Part One: Hell is for Parents (who let children cry on planes)
This year the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks — hereinafter referred to as LawyerCon — took place at Harvey’s Casino and Resort in Lake Tahoe on the borderline of Nevada and California.
Getting there, as always, was not half the fun.
There is no easy way to get from St. Louis, Missouri, to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Saturday morning we loaded three suitcases and two carry-ons into the car – drove to the parking lot – got the shuttle to the airport – got our bags tagged – took off shoes and went through security – put our shoes back on and found our gate – waited an hour for the airplane – sat in plane for 3.5 hours – got off plane in Las Vegas and walked to next gate – waited 45 minutes – sat in plane for an hour – got off plane in Reno, got luggage and rental car – drove 1 hour to Lake Tahoe – check into hotel – collapse on bed and watch free HBO.
If only it were that easy.
Before we get into the details of yet another horrific travel day, here’s a calm, tranquil picture of beautiful Lake Tahoe, to bring you peace before the terrors to come.
went through security: Tried to explain to the nice TSA people that Andrew doesn’t understand “stand here and hold your arms up” so the nice TSA people took Andrew and Laurie aside and put gel on Laurie’s hands (I don’t know why). To be fair, the nice TSA people were the least of our hassles.
sat in plane for 3.5 hours: Sitting directly in front of me was a small child. Two rows up from my left was a small child. Three or so rows back and to my left was a small child. All 3 infants cried — sometimes in unison, sometimes solo — throughout the 3.5 hour trip. By the time we landed I had written the chorus to a song parody that I would sell to Weird Al Yankovich if he were buying.
Mamas, don’t let your babies go out and ride airplanes
They’ll cry and they’ll wail and they’ll drive us all nuts
Let ‘me ride buses and light rail and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies go out and ride airplanes
They’ll shriek and they’ll moan and not leave you alone
Makes you want to smack ’em with a glove
Now granted, rolling this through my head and working out the right wording did keep my mind occupied for the last hour of the flight, so there is that.
got luggage and rental car: At the airport we discovered that a Texas lawyer and her husband were on the same flight and were also renting a car to drive to Harvey’s and so we figured we would follow them there, even though there’s only one road to Lake Tahoe and we had brought the Garmin anyway to provide directions.
We got my bag. We got Laurie’s bag. There was no Andrew’s bag. How did they get 2 bags on the right plane but not the third? The nice lady at the help desk assured us it was probably on the next flight and they would sent it along to the hotel and be there for us in the morning. They even gave us a really nice travel bag with toiletries for Andrew to use that night. I don’t particularly care if he gets his clothes for the week, but we’re really going to need that swimsuit.
Did you know that Lake Tahoe sits in the mountains? I did not know this until very late in the program. I hate the mountains. Oh, I love them for their scenic beauty and purple majesty — but I can’t stand the curvy, windy, steep and terrifying roads you have to travel to get anywhere in them.
Keep in mind that by this time we’ve been traveling for roughly 6 hours and I’ve been through two airplane rides. I am literally wasted. Fortunately, my long-suffering wife was well aware of the state I would be in and had already planned to do the driving. First I shot a man just to watch him die, then we took off.
drove 1 hour to Lake Tahoe: The road from Reno to Carson City was straight and fine. The road from Carson City to Lake Tahoe was everything I hate about mountain driving. Oh, the view was incredible BUT WHO CAN’T ADMIRE THE VIEW WHEN YOU FEAR AT ANY MINUTE YOU’RE GOING TO GO OFF THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WHERE THERE IS NO SHOULDER — JUST A CAVERNOUS PLUNGE INTO DEATH.
And did I mention that my wife is driving like a maniac trying to keep up with Texas lawyer even though she’s driving a car she’s unfamiliar with on a road she’s never been on before?
Slow down! We don’t need to keep up with this guy! We’ll get there! We have the GPS! The speed limit’s 40, you’re doing 55! You don’t know what’s on the other side of this curve! Was that a Bear Crossing sign? Don’t hit any bears!
Now to be fair, I think I only shouted to slow down once, but in my head I said it 15 million times.
check into hotel: We arrived – in one piece, no less – at Harvey’s Casino and Resort around 8 p.m. Our room was not ready. It’s 8 p.m. – how is our room not ready? We are encouraged to go up to the casino and get some dinner and come back in an hour. We land in the Hard Rock Cafe upstairs. They seat us around memorabilia from bands and artists we are not familiar with. There was a guitar that once belonged to a member of Hoobastank. I had a decent, ridiculously overpriced burger, but my stomach wasn’t into eating.
An hour later we return to the front desk where Laurie is told…wait for it…our room is not ready. Now, if my sister had been there we would’ve got free lodging for the week and complementary everything, but she wasn’t. They did eventually give us another room, which was supposedly nicer than the room we signed up for, which I suppose was the least they could do.
collapse on bed and watch free HBO: Harvey’s did not have HBO, they had Showtime. I spent most of the week watching the AXS channel anyway.
Tomorrow: Life in Resort Land