Thursday, July 23, 2009

Indiana, Chicago, Indiana

I flew out Sunday on a last-minute business trip. I met several interesting individuals on my journey - 18 year old Lauren, who just finished a Christian girls retreat in the Tetons, Steve, a pilot and avid reader who lives in Virginia and loves learning about his Civil War ancestor, and Atul Arora, a car part distributor from Peenya, Bangalore whose father was a freedom fighter in India's battle for Independence. Lauren and Steve both graciously accepted copies of the Book of Mormon, and seemed interested in reading more.

I stayed the first night in Indiana and of course took advantage of my close proximity to a courthouse (for some reason, my co-workers wanted to go to Boston and California instead, so no one minded when I volunteered for the Midwest), and within ten minutes of arriving at the courthouse, I captured exactly what I came after, and then proceeded to conduct my first interview with a local researcher. My next interview was in Chicago, just three blocks from President Obama's home. That interview went extremely well, but lasted for three hours instead of the scheduled one.

I stayed that evening in Hotel ## (after driving past President Obama's home), and enjoyed a solo late night workout with a spectacular evening view of the new Trump building. I slept in until 7 when (after a reminder call) my breakfast arrived with the morning paper. As I prepared to leave, I attempted to check in online, but the system failed to recognize my 6 or 7 repeated attempts. Still battling on the phone with the NWA/Delta Merger, I climbed into my car and punched in my GPS coordinates while the valets loaded my bags. After clearing the Trump, I finally got satellite reception, and was on my way to my next interview, still with no guaranteed flight home.

Both of my interviews went very well, and I was able to glean quite a bit from my subjects. Following my second interview for the day, however, my time was down to the wire. GPS can do magic things, like make it possible for you to fly past Chicago rush-hour traffic at the speed of - dare I say how fast I was going? Suffice it to say that I was not going the speed of rush-hour traffic. I vaguely remember a lot of blurry corn fields and very little traffic. Apparently the Indianapolis airport moved last November, so when I arrived at the airport with minutes to spare to catch my flight, my sigh of relief was replaced with the air of defeat when I read, "The Indianapolis Airport has moved. . . " followed by three-step directions to the new airport.

After another night's stay in Indianapolis, I flew out the next morning at 7 AM by the skin of my teeth, and enjoyed the comforts of first class by flight attendants who apparently thought I was Jennifer Garner. I arrived a bit late for my Wednesday morning manager's meeting, with a handful of hours of sleep under my belt, and a full day of work ahead of me.

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