Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Worldcon 2019 Day -2: The 36-Hour Day

Monday morning Lisa and I were up at 6 AM, much earlier than necessary, but that's how it goes. We get over to SFO about 10:30 AM and found ourselves first in line to check in with IcelandAir. To our great surprise, we discovered that, while we did not get the Saga Class upgrade for the SFO-KEF leg of our trip, the upgrade we got for KEF-DUB meant that we were eligible for use of the First Class Lounge of Icelandair's partner, China Airlines, and we also got TSA Pre-Check. That was nice. It got us through Terrorization faster (even hand-checking Lisa and me), and we got pretty much the maximum possible lounge time and meant we didn't have to pay for lunch, as we could make a meal in the lounge.

Our flight to Iceland was routine. As expected, the back of the plane was practically deserted, and I moved across the aisle. Kuma Bear sat next to Lisa. Unfortunately, despite all of that room, neither Lisa nor I were able to get any sleep to speak of.

We got to KEF on time, and by the time we used the toilet in the terminal and got Lisa a hot tea, our flight to Dublin was boarding. This was in Saga Class, and we both had an excellent lamb steak for an early lunch (the fight left about 7:30 AM). Still no sleep.

At Dublin, there were no hitches (just a bunch of waiting) to get through immigration, collect our luggage and clear customs, and buy a SIM card for my European phone. (I now have a European phone number for the duration of my trip if you need to reach me. Send me a private message if you need the number.) We also got lucky with the bus from the airport, as a route 747 bus pulled up just as we were walking up, meaning we got a seat. It's a relatively quick to the City Centre, and we checked in to the Holiday Inn Express on Connolly St. Upper.

We are deeply disappointed with this hotel room. In general, a Holiday Inn Express in our North American experience has a certain level of appointments, and certainly should have at least some space for storing clothing and such. Apparently the "Holiday Inn Express" brand means something different in Europe, because this room has not a single storage drawer, no bathtub (shower only), and Lisa says she thinks it's smaller than our stateroom on the two-night ferry crossing to Helsinki in 2017. Worse, it appears to be "standard policy" (they claim it's local law) but I can't find a reference) that rooms must be cleaned after every third night regardless of whether the customer wants the room cleaned or not, which we do not because the only way we're going to be able to make this room work is to spread a lot of stuff around, and this now means that on the fourth and seventh mornings here by my reckoning (Friday and Monday), we're going to have to get all of our stuff up and put back in our luggage so they can service the room.

Had we known the rooms were so tiny and so lacking in anywhere to store anything, I think we would have bitten the bullet and booked a room at the Gibson (where the Business Meeting is). We could have then used the IHG points (maybe) next year in Wellington, where the main hotel is an Intercontinental. But it's too late to do anything about that now. We're here and we're stuck with it.

Google Maps identified an ordinary Holiday Inn (not an Express) in a convenient location in Dublin, but it turns out that the hotel in question hasn't been a Holiday Inn for years now. There is also an Intercontinental that would have been quite nice but costs more than twice as many points as this Express, whose cash price (if we tried to shift to it tomorrow) would break the bank, and is much farther away.

Speaking of distance, we've made liberal use of our LEAP card (unlimited ride pass on the Luas light rail, buses, and local trains for 7 days) going back and forth between our hotel and the convention center area 2 km away or so. Even so, I logged more than 12K steps today and therefore do not feel at all guilty about the fish and chips I had for dinner tonight.

Oh, and Dublin 2019 Registration opened this afternoon, and Lisa and I have our credentials now. That's two more people that won't have to be registered at a peak time.

In the meantime, I've been awake for more than 36 hours. But we made it to evening before Lisa fell asleep, and I'll be joining her soon. I hope we'll be more or less on local time by Thursday.
Tags: airlines, dublin, hotels, travel, worldcon
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