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Clueless in Cleveland -- October 10, 2000
So here I am at the Block Island Bar and Cafe at T.F.Greene Airport ("Providence Airport" although it is actually in Warwick, RI)... I am supposed to be here to catch the 5:00 Continental Express flight from PVD to CLE (Cleveland) because I have to be there tomorrow morning. I'm sitting at one of those little square tables just big enough to hold my laptop and a cup of coffee (this table is next to an electric outlet so I'm using the airport's electricity to power this entry).

This year Rhode Island has added emissions testing to the mandatory vehicle inspection. Jennifer's Honda Civic is due for an October inspection and she had made an appointment to get her inspection on this past Saturday. Upon arrival for the inspection she discovered that she needs to present her vehicle registration in order to get her car inspected -- no registration, no inspection -- and the registration for that vehicle is missing. I then realized that it has been missing since last year's inspection. That is, I had the registration in October of last year. Then, at the end of October I bought my Toyota Corolla and gave her the Honda. As a high school senior last year she was entitled to park in the on-campus parking lot and we could not find the registration back then. This missing registration form was then promptly forgotten by both of us... until now. Okay, no problem, I'll get a duplicate registration document from the state DMV and she can reschedule her appointment. Hmmm, if she can leave her car for a couple days this week they will see if they can squeeze it in because they are currently scheduling inspections for mid-December! Okay, no problem, I'm going out of town so she can use my car... I'll just stop at the DMV on Monday and get a duplicate registration... oops, Monday = Columbus Day = holiday for state employees... Okay, no problem, my flight isn't until five p.m. so I'll get the duplicate registration in the morning.

The Motor Vehicle office in our town is only open two days a week and Tuesday is not one of them... so I'll have to go to the DMV office in Westerly (it's open the other three days)... Oh, but wait... Jennifer's car has an appointment at a service station here in town this morning because of a noise in the front end. Okay, take Sean to school, come back home, wake Jennifer up, follow her to the repair shop so she can drop off her car and then drive her back home so she can study while I go to the DMV. I won't bother to describe the DMV visit, you've been there, done that, right? It wasn't actually that bad... take a number and wait... read a book about Enterprise JavaBeans... amazing how the DMV seems to be filled with senior citizens doing drivers license renewals... and having difficulty with the vision screening tests... and yet eventually, after a lot of stumbling and trying to read that line again, etc. they manage to pass... and they're going to be out on the roads. Okay, got the magic paperwork, head back home, give Jennifer my car so she can go to school.

Okay, so at eleven a.m., quick online, check email, etc. and then MapQuest to check route from Cleveland Airport to my hotel and from my hotel to where I have to be tomorrow. Book a taxi to take me to the air port at 2:30. Jennifer's first class was too early for her to drop me off at the airport and her afternoon is class after class... and Nancy has meetings, etc. after school today so she won't be home until 3:45 or 4:00, too late to get me to the airport... so I need a cab. Quick shower. Pack suitcase. Garage calls to say the Honda is fixed, it was an axle problem, total is $183. The garage is only a little over a mile away but I don't have time to walk over and pick up the car. Eat lunch. Double check packing. Okay, my taxi comes and sixty bucks (including tip) later I'm at the airport.

The five p.m. Continental Express flight to Cleveland has been cancelled. I'm going to be taking the 5:55 to Newark... that should take around an hour or so... then I get to hang out at Newark (ah, New Jersey, the *cough*cough* "Garden State")... and catch the 8:50 flight from Newark to Cleveland... so instead of getting to Cleveland around seven o'clock, it will be more like eleven o'clock...

And that's the way things went except not only did I have to wait around at Newark, I had to eat there. Ugh! The actual flight to Cleveland wasn't bad... I had an aisle seat in an exit row and the seat next to me was empty... After we landed it seemed as if my bag would take forever to come along the baggage conveyor, giving me a bit of worry remembering how my bag took an extra twenty-four hours to reach home on my last trip, but finally it came around. The car rental companies are far from the terminal, I mean very far, must be two or three miles. The shuttle bus driver was entertaining, kept up a constant line of chatter: "And when I let you off at the car rental building don't forget to take all of your belongings with you 'cause otherwise that's how they become my belongings.... and when you leave the rental parking lots please remember that people in Cleveland drive just as bad as you do." And then I get to my rental car... an intermediate size something... well, it's an automatic transmission... and it has Pennslvania plates... and it's white. Kind of an anonymous car; makes my Corolla seem flashy. Staying at Fairfield Inn, a name I can remember only because I can see some of their literature on the desk as I type this paragraph at midnight.

Ah, travel is such fun!

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