Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My crazy travel day

a.k.a. the worst travel day ever.

I have flown to Europe in less time than it took me to get home from Eugene on Sunday. I got to the airport over an hour early, and anyone who's been through the Eugene airport knows that it takes about 15 minutes from the time you arrive to the time you're sitting at your gate. Well, I stood at that ticket counter with my new friend from United, Robin, for 2.5 hours. There had been some sort of a lock on my ticket, and they couldn't access it, even though it showed me on the flight. Robin called the airline several times and kept getting disconnected. My flight came and went, as did two others that could have got me out of Eugene and into Iowa the same night. Unfortunately, my travel plans weren't exactly flexible. I had a recording session in Grinnell, Iowa at 10am the next morning.

I had two choices: 1) Take three planes including a red-eye to Chicago, getting to Des Moines at 9:30am, half an hour before the recording session started an hour's car ride away. 2) Stay overnight in Eugene, get an early flight out, and miss the session altogether. So I chose the red-eye route. 2.5 hours until that flight in Eugene, then 5 hours in Portland, an overnight to Chicago, 3 hours in Chicago, 1 hour to Des Moines, where Dave met me with my instruments and music, then a 1 hour drive to Grinnell. So the first time I'd played my English horn in a week was with no warm-up, sightreading (as the music was dropped off at my house the night before I left for Eugene) a solo in a recording session, which had started 45 minutes earlier. That was fun too, walking in, jumping over five musicians to get to the middle of a band jam-packed on a stage. The director knew I'd be late, and luckily he was really nice about it.

Boy, I had a great nap when we finally got home that afternoon.

I'd had long travel days before. I remember not sleeping for 52 hours once, after an all-nighter in Toronto before heading to Japan with NYO. We'd had a concert the night before and had gone out to celebrate. When you're out until 3am and have to leave for the airport at 4am, there's really no point in sleeping.

Well, I've been pretty sleepy for the past couple of days. It's time to get cracking. I have quite a bit of ground to cover before my next test in Eugene. I was going to fly back in a couple weeks, but the plane tickets are really expensive at such short notice. So now, although I'll have a bit more time to study, I'll be spreading myself a bit thinner than I'd like before my last (ever) exam.

First order of business: new reeds. 8 performances in 6 days next week for the Andrew Lloyd Webber gig. Eek!

Yeah, Oilers! Let's hope the Flames pull their act together on Wednesday--they were pretty bad last night. It'll be a great battle of the Alberta teams next round if (I mean when) the Flames pull through! Have a nice spring day, everyone!

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