Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cleveland Rocks

Okay, it's about time that I mention my fabulous trip to Cleveland last weekend. It was just wonderful.

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a lunch with the first General Counsel of eBay, and really enjoyed hearing his stories and advice. But unfortunately, I subsequently arrived a little late to the Charlottesville airport. And apparently, if you try to check in less than 30 minutes before your plane's departure time, you are locked out of the system, and totally unable to check any baggage. And since I had three bags in my hand, the man behind the counter began looking for other flights for me. No way! I said, "I've got a dinner planned tonight- I've gotta be on this plane." I understand why they have the 30 minute rule; TSA is unable to perform proper security measures on bags in less time than that. What's weird is that it's Charlottesville. There are like seven people in the entire building. I felt like saying, "The plane is right there - can't you just walk it over there?" Instead, I just took everything in my hanging bag and shoved it in my rolling bag and said, "There - I've now got two bags." So he checked me in, and I headed for security.

I was detained at security because I was now trying to carry several deadly weapons on board: toothpaste, shaving gel, aftershave, and heaven forbid shoe polish. In an effort to keep me from destroying the plane, they kindly removed these items from my dangerous clutches and threw them in the garbage. After a second and third screening of my questionable bag, they let me have it back, right before the gate door closed on my plane. I made it! No sweat - I bought some more toothpaste and shaving foam once I arrived at the Cleveland airport.

I checked in to a hotel downtown, went out for a lovely meal, and then went back to the hotel to wait for my Rosa to show up. It had been nearly six weeks since we had seen each other. I decided to kill time by ironing my clothes which were a bit wrinkled after their crammed journey in my roller bag. Somewhere in the middle of ironing a sleeve, I got a call from Rosa, who was just arriving downstairs. We finally saw each other! She came tumbling through the front door of the hotel with three packed bags (most of her earthly possessions). She was more beautiful than I had ever seen her. We both just kind of looked at each other for a minute; it felt like one of those moments in the movies. After a longer hug than ever, I helped her bring her bags upstairs. It was nice to finally see her again.

Friday I had an enjoyable series of interviews while Rosa slept in and went to lunch with her Dad. When I was finished, Rosie and I drove in to Westlake, where we spent a few minutes with her mom and sister. We did a little shopping and enjoyed some Panera with Rosa's mom. After that, we headed over to Westlake High School and arrived right at halftime. I forgot how fun high school football games can be. They are fun, especially in the midwest! The Westlake High halftime show is impressively professional. The band is one of the top ranking bands in the country, and the flag girls and cheer girls are incredibly coordinated. The only thing missing was fireworks. It was exciting not only to watch Rosa's sister Julie bang on her drums, but it was neat to picture Rosa in the band and in charge of the flag girls. It was one of those rare moments where you get to go back in time and see your spouse before you met. So cool.

Saturday brought a beeeaautiful long sleep-in. We woke up somewhere between 11 and 12. It was blissful. It's one of the first times in a while I woke up feeling like I was done sleeping - it's been a while since that's happened. After some hanging out and a bit more shopping, we headed to dinner back near Cleveland in Brooklyn. The family went out to dinner in honor of Rosa's sister's birthday. It was so good to see everyone together!

The next day brought more plane probs. Our plane into Atlanta was delayed, and I missed my flight to Charlottesville by about 40 seconds! Luckily, the Olsons came to my rescue and picked me up in Richmond when I took a substitute flight. When I made it back to Charlottesville, I hopped in the car and drove to Baltimore to pick up Rosa, who had been waiting there for several hours. I can't tell you how good it felt to arrive back in Charlottesville that night. Finally! Rosa and Dave in Charlottesville. Yay!

I'm glad Rosa and I were both able to be in Cleveland for the weekend. I owe lots of thanks to those that hosted me, and Rosa's family, and of course the Olsons for coming through in the clutch. Life is finally back to normal. *sigh*


stupidramblings said...

What? No Drinking?...

Alisa said...

yeah CLEVELAND!!! I want to go back!!! Dave Charley Brown...when are we going to catch up?!!