This morning I finally made up my mind to go ahead and attend the 2007 Enrepreneurial Connections (EntConnect) conference out in Colorado at the end of the month. I got a tentative travel itinerary yesterday and wasn't quite happy with it, but after sleeping on it I figured out how to "fix" the trip to work out for me. I'll be flying out from Seattle Thursday morning, March 29 and returning Sunday evening, April 1.
I had wanted to fly out Thursday afternoon so I could work half a day and not waste a vacation day, but the mid-afternoon flight didn't get into Denver until 30 minutes before I wanted to be way on the other side of Denver (more than an hour away) for dinner. On the revised itinerary, I'll leave in the morning (taking the full day off as a vacation day) and get into Denver in the middle of the afternoon, giving me plenty of time to rlax and enjoy Colorado before dinner at 7:00 p.m.
The conference nominally runs until the middle of the afternoon on Sunday, and I hate rushing to the airport, so I had planned to fly out on Monday morning. It turned out that the cheap flight was shortly after noon, so I would essentially spend the entire day traveling, eating up another vacation day, not to mention the extra hotel night. I also hate flying at night, especially late at night, but in this case I decided to go ahead and take a 9:30 p.m. flight and not waste Monday as a lost vacation day or waste the cost of the extra hotel night.
Unfortunately, the return flight doesn't get into Seattle until 11:20 p.m., barely five minutes before the last express bus to Bellevue. Sure, maybe my flight will be fifteen minutes early and I can run to catch the bus, but I won't bet on it. There are later buses to downtown Seattle, but only two late-night buses that go from downtown to Bellevue. The best I can do is catch a 2:15 a.m. bus from downtown Seattle that gets me into Bellevue at 2:33 a.m. Yuck. I have a choice of waiting two hours at the airport to catch the 1:30 a.m. bus to downtown, or catch the 11:54 p.m. bus from the airport and then spend two hours wandering around a relatively dead Sunday night Seattle bfore catching that same 2:15 a.m. bus. I'll have to ask somebody what fun and exciting things you can do in downtwon Seattle at 1:00 a.m. in the morning.
I made the hotel reservation as well, to stay three nights, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, for the conference group rate of $74 per night,
My flight was more expensive than I had hoped, but works out better schedule wise and saves me an extra night of hotel stay. The round trip fare, including taxes, fees, and my travel agent's fee, came to $323.
I'll be using up two vacation days, but be able to relax most of Thursday and enjoy the pre-conference activities on Friday, and won't be travel-weary on Friday evening.
I will probably be quite tired on Monday, but that was the tradeoff. Besides, I never count on getting much work done on a Monday anyway.
Three weeks to go. If you're going too, I'll see you there.
-- Jack Krupansky