Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A change of scenery and hi-tech clocks

We're in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the next week. My husband's got a professional meeting, and since Albuquerque isn't far from Colorado, where two of our kids live, we decided to make it a 'vacation add on'.

I was pleasantly surprised that our flights were all on time (one was early, which actually was a problem, since there were no empty gates and we had to sit off on the tarmac somewhere until one was free, so we didn't get 'in' until our scheduled time.)

I enjoyed my eBookwise on the plane -- although you do have to turn it off until the 'approved electronic devices' are permitted. Makes for good reading in the unpredictable cabin lighting. (And it makes a good nite lite when you're trying to navigate a dark hotel room!)

My husband's seat partner (we always fight about the aisle seat, so we were across the aisle on the flights) hadn't flown since 9-11, and she'd witnessed it in her rear-view mirror as she drove as fast as she could after seeing what was happening. She was not a happy flier as we bounced through some decent turbulence.

We arrived at the hotel, and my husband was very pleased with the room. "I didn't know we were going to get a suite," he said.

Well, dear -- the hotel is called the "Embassy Suites" and that should have given you a clue.

Only glitches: their internet connection took a bit of finagling, primarilly because their literature didn't match what actually happened on the screen. I'm also at a disadvantage because my work email system lets me receive, but in order to send, I have to use their very bare-bones webmail, and that's going to turn into a major pain. However, that does justify the cost of the hotel's fee to use their high-speed connection (tried the bootleg free stuff we could pick up, and it's too slow).

And the clock! It's this amazingly high-tech box, with push buttons pre-set for classical, jazz, country, etc. Only the reception sucks, but there's an MP-3 connection so if my shuffle works, I can listen to my tunes over the radio instead of through my computer's iTunes. But -- the clock has no visible way to change the time, and it was an hour off. Changing time zones is bad enough for me, but to have to do the mental adjustment was going to create real problems. After much trial and error,
which included unplugging the clock and removing the batteries, a call to the front desk provided the secret information that there was a button somewhere to adjust for daylight savings time, which might solve the problem (or create a two hour difference). With the help of the ever-present Leatherman all-in-one tool, my husband ended up taking the clock apart, finding some more buttons, pushing them more or less at random, until he found some that made the time display flash. From there it wasn't too hard to adjust the time (which after his earlier trials, was now 42 minutes fast), and eventually, he even discovered the magic "enter" button which saved the settings. Don't ever let it be said we're not easily entertained.

They've got free happy hour every evening, which we were MORE than ready for after the clock adventure, and free breakfast every morning, and it's not the individually wrapped, mass-produced Danish and muffins. Nope--cook to order omelets, pancakes, plus fruit, cereal, etc., etc. And, there's a fitness center so I can assuage some of the guilt.

Today's a free day -- meeting starts tomorrow, so we'll probably take advantage of the time to do something together.

I'll be back if I discover anything interesting. I love the desert--and the mountians. Not too much in love with the change in altitude though. It's going to take me a while to acclimate.

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