Sunday, December 29, 2013

A 2013 Overview in Photos

I was randomly perusing my Google+ photos tonight (my phone automatically backups my photos there; it's awesome) and came across two very amazing things, 1) photos from the Built Environment Summit that I thought I had lost, and 2) this video that Google+ made for me, randomly putting together photos.

Google managed to capture some of my favorite moments in their randomness--the Glow Run 5K, clouds, Topeka, meetings with friends, graduation, special people, my book party, cousin weekend and ward activities. However, only one picture of Biscuit. It was a pretty awesome year. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

How To Get Free Ice Cream From the Airport

My flight out of SLC was at 10:30am, and to make sure I didn't miss my flight like the last time I flew out of SLC, I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The check-in process was fast, the security area was amazingly speedy, and I was then left with time to walk to the other end of the airport to get a Jamba Juice. As I was drinking my lovely cup of Caribbean passion, the time for us to board came and went. The lady working the gate kept assuring us that we were just waiting on our flight attendants, who would soon be landing and making their way over from two gates down.

Well, we kept waiting and waiting. And no flight attendants showed up. The gate-lady called over a man in a striking red blazer, who was clearly some sort of supervisor/hot shot. After gate-lady told him the issue, he made some calls. Apparently the flight attendants assigned to our flight were re-reouted mid-air but did not get the message. So they were likely off property enjoying their three hours of downtime in amazing Salt Lake City (I added the amazing). Red blazer guy told us that flight attendants have a two-hour call time, so the earliest we would leave would probably be 1 or 1:30. It was currently 11:30.

I hung out in the gate area for awhile, then decided I should take advantage of the Cafe Rio in the airport and get something to eat. I asked gate-lady if I could leave and the plane wouldn't take off without me. She assured me that no one would be left behind.

I returned to gate B10 after making the trek to Cafe Rio and lunching. The waiting area was clear of the people who were on my Kansas City flight, which I thought was strange. It was only 12:35. Gate-lady was also gone, but then she showed up a few minutes later (everyone needs a lunch break). The screen at first showed the info for my KC flight, but then it changed to information for a flight to San Antonio. I politely asked gate-lady what the status was for the KC flight. Without missing a beat she said, "That flight left."

I was a bit startled and got up to stand at the counter. She said she had left to get lunch and was assured by her replacement that no one would be left behind. They would make public announcements to make sure everyone got on. I was in a different concourse and clearly missed my PA. She felt very bad because she had assured me I wouldn't be left behind. And the plane had only left about ten minutes ago.

At this point I could feel myself starting to get frantic, thinking I'd have to wait for an 8pm flight, which would be awful. Gate-lady immediately booked me on a 1:55 pm flight to KC, which coincidentally I had nearly purchased but had decided to go for the earlier flight so I wouldn't have to drive in the dark if it happened to be bad weather. Also, my friend Kate was on the 1:55 flight to KC.

Since she felt bad, gate-lady gave me a food voucher to use in the airport. A PinkBerry was located right next to my new gate, and I stopped there to get some coconut frozen yogurt. I ate it as I sat and waited and talked with my friend Kate. And it all worked out.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ready to Go

I have a very early flight tomorrow morning out of Kansas City. So early that I need to leave Topeka around 3:30am. However, I'm not very tired right now.....

I left work early because there was absolutely nothing going on. I hit up the local used bookstore and made out like a bandit with books for me and books for people I love for Christmas. I cleaned up my home and cleaned out my fridge. I have put my Christmas gifts in a single backpack that I intend to carry on the plane with me. This traveling for Christmas is sort of a logistical nightmare--I also have goodies I'm trying to take.

I hate packing more than just about anything. I over analyze what to pack and therefore over pack. It's also supposed to be zero degrees at 4 in the morning, so catching the shuttle bus from the parking lot is going to be super awesome.Also, I've been sneezing a lot, which is a sure sign that I'm getting sick. Which is so very lame.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I've Been Doing Things

I've been doing things this month, I just haven't blogged about them. I don't generally like to blog about things once they've passed about five days after doing them. So here's a quick rundown:
--planned and pulled off my Ward Christmas Party, which was a lot of work but so much fun. An amazing  night
--saw Mass. Street in Lawrence all lit up for the holidays
--went to Denver for a cousin's weekend. We went to a Jazz/Nuggets game (the Jazz won!) and an Avalanche hockey game the next night. It was such a fun time.
--traveled to Des Moines for work to tour their transit provider, DART, and learn from them. I love transit so this was awesome for me. Also, the hotel we stayed in was rumored to be haunted.
--went to Kansas City with some friends to check out the lights at Crown Center and the Plaza. We then went to the Melting Pot and proceeded to overload on chocolate.

And now I'm finishing up everything I need to to fly out to Salt Lake on Christmas Eve. I've already made and frosted my last batch of sugar cookies, and now it's on to the daunting task of making pajama bottoms for my nieces and nephews. And then wrapping presents. Going to work tomorrow is going to be seriously awful.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Slide Out

Topeka got some snow last night. Not a lot, but enough to make the roads a little slick and icy. Despite this, I decided to take the "back road" to church today. It was 10 o'clock and I figured the roads would be fairly good at that point. And they were....for the most part. I was going on my merry way, past the halfway point, thinking about things, when I went into a curve and all of a sudden lost control. I was in the other lane, my car perpendicular to the road. I was moving my steering wheel but my tires were not gripping onto anything. I was going back and forth between the lanes and I was terrified I would slide into a tree or a mile marker or another car. Thankfully this was a part of the road that had a large grass area before becoming tree land. My car slid to a stop here.

I was okay, my car was okay. However, the grass I landed in was on a slope and I couldn't get any traction to get my car out--my tires just kept spinning until smoke came out. I was shaking and scared and wasn't sure what to do. The road wasn't heavily traveled as it's a Sunday and bad weather. I just dialed 911 and told them I had slid off the road on US 40, but I was okay and my car was okay but my car was stuck.

A police officer was sent out, and all he did was call a tow truck.Which was rather expensive and sort of a hassle because they only take cash and I never have cash on me let alone $100. I don't even have a local bank. It eventually got taken care of. I was really sorry I hadn't gotten someone to stop and help me to save myself the money and hassle.

I was shaky and frazzled during church, and took the freeway home.

                        My tire marks, and my car on the side of the road.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Talkin' Transit

This week I found myself talking about transit like I'm someone in the industry. And I am. I'm a working professional in planning and sometimes I still think that's so awesome.

Monday I was in a meeting at the Capitol Building discussing a bus shelter we wanted to place on the corner of their property. The room was full of important people and I was pleased to know that some of them knew me by name. Also, my boss and I were the only females in the room. The meeting was slightly discouraging because a few of the more vocal people had views that regarding transit as "those people". I finally had to speak up and say, essentially, that people who ride transit are people too and their needs are important too. And if we want to lessen traffic then we should promote transit and make it a viable alternative. I'm not sure if my boss approved of my words, she never said anything, but one person in the meeting told me the next day he thought it was ballsy. And I stand by my words.

Thursday I was in a meeting for transportation related issues. Many of the conversations involved a level of technical knowledge beyond what I have, but it was all very interesting. And again, I was in a room full of knowledgeable people talking about transportation.

Today I was having lunch at Bobo's, discussing transit issues in Salt Lake with a date. The place is very small, and we were seated at the counter, so the couple next to us could hear our conversation. She asked if I was a transportation planner. I said yes, sort of. She said that she used to be the Secretary of Transportation at KDOT, and she asked about my job and if I worked for the MPO or the City and the Mayor was someone she knew. It was all very cool.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Miracle on Kansas Parade

Last night was my third parade event in Topeka. This one is apparently the biggest, most important one in Topeka. It's at night and is lighted and is longer than any of the other parades. Obviously I wanted to share this event with my friends.

Kate and Tomas came from Lawrence and enjoyed the warm-for-December weather as we watched the parade. We saw multiple Santas, Snoopy, motorcycles, hot air balloon fire-makers, a big duck, a huge cow, and lots of dogs from the Helping Hands Humane Society (which is where I got Biscuit). Candy was also thrown.

Kate and I with the big, hip duck.

 Tomas and I with the fire. He doesn't smile for cameras, but was having a good time.

 Topeka Metro had a bus in the parade!


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