I'm back from my vacation. It was a good one, especially since I didn't think much about my obligations here at home. This is the first post of my travelogue. Photos included!
Tuesday, April 26
My flight from Detroit to Dulles was downsized to a plane that held only 50 people. I got a call from the airline while I was in the shower asking if I would be willing to take a different flight. Perhaps they downsized it too much. The downsizing meant I didn't get the window seat I had chosen several months ago.
My cousin was waiting for me in her car outside the door I used to exit. We were both puzzled why the airport police didn't chase her away for sitting there so long. She took me to her favorite restaurant, which serves food without additives. We then went to her home where I left suitcases and I extracted stuff I would need for the afternoon. At 2:30 she left me near the Metro station about a mile from her place. She then went back to work as head of a small leadership training company.
I took the Metro into DC, getting off at L'Enfant Plaza around 3:30. I walked to the Air and Space Museum. Along the way a motorcade passed with sirens wailing. I overheard someone tell a friend that it was Obama. Cousin said it is possible to tell because various officials had motorcades of particular lengths, though she didn't know the specifics.
Once inside the museum I spent 90 minutes in some of the exhibits having to do with space. This is one of the lunar landers that didn't go to the moon.
Back to the Metro. This time I got off at the Ballston stop. This is a district in Arlington.
I met Cousin and a friend at a restaurant for supper. We went there because she had a late afternoon appointment in the area. We had a leisurely meal. Then she and I went back to her place, stopping at the neighborhood Whole Foods on the way.
Before I went to Texas at the start of this month I thought it would be good to extend the cell phone I inherited from my dad to use on the trip. So I got on the company's website. The phone has 1600 minutes on it and I had already found that I couldn't buy more days for the phone without also buying more minutes, a reason why I didn't renew the phone at the end of January. This time I was told the phone uses 2G technology and was becoming obsolete. They would be glad to send a free phone. Since this was the day before I left for Texas, I declined.
Cousin is big on phones and I knew we would want to coordinate when and where to meet. So last week I ordered that free phone. I was told it would take 6-11 days to arrive – and I would be leaving in six days.
It hadn't come by yesterday, so I got onto the website and ordered a month of service for the old phone. The phone showed the new expiration date, but no longer showed the 1600 minutes. I started a chat session with their help people. I was told since the new phone was ordered I should wait and use it. No, I'm flying tomorrow and need a phone. Well, they said, he 1600 minutes will return with the new phone but you still have the 30 minutes on the old one. The phone finally said something other than “No Service” and I could call out, so I ended the chat.
I think they got the last laugh. Whenever I powered up the phone today it showed nothing but “No Service.” It looks like I paid for a phone I can't use. Since I left the museum about the time we had agreed to meet in Ballston, calling Cousin would have been a very good idea.
Cousin lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is one of the richest counties in the. One of the supper conversations was about how even in this very rich county the public amenities, such as parks, are underfunded and infrastructure in general is in poor shape. Conservatives in action with no sense of community.
A note from today – that new phone was finally shipped last Friday, April 29th. It hasn't arrived yet.