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Marilee J. Layman

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06:59 pm: Minicon 43 Monday and Home Tuesday
(I meant to do this yesterday!)

The traditional Minicon Monday for most folks is sushi for lunch and the Dead Dodo party. Me, I sleep in. This is my rest day before I take the plane and I slept until about 1pm and then showered and dressed and so forth. My dinner with beading friends was going to be later than usual, so I went down to the bar for a snack -- the bruschetta was very good - and on the way ran into Keith and Andra again. They'd been up all night and were ready to go home.

After my snack, I stopped at the business center and printed my free boarding pass. I checked back at my room, but it hadn't been cleaned yet, so I grabbed some old WashPosts and used my card to get into the Club Lounge next door. The chair I had to pull over for my legs was heavy, but it was a comfortable place to read. After the maid finished, I went back to the room and read there until it was time to leave for the store. I'd scheduled Rainbow Cab earlier and they were there right on time.

After getting to Sandi's shop and hugging, I picked some new beads (I haven't really been beading as much as often this year and don't need refills) and then while she was pulling and ringing them up, I went next door to Gingko and got some very very hot tea. I knew it would be very very hot, so I asked her to save room for some ice. Even with that, and a double cup, it was very hot to hold. Sandi offered me a "java jacket" and that helped a lot. I sat in the chair in front of her books and drank while scanning the books and seeing what was new. The two that stood out were Whips and Whipmaking and Hemp Masters - Getting Knotty: More Ancient Hippie Secrets for Knotting Hip Hemp Jewelry. Now, I'm not quite old enough to have been a hippie, but they're certainly not ancient!

Time came for the shop to close and I went back to Gingko and got new water (free!) while I wanted for Sandi to close up. She brought the box of jewelry I'd brought, had her put behind the counter, and forgotten to bring with me. It had the jewelry I'd worn during the con, plus a bead-woven evening purse. We went out the back to her purple PT Cruiser and then to Outback for dinner. We knew Dulcey was coming, and that Carol might, but not until 8:30 or so, and we started with a bloomin' onion and showed each other our stuff (she's a lot further on her BFAC project than I am) and after a while ordered dinner and then talked until Dulcey got there with her BFAC project (already done). We reshowed our stuff and talked and had dessert. Boy, was I full.

Sandi dropped me back at the hotel and I pulled out the luggage stand and put the big suitcase on it and put the carry-on on the bed and started packing. After I'd done as much as could be done before morning, I read another old WashPost and went to bed later than I should have to get up at 7:30am.

When I got up Tuesday, I finished packing and made sure I got everything, and towed the two pieces of luggage down to the lobby. It's amazing what tools like wheels and handles do -- I have trouble lifting the carry-on when it's empty, but the big suitcase is like pulling string (other than size) with the wheels and handle. The hotel shuttle pulled up at 8:30 and I gave him my bags to put on and asked him about stopping at the actual NWA entrance. I knew he wasn't supposed to do that, but from the shuttle stop (and lots of single checkups for the airports), they'd have to call for a wheelchair and once it and the pusher were there, it would be a long way to where I could get one of those carts. So when he realized I was disabled and it would be easier for me to get off at the regular entrance, he did that. Another guy got on who was from Ireland and we had an interesting political discussion on the way.

When we got off at the airport, I gave over my suitcase to the check-in (38 pounds -- 14 less than I came with) and then a pusher came with a chair. I said "Isn't the security right there? I can walk that far." He said "There's really long lines" and I got in the chair. And of course, with the chair, we go to the top of the line he likes best and through. No problems with the carry-on this time, and I waited for the cart to the right part of the airport. When I got to the gate, an NWA employee was there and I told her it would take me a long time to get down the ramp and she said she'd tell me to go first. I read another paper while I was there and then headed down the ramp. All the other times I've made this trip, this was another 320, but it was an Embraer this time. It was smaller, but much more comfortable, even with another fat person in the seat next to me. I read 1.5 old WashPosts on the flight and came home with a half out of the 16 I'd taken, which is pretty good.

There was a wheelchair waiting for me at the top of the ramp at Dulles and it was the same guy who pushed me getting back last year. He remembered me, and my good tip, and was very nice. We got over to baggage, where he pulled the suitcase while he pushed the chair (excellent skills) down to the taxi line. Dulles lets the taxi concern to a single company, still Washington Flyer, and I got a nice guy who didn't talk to me all the way home. It was nice to be warmer again, and I was glad to come into the house and see the kitties. They were just a bit stand-offish as I came in, but then, before I did anything else, I fed them. Amazingly how that works. (And Shiva ate gladly from the same dish as Spirit.)

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[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:April 4th, 2008 06:52 am (UTC)
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How much do you tip the pusher?
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:April 4th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Depends on how far and how difficult. The guy at Mpls who just took me to a security line and the cart chairs was $5. But the one coming home at Dulles, where he pushed me for about 15 minutes, pulling my suitcase at the same time for the last five, was $20. A lot of people don't tip; most people don't tip as much as I do. I just feel better about them pushing my 300+ pound carcass around if I give them good tips.

(Since Charlie & Feorag pushed me for hours today, I hate to think what I'd've had to tip them!)
[User Picture]
From:firecat
Date:April 4th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
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Very useful. The next time I fly I'm probably going to avail myself of the pushers. I CAN stand at the security line and walk to the terminal but it takes a lot of effort and I already hate flying so much, I might as well use everything I can to make sure I am as little inconvenienced as possible.
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