Southern Man

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Software Engineering Conference Day 3

Our hosts worked us all morning and then let us go at eleven and the flight isn't 'till six so Southern Man embarked upon a six-mile walkabout from the beach to the airport to collect geocaches. The adventure began with a slow walk down Daytona Beach up to International Speedway Boulevard, a cache near the beach, then across the bridge, a break at the very nice Volusia County Library on City Island and another cache right there on the island behind the library.

The cache was near a lovely gazebo at the end of a dock where another citizen relaxing and reading a book snapped this photo.

Southern Man then headed into town and found a few more caches, ate lunch at the very nice Angell and Phelps Cafe, then tackled a tough cache that he wouldn't have found at all if the cache owner hadn't come out of the building and helped him out.

You meet the nicest people while geocaching. Photo by the CO's friend.

He then decided to shave a few miles off the walk (Southern Man packs light but that carry-on was getting heavier by the minute) and caught a bus to the
Volusia Mall ($1.25 - had he only known before taking that $20 cab ride a few days earlier), took a break inside and found a couple more caches near the mall and across the street at the Daytona International Speedway, then walked on in to Daytona Beach International Airport - only to find that the previous flight out had been canceled and that his own was delayed. Southern Man will never scoff at his own little regional airport calling itself "international" ever again; DAB gets four Delta flights a day and that's about it. It turns out that their one and only long runway was closed for repairs, there was a lot of haze from nearby wildfires, and the short runway is VFR only,

Invasion of the Geeks. Photo by a Delta gate agent.

So after much waiting it became clear that if we stayed at DAB we'd be there 'till Friday (everything tomorrow was already seriously overbooked) so five of us re-booked through Orlando International Airport, rented a car (the Delta folks were very nice but made it clear that getting to ORL was our problem and would be at our expense, not theirs), and headed that way. We had to spend the night in the terminal and Southern Man would like to spin a tale of excruciating hardship but the truth is he spent most of his wait in an overstuffed chair in a 24-hour Starbucks drinking hot chocolate and surfing their free WiFi so there was really not much suffering involved. The early-morning flight out of ORL and connection in ATL were full but on time and Southern Man arrived home at ten-ish for a shower and bite to eat before heading in for work.

The wonder of it is that after some twelve hours of waiting modern transportation technology whisked Southern Man halfway across the continent in five hours at a cost of less than a week's salary. When you stop to think about it, that is remarkable, isn't it?


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