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trip number three

Friday, April 9th, 2010 by

Friday, April 9.  It’s always tough being away from our (present) home for a long time, even when we’re on a vacation in a beautiful place.  It’s even tougher when we have multiple goals we want to accomplish that will, ultimately, lead to upheaval, newness, uncertainty.

Flying from our Oakland rental house to Raleigh-Durham International airport (RDU, to its close friends) takes a long time.  There are no non-stops, and the best we could do was Southwest flight 300, which doesn’t require us to change planes but still means flying to Chicago and sitting on the ground there while most of the plane empties out and we can’t leave, even to get a sandwich.  And remember, no meals are served on Southwest, so that nine hour or longer timeframe is spent eating whatever we brought on.  Unless we want to make a meal of peanuts, Ritz crackers, and Chips Ahoy 100-calorie packs.

With the 3-hour time change, that means leaving Oakland about 7am and getting into RDU after dinner time, with nothing substantial to eat in between and long hours in cramped airplane seats.  (Even when you can grab the Emergency Exit rows, which—thankfully—we were able to do.)

So you can imagine our mood upon arriving at the Residence Inn in Chapel Hill.

Add to that the failure of their online system to sync up with the hotel’s own checkin procedure—meaning the request for extra towels, down pillows and an upper floor went unregarded—and you have the making of two very cranky people just starting out a ten-day stretch in a town that is definitely not in California.

Of course, it is in North Carolina, which is freakin’ beautiful…and this is something I realized back in January, when we first started down this long and winding road.

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