers Studio – the heart and soul of this ongoing conference.

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