Following on from Getting to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009 Part 1.
I have an uneventful four and a bit hour flight from Perth to Sydney, arriving at 13:00 (Sydney time). I then transfer by airport coach from the domestic terminal to the international terminal where I go through passport control and security again. Once through security, you have to wind your way through a huge duty free shop to get into the main part of the terminal. I did go and look at the cameras but resisted the temptation to upgrade... for now. I wonder how many people "impulse buy" because of the way you are forced to walk through the shop.
After a short walk around the various shops, I went up to the Qantas lounge. -- A quick bit of trivia: Qantas is one of the only words in English to have the letter Q not followed by a U. This is because it is not really a word, but an acronym for Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services. If you want to know more, look at their website. -- At the lounge, I was told that my seat had been changed to an exit row. While this means lots of legroom (something I don't really need), it also means that you don't have a seat pocket in front of you to put your stuff in. However, it was also a premium economy seat, so I "no complain".
I settled into the lounge for a bit, keeping an eye on my watch, when my phone wakes up to tell me the plane leaves (not boards) in 30 minutes. I realised that I had adjusted my watch by 2 hours for Sydney rather than 3 hours to include daylight saving. I knew there was a reason that Western Australia voted against having daylight saving for the fourth time in a recent referendum. So a short but quick walk down to the gate and I catch the tail end of the boarding. On the plus side, I was able to bypass the additional security check where they literally empty your bag. My backpack weighs about 14kg and has my laptop and netbook in it as well as a heap of gadgets (inc. spare battery, power supplies, etc.). I get aboard and settle in for the 13 hour flight across the Pacific to Los Angeles arriving at about 10:00 (LA time).
In LA, I get both hands finger-printed and a mug shot taken accompanied by a short but pleasant interrogation and then I am allowed into the US. I get my bag and go through customs and give my bag back so it can hopefully make the domestic flights to meet me in Fargo. A "short" walk from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5 gets me to where Northwest operate from. Once inside the terminal, I unsuccessfully, spend a some time looking for a Northwest sign, I could only see Delta. Eventually, I ask an official to find out that Northwest is now part of Delta. So I get my boarding pass from one of the automated touch screen systems and head through security... yet again.
The flight to Minneapolis/St Paul was delayed departing LA because the incoming flight was late. I wonder if the pilots were chatting. I board the flight and have a pleasant 3.5 hour trip talking to a student called Brian who is originally from New York, but studying at Purdue University in Indiana. He had just spent some time at a conference in Beijing in China. We arrive 45 minutes late at 18:35 (MSP time) in the twin cities to have people running to make connections. Brian had about 10 minutes to get to his gate, but they were holding the flight. A brisk walk to my gate which was miles away and I board my flight to Fargo.
As I walk down to my seat, I said hello to Andrew Ingalls (ex Dexterity Guru, now working with Dynamics AX) sitting in the big seats at the front. I plan to say hello again once the seat belt sign goes off, but fell asleep for most of the flight. I think I will catch him again when we disembark but he must not have had checked bags and was gone. Oh well, I will say Hi again in the office.
Anyhow, after 35 minutes in the air, we arrived in Fargo on time at 20:30. I go to pick up my bag and dutifully wait until the luggage carousel is turned off and everyone else has their bag. Somewhere between LA and Fargo, my bag went AWOL. I had a tight connection in Minneapolis, so maybe it did not make it in time. So, I go and have a chat with the guy at the counter and get on the hotel shuttle (thanks for waiting).
I check in to the Ramada at 21:00, have a lovely meal (Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken), write the first half of this blog post and go to bed. ..... I get a phone call at 11:00 on Sunday, my bag is at the airport and by 12:00 we are re-united.
Yippee, I am in Fargo and so is my bag. It only took me 31 hours door to door. It took my bag a little longer.
See you at the conference.
18-Nov-2009: See the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Conference 2009 Wrap Up for more posts.
When I saw you at the conference, you didn't LOOK like you'd been traveling for 32 hours...if it were me, I'd be a WRECK! (was very nice seeing you!)
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