Friday, October 27, 2006

Logbook: Plan B

Planb2It's been a trying 48 hours. Here's a recap: After posting the logbook entry Wednesday night, I edited the Kidzania Report, pushed the "publish" button at about 2 in the morning and went to bed. Since the Majestic Hotel has no air conditioning, the noise from Zocalo came through my open window unabated. I slept poorly -- for only about 4 hours -- and got up yesterday morning to face two problems: 1) the altitude, heat, noise, pollution and lack of sleep had conspired to beat me down a little and 2) the Kidzania Report I'd published the night before was "busted" and stuck on "The Big Blue Q." I decided to stay in and tackle the web problem which ended up taking almost the entire day to isolate and fix -- thanks to a nasty little bug in a recent update to third-party (Non-Mac!) video software program I use.

With that finally resolved, I went for a brief walk around Zocalo, had dinner and went to bed early with hopes of a good night's sleep. No such luck. Last night was the worst so far on The Voyage. I had to keep the windows open to keep from suffocating, and while my earplugs did a reasonably good job against the noise there was nothing to be done to combat the swarm of huge mosquitos that invaded my room! I was up most of the night, swearing that I would not stay another night in the Majestic, no matter how "authentic" it is. This morning I felt like I'd been whipped. The oppressive altitude and pollution of Mexico City combined with two nights of very little sleep had me pretty knocked down, but at least I was on a mission to find another abode. I walked yet another block south and found that the Grand Hotel -- a truly elegant old-style place that must have been featured in many movies -- had a room available for the duration of my stay in Mexico City and for only a few bucks more than the Majestic!

Especially with my friend Greg on his way -- I would not subject anyone to the Majestic -- I happily made the deal and set in motion my move to the Grand Hotel. I went back to the Majestic, went online for messages and the like, then packed my gear and checked out at one o'clock. I walked the block to the Grand, did the paperwork and was told that my room would be ready at 3 o'clock. Excellent! I left my gear with the bell man, had some lunch then headed to the airport. I arrived just before Greg's flight, positioned myself right in front of the arrival gate and got my camera ready to record his entrance. After a half hour, I started to wonder if I'd missed him and began looking around. After an hour, I wondered whether he had arrived at another gate and started searching the concourse. After two hours, I figured something had gone wrong and decided to go with "Plan B" which, of course, I had arranged with Greg as follows: "If all else fails, get a cab to the Majestic and I'll meet you there."

The Majestic! Too bad I wasn't there anymore. I could just see Greg walking into the place, asking for me and being told I had checked out! As you can imagine, I hurried to the Majestic in hopes of finding him waiting there, but, alas, no such luck. I ran over to the Grand, checked in, got to my room, went online and -- you guessed it --picked up a voicemail from Greg saying that his flights had gotten screwed up and would be arriving at -- you guessed it again -- just about the time I had given up and left the airport! To make it all more ironic, he had left the voicemail just ten minutes after I'd logged off and left the Majestic!

Anyway, I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to the airport before he too figured the connection was busted and got in a cab, so I went with "Plan B" as well. I walked back over to the Majestic and waited outside the front door. Sure enough, about 45 minutes later, a cab pulled up and I saw Greg's smiling face in the window. We hugged and high-fived then walked to the Grand, dumped his stuff in the room and went to dinner. We cracked ourselves up sharing the stories of our screwed up day, but decided that's just the way it goes some days in the expedition business and all's well that ends well. We both look forward to a good night's sleep in our cool, quiet room and to whatever tomorrow brings. Stay tuned! Ole!

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