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I have to go to Washington DC next week for business; there's a conference where I'm supposed to present the Reservation Road Planner, and the lobbyist has arranged some meetings on the hill with the Washington delegation.
DC is probably the one town that I actually like travelling to for business. I fly into National, which is right on the Metro (as it should be). I can get off the plane, get on the train, and walk to my lodging, which is usually a bed and breakfast or boutique hotel.
There's never any question about attire in DC, unlike Florida or California -- I know if I'm going up on the hill I'll need a suit and tie; maybe it's the uniform, but it's easier to decipher than mix that qualifies as "business casual" in the tech sectors.
And when I'm not working, there's plenty to do. Great choices of restaurants, museums and I can usually find someone to talk to about something other than sports.
The worst part is the plane trip itself. Although I got a really great deal on my ticket, and only one transfer and layover, it's still almost 8 hours of travel. I'm not looking forward to it. The only consolation is that most people are flying in the following week for the inauguration, so I might actually get a seat with no one next to me...
As for the inauguration, I can't believe I'm going to be that close and not go. But everyone's jacked their rates for that week, and air travel is insanely expensive for the return trip. I think it'll be cool enough just to go the week before and see what they're doing to prepare.
Arbitar: Re: Getting ready for DC
Few tips you likely already know all about, but if you don't, they can help out:
* When you get to the gate, talk to the attendant behind the desk about switching to exit-row seats. Maintaining eye contact with the lady while saying you're ready to help in an emergency can give you a lot more legroom, and people can't recline in front of you most of the time. Makes a long flight just that much more comfy. Furthermore, window seats in exit rows on some planes can sometimes have no seat at all in front of them, which is nice. (generally applies to the planes with two exit rows per exit)
* At PDX, as you know, there are two wings, or sides, to the airport, each with a seperate security setup. What a lot of people overlook is that there's a terminal connector right after security, headed away from the front of the airport. You can pick the side of the airport with less security traffic, then walk across the relatively short connector to get to the side with your flight.
* Nowadays, they're allowing you to take coffee and other such food and drinks obtained from past security onto the plane. There was a period in time where I'd always waste my coffee because I'd forget. :( But no more, it would seem. They always never seem to bat an eye at food, chips, or sandwiches coming in from outside security though.
* When it comes time to get a drink, you can generally order a bottle or a can of what you wish (ie, 'can of sprite') without them giving you any problem about it. You get five times the drink and a lot less hassle in general.
Anyway, you likely already know all this stuff or it was just common sense, but, I like to be helpful.
Have a good flight & trip, eh!