Denver Storm Leads to San Francisco Luxury

This week the plan was to have two normal work days, two travel days, and possibly a Friday off or at least the afternoon.

Monday's emails turned that plan into dust and required all work engines to go on full power. My manager went on vacation and all of a sudden I was putting out two sets of fires. Monday and Tuesday were long days and plenty stressful. My saving grace on Monday was a night of women's basketball and on Tuesday, a long lunch with the girls to celebrate our birthdays. It was fun to catch up and have a glass of Meiomi before going back to more chaos.

The alarm went off at 4:23a on Wednesday. It was still spitting after Tuesday's minor snowstorm, but nothing major for the drive to the airport. My flight to Denver was scheduled for 6:55a. I would visit three companies with my colleague, then hustle back to the airport for a late flight from DEN to SLC to OAK in order to make an all day meeting in Oakland on Thursday. Everything was going to have to be perfect and even then, I'd only get a couple hours sleep.

Around 6:30a, we were told that the storm was blowing through Colorado and we would be slightly delayed. At 6:45, our new departure was set at 7:30a. At 7, we were told that power had gone out in the Denver control tower and also in two of the SLC terminals. What?! Everyone was on edge due to the Brussels attack on Tuesday and this news didn't help. The flight would leave once power was restored, likely at 10:30a. My colleague and I went to find a restaurant with power and work on plan B. We were going to miss the 1st meeting and be tight for the 2nd. Another colleague sent a text from Colorado warning us not to come or else we wouldn't get out. She told us that schools were on snow day and driving was discouraged. If I did make it to Denver for the two meetings, it would put me in jeopardy for the Oakland meeting. Oh boy.

We ordered breakfast and tried to reach our contacts in Denver. The 1st agreed that we shouldn't come and pushed the meeting to the following week. The 2nd and 3rd were not responding. Then we got a text that our flight was officially cancelled and we would be rebooked later in the day. That made the decision easy, my colleague would drive home and plan on doing both afternoon meetings remote. I would fly straight to Oakland immediately and land in time to attend both meetings.

I got on the Delta courtesy phone and eventually worked out the flight change. I was leaving at 9:45a for Oakland. Due to my shoulder injury, I checked my roller so had to track it down with the gate agent. By chance, my colleague that I was meeting in Oakland, was on my flight and we were able to change my hotel reservations from Oakland to San Francisco. This made travel easier since he could help me on the BART, plus we could go to the office for the day and travel together the next morning. It was an eventful 4hrs at the airport but everything was looking up. I wouldn't have to worry about getting from Denver to Oakland at midnight and could go to sleep early.

We landed and went straight to the hotel to drop our luggage and check in. I didn't realize it was The Fairmont. Wow! Due to his former employer and a great travel agent, he had landed rooms for a fraction of the normal rate. I just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep, but was off to the office for those remote Denver meetings and an impromptu dinner meeting. I finally snuggled into that amazing bed at 9, after taking a lovely bath, and slept 8 hrs! I even had time on Thursday morning for a long walk down (and back up) Nob Hill to the water. The meeting went great and the flight home was uneventful other than nauseating turbulence.

Friday was not the vacation day I hoped for, but at least I was able to shut down at 4 and go on a walk with Terry. Our weekend was enjoyable. I went to a new gym both days with a friend that just had shoulder surgery. We rode the stationary bike and walked while Terry skied one day and rode outside the next. We also had three fun meals with friends - lunch on Saturday, dinner Saturday, and lunch Sunday. It was fun to catch up with different groups of friends and have a lot of laughs.

Surgery is Thursday. I have to get through one more work trip and will need the travel gods to be on my side. I fly in on the last flight Wednesday and will likely have a morning surgery slot. After six weeks of shoulder pain, I'm ready to be fixed and moving forward on the road to recovery.

Flying to the West Coast - away from snow and toward sun
Room with a View
Fairmont Lobby
Morning Walk to the Water - Vaillancourt Fountain
Morning Destination - "Soma" by the Flaming Lotus Girls
Fairmont at Sunrise