Earlier today I made it home after my first work travel since January 2020. It’s been a long time since I’ve been away from my family like this, and I’ve never been away from Ezra like this. It was awesome to get to see my team in person. Most of who I hadn’t met in real life yet. But it was also very hard being away.
It felt weird getting on a plane after so long. I still love the actual act of flying, I still don’t like airports and the rest of the process that it takes to get to that point.
We traveled to Orlando and had a big place to ourselves. There were some Disney-themed rooms, a pool, a pool table, other games, and a theatre room. We didn’t leave the place much at all. We ordered groceries and made breakfasts and lunches, and then usually ordered in for dinner. Probably the healthiest I’ve eaten on a meet-up yet. I really think the in-person time is going to help our team be closer and work even better together.
We had one activity day that we spent at Animal Kingdom. It was again strange to be there without my family and kids, but we still had a good time. The Avatar ride there was, and confirmed this visit, as my favourite ride I’ve ever been on. I wish I could have done it multiple times. I guess I could of, but I didn’t feel like wasting all my time waiting in hour-plus long lines.
The trip home which started yesterday wasn’t as uneventful as the trip there. I had a connection in Neward which arrive on time, and all seemed good right up until it was time to board for our 12:35pm flight. There were a couple short delays and then just canceled. We were all put on a flight for the next morning. After a bunch of confusion and lots of waiting we finally received some vouchers for a close by hotel and instructions to walk to a bus, to get to a train, which would take us to a shuttle, to get us to the hotel. The shuttle held about 15 people, and we were a plane full, so it took a while for us to all get there.
Once we started to fill the lobby more fun. The vouchers weren’t working. There was no payment information attached, so the hotel couldn’t check any of us in. The lobby kept filling with more people and frustration. People tried to call the airline, people talked to the hotel managers and for a long time no one was able to help. This is already long past the time when we should have already landed at home. Many of us had been up for long hours. Some people gave up and decided just to book rooms at their own cost, almost $400 a night. Thankfully the hotel really stepped up and offered us all the rate they would have charged the airline $95 a night with the hopes that once they received payment from the airline they would refund us.
Come morning others in our group said that the hotel received payment from the airline so hopefully I really see a refund come through within a few days like they said. Back at the airport and then some more delays, but we eventually took off and I made it home about a full 24 hours later than I should have.
Ezra has had an imaginary friend for a while now. He has the creative name “Little Guy”. Jen has told me that apparently, Little Guy was on the trip with me he was even sad yesterday because his flight was canceled. Upon finally arriving home today I could hear Noah as I walked in the door asking Ezra, “Who’s home, who’s home?”. He came around the corner and looked at me, then looked to the side and yelled very excitedly “Little Guy!”