Over the past few years I have done a fair amount of travel to some cool places. Today….I embarked on a trip to Bloomington, Il. Why? Because I just fly to where Chris Olenik tells me to go. After a 2 hour flight delay my colleague, Mark Miller, and I were in the air headed to the midwest. I was able to catch an upgrade to ride in first class while Mark was openly mocked by the flight attendant when he tried to plead his way into one of the 6 empty seats in first, but I digress.
The decent into Bloomington was nice enough. The city is surrounded by farm lands, windmills, and not much else. I have not been to an airport that had all of 3 gates to choose from when we pulled up to the Terminal/largest building around for miles. Then the real fun began. We were on a smaller regional jet so to get to the jetway to de-board the plane they lowered a gang-plank to walk across. (pirate plank picture) All carry-ons were checked plane side and as we were waiting on the folks to retrieve the bags the passengers were entertained by Mark attempting to rescue a small bird that had become trapped in the area. There were shrieks and laughter, yet no one clapped when he was successful. With our bags in hand we took the 100 foot walk to the rental cars to find that our rental company was the only one that did not have a counter at the airport and we would need to call for a shuttle to come get us and get the car. However ,we were not to be defeated and the kind lady at the Alamo/National desk had one car left, a mini-van. Mark scoffed at the van, despite my expert rendition of the great line from “Get Shorty”. “It’s an Oldsmobile Silhouette, that’s the Cadillac of mini-vans.” At least the lady at the rental place laughed.
Keys in hand we walk another 100 feet to the lot right outside the door and climbed into the van.
The trusty GPS on my iphone took us the 2.9 miles to our hotel where the next adventure began.
Ok ok… maybe the hotel was not that bad but the first impression was not good and Mark went inside to scope it out. He came out with a key to check out the room so we could decide to sleep in the van or look for something else, but he was very excited as the clerk had told him about the homemade breakfast that they have every morning.
We checked out the rooms and perhaps in spite our better judgement we decided that this place would be fine and went back so I could check in too. I gave the clerk my id and credit card and was not prepared for what came next. She looked at my license and said….
Clerk: Welcome Robert. Or do you like Rob.?
Clerk: Really? Never would have guess that.
Me: ( as she holds my id with my full name printed on it) It’s Robert Rudolph Shumpert, I use my middle name.
Clerk: That is sooooooo cool. Can I tell you a funny story?
Me: Sure… ( This is getting a bit odd)
Clerk: I used to be ditzy when I was little and I used to think that the leader of the Nazi’s …you know…um…. Adolf Hitler was named Rudolph and that the Reindeer in the Christmas songs was names after him, so I never liked that song, and then one time when I was in eighth grade and we were studying the constitution and stuff we started talking about Hitler and I told the class that I did not like him or his Reindeer songs… then the teachers was like..no dear…. but isn’t that a funny thing.
Me : (I wish I had recorded this…) Wow…. ( I had to bite my lip to not laugh)
You can’t make up stuff like this. All of this “adventure” within the first 2 hours of landing….I can’t wait for the next few days!