I consider myself an expert packer at this point in my life. With numerous crazy expeditions under my belt, the clothes stacking game is not so daunting.
So when I booked a last minute business trip to Philadelphia for 3 days, it was an easy 4 outfits, 1 pair of shoes, tiny toiletry bag, book, power cords, a few granola bars, laptop, and headphones. My best packing job ever, filling only half a bookbag. Since airlines are becoming more stingy, it could easily pass for the only allotted personal item.
I’m notoriously NOT a morning person, so the 4:30am wake up call was rough going. But having pre packed the car, I was showered/ready and out the door in 16 minutes flat. On the middle console, I had stacked my granola bar, a protein shake, my keys, phone cord and put my license in my pocket (just like always). I love living on the coast and it is an easy 25 min highway drive to the Orlando international airport. For only a two and a half day trip, I always opt for the convenience of the main parking garage despite the hefty $19 per day charge. Plus I’m also known for cutting it way to close and arriving just an hour prior to departures, which can occasionally bite me in the ass. Hence this post….
Since I don’t do coffee and am trying to wean off my Coke Zero addiction, I sometimes struggle having the energy to even function prior to 7am. I breezed through security and arrive at the gate just at the start of the boarding process. I try to make a quick detour to grab an OJ, but low and behold, I have no wallet! Yep. My worst nightmare. No credit card. No cash. My only means of payment are stuck in a Dunkin’ Donuts or a Chik-fil-a app. And I have 3 granola bars in a side pocket.
I have no time to go back, so I board with this nasty little secret. How do I tell a client that I’m trying to impress and haven’t worked with in 7 years that I am ready to make their event an amazing experience? Mortified is an understatement.
However, I am personal friends with a couple of the ladies and am even being put up in their house (thankfully since I wouldn’t have even been able to pay for a hotel). The team is all having lunch catered and invited to appetizers/drinks after our long work session. So technically, I shouldn’t need much and try to stop sweating the small details. I knew the girls needed a good laugh after the craziness of the pandemic year, so I blurt out my dilemma and they were in absolute stitches. I’m constantly amazed by the generosity of my close circle of friends, as they discreetly slipped me $20 in an envelope so I could get by.
We hit the local winery, historic shops, brewery, weekend festival, ice cream shop (or two), biggest dinner portion of chicken parm that I have EVER witnessed (easily enough for 5 meals) and enough laughs to hold us over for the next year.
Normally this would have worked out beautifully EXCEPT when my flight back home gets delayed and eventually cancelled. OMG. Now I have to beg them to crash for another full day and 3 more meals. I will certainly never live this down anytime in the near future!
We even have to switch from the Philadelphia airport to the madness of Newark just so I can get home the next day. But oh no…… we are again delayed and on the verge of getting axed on the second night in a row. Until finally we got the all clear to board a 10pm plane to touch down in Orlando at 1am Monday. At least I had a glimmer of good news for seat #2F….. yep business class upgrade!
With my borrowed remaining $10 in my pocket, I crash hard in my own bed for a few hours and was like a zombie stumbling my way through just my 3rd week at the new gig. Just another story to tell….