Wednesday, October 8, 2014

GHC14 Day 0 - Travel

For the second year in a row, I am attending the Grace Hopper Celebration.  This year in Phoenix, AZ.

It never fails to amaze me how people feel that flight crew instructions do not apply to them.

In this trip the amazement began with the guy talking on the phone past when the plane started moving and all the way to when the flight attendant specifically told him to move the device to airplane mode - while she should have been demonstrating how to fasten a seat-belt. This after I heard him telling the phone that he was going to keep talking as long as possible, after hearing the announcement that the door was closed and phones should have the cellular function turned off.  Sigh.  At least he was not actively showing a kid how to commit a felony by ignoring crew member instructions (or maybe he was, I dont know who was on the other end of the phone).  And yes, I have been there, seen that. You do not have to agree with the rules, but have enough respect for the staff if not the ethics to follow the rules.

That was only the first leg.  For the long haul flight, I was even more amazed by the people ignoring the fasten seats belt announcement and continuing to get up and stand in the aisle waiting for the restroom.  This despite the bumps that could knock a person out or dump them into my lap.  Really folks, just sit down. At least figure out a "line" where you stay seated while waiting.

Really not a bad flight or trip overall.  Once in Phoenix I opted for the light rail to get downtown.  Like I learned in Minneapolis, a simple light rail system which connects the airport and the convention center (among other places) is a great thing for a city.  The trains look good inside and out, the bike racks work and are used.  The ticket system is honor based but this time I got checked 2 out of 3 rides so far.  I really wish my home area would figure out how to put in the first phase of light rail connecting the airport with the convention center and the three city bus systems. They keep talking about it... and talking... and talking...

I got to the hotel easy enough and later went out again to find the Whole Foods Market.  Not the easiest place to get to from downtown during off peak hours without a car, but it worked out.  There is not much shopping downtown.  Lots of museums and a number of restaurants which may or may not know how to deal with my food allergies.

I booked this trip before discovering the dairy allergy and even then I knew it was going to be a challenging week.  There is a Chipolte and a Five Guys and a Zpizza all close by and which all have limited options. I have since also found which coffee shop has almond milk and bananas.  Hopefully I will find some additional sources of fruit to go with the bag of almonds and collection of kind bars that I picked up at Whole Foods.

As usual, there is a great energy for this conference and it was already apparent at the airport as well as the hotel and the downtown are in general.


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