Past Aaron was an idiot for scheduling this flight to Kentucky with two layovers. I bet I end up on a prop plane before the day is done.
— Aaron Traffas (@traffas) May 6, 2013
I tweeted that before heading to the airport yesterday. Upon arrival at Mid-Continent, I learned my flight from ICT to ORD had been delayed, shaving my layover from a nice 30 minutes from arrival to boarding down to -10 minutes. That’s right. My flight landed in Chicago 10 minutes after my connector to St. Louis began boarding.
After the successful fat man’s sprint to the connector, I figured I was home free. A nice layover in St. Louis at the Schlafly restaurant let me fill up on their fatty fish and drink their beer. I can drink a lot of hoppy beer at an airport.
As I approached the gate to board my final flight to Owensboro, I realized something was wrong. I’d not heard of Cape Air. There’s a reason.
A local carrier that somehow found a niche serving the related areas of New England, Florida, the Caribbean and St. Louis, Cape Air flies Cessna 402s. It’s the first time I’ve been asked for my body weight when flying commercially. I got to subtract a pound or two for the sprint in Chicago.
The ride from St. Louis to Owensboro wasn’t bad, except for the constant roar. Landing at Owensboro, I learned from another passenger that the guy with the orange glow-in-the-dark pom-pom sticks on the tarmac guiding us in was also the guy who ran security and baggage check. Sure enough, after he got us our bags, he took his hat off and came out from behind the counter so I could ask him to call a taxi.
The taxi took 30 minutes to get to the airport, at which time I learned they didn’t accept credit cards. No problem, I thought. There’s an ATM in the airport.
It was out of service. The nice sole-proprietor of the airport told me there was an ATM at the hotel. I convinced the driver that I’d pay him after I got cash at the hotel, intending full well to tip handsomely for trusting me.
The lady at the hotel told me the ATM was in the bar next to the DJ booth. I turned around from the hotel desk to see the bar, entering to find a very smoky room and a 50-year old waitress dressed in a get-up that looked like something from a casino. Running to the ATM, I saw immediately that it was out of service as well.
A taxi that doesn’t take credit cards…ATMs out of service at airport and hotel. Where am I? #docHollywood
— Aaron Traffas (@traffas) May 7, 2013
The nice lady behind the hotel desk ended up giving me a dollar to add to my seven to make the eight demanded by the driver. So much for his tip.
I finally found a way to get cash – by buying something at the IGA with my debit card and asking for cash back…and buy something I did. Dinner. And forks.
I will say that the place I presented this morning was pretty grand. RiverPark Center in Owensboro is home to not only a large music and theater venue but also to the International Bluegrass Music Museum. The view from its north side this morning around sunrise was pretty swell.
As I finish my second microwave dinner of champions, I’m thankful for in-room microwaves. I might trade it, though, for MSNBC on their cable line-up.
Though unofficial, this is my last auctioneer education trip while a member of the NAA Speakers Bureau. It’s been a fun run, allowing me to go to Minnesota, Texas, Oregon, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, Alabama, New Hampshire and Oregon again. Other fun locations I’ve gotten to present auctioneer content outside of the Speakers Bureau include Florida, Missouri and, now, Kentucky. I’ll miss it.