Day 3: Monday, March 10th
We spent most of Monday of our first week at the Dallas World Aquarium in downtown Dallas. However, I have little photographic evidence of said trip, as Yours Truly forgot to charge both camera batteries and thus the above snap constitutes the lion’s share of my photographic output for the day.
In any event, it’s a bit difficult to describe the DWA as an “aquarium”, as it houses a menagerie of animals that would be far more suited to the “zoo” appellation. There were tropical birds of all shapes and colors, monkeys, tamarins, flamingos, a leopard, South African penguins, snakes, vampire bats, even a shark tank — the list goes on. Needless to say, Will was ecstatic about the whole affair, particularly the giant river otter and the sharks.
A word about the penguins, if I may: they are dirty, filthy animals and I hope their mothers are properly disgusted at their behavior. Apparently, they aren’t the biggest fans of spectators, so the majority of the flock(?) hid under the concrete walkway surrounding their enclosure, while two of the braver souls defiantly stood erect on the island in the center of the pen, “voiding their penguin colons”, shall we say. If you have never smelled South African penguin poop, you’ve not yet lived, I assure you. Please also note that we visited the gift shop earlier in our excursion, at which time my father-in-law bought Will a stuffed S.A. penguin doll. Those of you with young children will no doubt have already made the logical jump that Will made, connecting the real life penguins with the doll, namely: he now calls the doll “Poopy Penguin” and giggles nigh-uncontrollably whenever the subject comes up. Ahh, the souvenirs we now carry…
After an entertaining morning at the aquarium, we headed back to my in-laws for a relatively mild afternoon. If I recall correctly, we sat down and watched Evan Almighty, a movie my wife and I had not seen. Short review: cute, family-friendly, love Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of God, more plot holes and less character development than an episode of Dragon Ball Z. This viewing was followed by a trip to the salon where my sister-in-law works for haircuts for both my wife and son.
My wife and I ate at the South Greenville Gloria’s with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend that evening and enjoyed the experience immensely. I of course took the opportunity to avail myself of a couple of Shiner Bocks, as I’m always up for the local TX beer of choice.
Day 4: Tuesday, March 11th
I have no photos from that Tuesday, nor do I remember anything particularly eventful, so nothing of any significance must’ve happened, or I’d remember it, right? And even if something did happen, I don’t have the pictures to prove it. *grin*
So we were supposed to leave Dallas today, just like I was supposed to be blogging this trip. I can still make up for that, but the wholesale flight cancellations that occurred at DFW International Airport today can’t really be made up. Here’s to hoping we’ll be able to get out tomorrow morning. Then we’ve got this waiting for us, of course:
Things have been slow around the blog the last week (obviously), since the fam and I have been on the road in Texas, visiting my in-laws. Please accept these next few round-ups as a small amount of compensation for the dearth.
Day 1: Saturday, March 8th
Scooted over from home to my parents’ place to hop a ride down to PHL to catch our flight out of Philly. American Airlines’ check-in services was painfully slow (to the tune of 1:15), so much so that we cleared check-in with a mere 5 minutes to spare before our scheduled departure. We cleared the TSA’s gauntlet in nigh-record time and huffed our way to the gate, only to find around 30 other folks waiting to board as well. We hopped aboard the 737, took our seats and a few deep breaths later were on our way to the flightline.
We were looking forward to a timely takeoff, but the weather had different ideas apparently, as we ended up sitting on the tarmac for around an hour waiting for a line of thunderstorms to blow themselves out before chancing departure. Fortunately, we only ended up losing an hour and were aloft with very little trouble.
The flight was smooth and relatively uneventful, with Alvin and the Chipmunks being the in-flight “entertainment” (so labeled since I was able to follow the entire movie, start-to-finish, without the benefit of headphones) and the drink service minimal, but we soldiered on. The kids were wonderful for the duration of the 3.5 hour flight, so much so that we received compliments from several sets of passengers as to their behavior upon our arrival at DFW.
“Nanny” and “Poppy” met us at the airport and swung us by Whattaburger to grab dinner (I ate a chicken sandwich, and yes, I’m aware of the irony inherent in that) and then went back to my in-laws to hit the hay as soon as was possible.
I’ve been very busy here at WWDC these past two days and thus haven’t really had time to post much.
Classes have been interesting and mostly useful. I got a chance to go out and see Ocean’s 13 the other night. My one sentence review: sappy, sentimental, a bit contrived, not much suspense, worse than 11 but better by far than 12.
Also, there was a WWDC bash last night featuring free beer and the musical stylings of none other than Ozomatli, who happen to rock pretty darn hard live. A pleasant night, to say the least.
I’m catching the redeye out of SFO tonight, which should result in all manner of fun-ness tomorrow as my body decides whether to adjust, quit working or stage an active coup.
This week-long conference thing is hard on one’s body — I’m physically beat and really ready to go home. Still, I’m hoping work is amenable to sending me again next year. I’ve had a great time and met a bunch of like-minded individuals, some of whom even happen to work at the same trans-national corporation as Yours Truly.
5:30am, local time
Id: WAKE UP.
Ego: …*snrrrrk* Wha? Huh? Gah!
I: WE WAKE UP. NOW.
E: What the heck time is it… Idiot! It’s bleedin’ 5:30 in the bleedin’ morning! Let’s go back to sleep.
I: IS NOT. IS 8:30. HUNGRY. JOBS SPEAKING IN HOUR.
E: You moron. There’s a 3 hour time difference. We should still be sleeping for at least another…
I: NOT BELIEVE YOU. WAKE WAKE WAKE WAKE WAKE WAKE WAKE WAKE…
E: All right, fine! I’m up! What do you want, you vestigial annoyance?
I: AM IS HUNGRY.
E: Okay, got it. Hungry for what?
I: I CAN HAS MCMUFFIN?
E: Very funny. You stay up all night long thinking of that one? Okay, here’s the deal: I think I saw a BK across the street from the hotel. Will you shut up if I take you there and get you coffee and a breakfast sandwich?
I: IS FINE. I CAN HAS HASH BROWNS?
E: Shut up.
[Recorded somewhere over Western Pennsylvania or possibly Ohio, I think, 6:07pm EDT]
After an unspecified “paperwork”-based delay of almost 45 minutes (due, according to the pilot, to a delayed or mishandled flight from either Phoenix or Las Vegas, curse you Sun/Sin City!), we took off and are on our way to SFO.
The flight is filled to capacity — a bit surprising to me, I’ll warrant. Didn’t realize there was much call for direct flights to San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon, but there’s no accounting for taste or city of residence, I guess.
A few observations:
In-flight movie: Breach.
In-flight food: Looks to be peanuts. For-pay meal to follow, I’m sure.
In-flight advertising: Pervasive. The drop-down screens that
America WestUS Airways use to run the movies are also a nice way to invade my personal space with ads for DHL shipping, credit cards and more apparently. Plus, the stewardess’s safety speech was practically “sponsored by” the ever-present Sky Mall.
[UPDATE 7:30pm EDT]
In re: In-flight food: Turned out to be pretzels. Also, sitting in row 22 means that there was no food left by the time the cart reached me. Feh. Room service it is, I guess.
In re: In-flight movie: Breach, Bourne Identity — doesn’t Cris Cooper ever get to play a good guy? Also, I probably could’ve researched the previous point more thoroughly were the FAA to allow for in-flight wireless.
Little-known Egyptology/Travel Fact of the Day:
Archaeologists have long thought that Egyptian mummies were ancient Egyptians’ attempts at conveying their (rich) loved ones into the afterlife. After several intensive hours of study, I have come to the conclusion that several hundred years’ worth of archaeologists and Egyptologists were, in fact, wrong. Mummies were not dead rich Egyptians; rather, they were the world’s first airline passengers.
Those flying Pharoah’s United Kingdom Airline (or its value-priced sister airline, Ted) were subjected to dessicatingly dry air, fierce changes in pressure and a constant diet of dried fruits and crackers, which often resulted in passengers reaching their destinations as little more than husks of their former selves. Much of this technology has persisted to this very day, as anyone who has flown on a major air carrier can attest. And, while historians have long argued that Egyptians removed the vital organs of mummies in order to preserve them, recent findings would suggest that the organs were in fact removed by passengers themselves in order to make their way through the Egyptian Transportation Safety Administration (ETSA) security checks. Fortunately, scanning technologies have advanced to significant enough of a degree that passengers are no longer required to remove their own heart and lungs in order to board an airplane.
I hope that those responsible for propagating incorrect historical conjectures will correct their theories soon, as continued confusion in the archaeological world might result, should they decline to do so.