I made the connection at Phoenix, but it was tight. I was only going to have 29 minutes even if we were on time, and we were not. Late inbound equipment and a full flight meant we arrived at Phoenix about fifteen minutes before my Chicago flight was scheduled to leave. As I expected, my flight left from a different pier than the one on which I arrived, but both the inbound and outbound were near the "root" of the pier. However, it was still a fairly near thing, and I was one of the last people on board.
As we arrived at the gate, I turned my mobile phone on to see if I'd received any messages while in flight. I hadn't, but during the five minutes or so walking between gates, I received a call from one of the people using the project-tracking software I wrote. And it wasn't as though he even knew I was traveling today -- by sheer dumb luck he called during the narrow window of time when I could actually take the call. He'd created a duplicate project and wanted to know how to delete it. I explained as carefully as I could under the circumstances and internally resolved to add a nice big "delete project" button or something similar the next time I modify the form design. There are already several buttons on the form that simply repeat standard MS Access functions -- the only reason for the buttons are to hand-hold people.
The flight to Chicago was nice and uneventful. I wish I'd remembered to pack my headset so I would not have had to pay $5 for the cheap ones they rented on the flight -- and they look like single-use headsets to me for that matter.
This is my first trip to the Chicago area where I am driving; the others have been taxi or shuttle rides to hotels from airports. When I got to the Avis Preferred lot, my name appeared on the board with "counter" instead of a pre-assigned space. Turns out Avis had run out of cars. The place was a madhouse. They offered to "upgrade" me to a monster SUV. I really don't want to drive such a big vehicle. Eventually, what they found me was actually a downgrade to a smaller car than I reserved; let's hope the reduced charge actually appears.
Toll roads are a new experience for me, although I drive a toll bridge to work most days. There were two stops to pay eighty cent tolls along the way out to Aurora. Fortunately, and to speed me along, I had exact change in both cases. I thought of tossing a $1 coin into the automatic bucket of one of the gates to see if it would accept the overpayment, but didn't want to risk it jamming and not letting me through at all.
The hotel is exactly what I expected, which is good. Now that I have the internet connection, I'm all set. The $3.99 for the entire stay charge is very reasonable, and a nice change from the amounts I paid in the UK. The only thing I don't like is getting up at what my body clock said was 4 AM. Here's hope that I can stay awake this morning.