Old Mar 29, 09, 12:36 pm
  #1  
violist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203
ASTA (string teachers' association, not travel agents) convention

US1651 BOS PHL 0930 1101 734 2F

I settled into my seat and got ready to take a nap, but an
exuberant woman of about my age sat beside me, and when I
said good morning saw that as an opening to start a rather
loud and excited conversation. I allowed as how I needed to
sleep but would try to be as convivial as possible as long
as possible.

She collared the male FA and asked for a glass of white
wine, anything but Chardonnay, said she, but the guy said
that he couldn't offer anything before takeoff. Well.
Shortly, though, he came back with a glass, and my seatmate
convinced me to join her. I took a sniff: it was a cheap
unoaked Chardonnay, a little sweet, but not unpleasant.

The steward was very entertaining (and warmed up noticeably
as the short flight proceeded); the female one, who, thank
the heavens, worked mostly in coach, was Frau Blucher.

Shortly before pushback, a tallish fellow on his way to
Atlanta for a dance convention decided to push his luck and
self-upgrade. Or so he said, see below.

My seatmate and I killed a bottle of Beringer Stone Cellars
Chard between us, getting more hilarious by the moment.
The self-upgrader joined us glass for glass but with water;
nonetheless he seemed to be getting into it and became
almost as silly as my seatmate. The flight went by even
quicker than the 25 min flying time. We landed a bit early.

I rewarded Chris, the self-upgrader, who was going on to
Atlanta on my flight, by guesting him into the Club, where
he bought me a Dark & Stormy, the cocktail of the month
(Gosling and ginger beer). It was $8.

US3241 PHL ATL 1145 1408 E75 3F

Chris flashed his boarding pass for this flight: it said 1F
and Zone 1, which makes me guess that he was bullbleeping us
all along for laughs and had been entitled to the up-front
seat on the previous flight. I slept through, as there is
no way to defend oneself against the rigors of traveling on
a regional jet except by becoming unconscious.

I'd checked a bag, as my friend Babette had convinced me
that as I was going to a string teachers' convention I ought
to carry a violin; so that became my carryon, the computer
bag was the personal item, and the clothes went into the
cargo hold. Philly being famous for disappearing baggage,
I didn't have high hopes for seeing my stuff again, but lo
and behold, there it came, and off I went to the MARTA,
which was mere steps away.

MARTA works fine to get downtown and a few other places. A
pity the coverage is so geographically limited, though.

Got off at Peachtree Center, headed to the parking garage,
and then to the Hilton, which I discovered to be 1. under
reconstruction, so the entrance was through what is normally
a side door and 2. the site of a gigantic Furry convention.

Though according to HHonors I'd never stayed at a Hilton
(it turns out, something I'd never known before, that Orbitz
rooms and travel agency booked rooms don't qualify as stays,
which explains my perennial zero balance and why my old
frequent-user account had aged off), I was given a sizable,
attractive (so I thought) room on the 16th floor.

glasses: fairly nice, heavy gauge plastic
toiletries: La Source from Crabtree and Evelyn
wireless: $12.95/day
bed: king with good firm mattress, 5 pillows all the same,
sort of soft.

Off to the American String Teachers' Association convention
at the Marriott Marquis across the street, where I got there
just in time to catch a most interesting lecture by Kurt
Sassmannshaus about the various kinds of temperament and
their relation to Bach performance practice. Okay, I can see
that your average joe isn't going to be thrilled by this,
but too bad for him.

After which there was a reception in the exhibit hall
featuring green lemonade (very sweet, not very lemony, and
didn't make my pee green later - all disappointments).
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