Shut the hell up and find the hotel!!

So, today I had meeting in Tallahassee and then drove down to Tampa. My lovely co-worker had booked my room at the Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Airport. Nice!
Well, as I'm leaving Tallahassee, I set my lovely British dashboard lady for the address on the confirmation email. She doesn't recognize it, so I spell it 5 different ways...she still doesn't recognize it. So I look at a map and find the cross street. I punch that into Ms. Garmin's face and finally get some assistance. As I'm flying down 98, smiling smugly and thinking, "I grew up in a relatively big city, finding a stinkin' Hilton Garden Inn close to the airport should be no problem", little did I know the HOT MESS that awaited me.
Part of the issue is began somewhere after Homasassa Springs which I once visited as a kid on a family vacation....anyway, after Homasassa Springs, I had to get on 589 which is Suncoast Pkway. My Google map (better safe than sorry I always say) told me that it was a "partial" toll road. I had my $10 bill and was ready to go. So I pull up to the first toll booth and pay my dollar, $1 that's it. GREAT! This is cake and the road is so nicely paved...those were my pleasant thoughts....until 10 miles later I see a sign for the next toll plaza. Hmmm, where's the you-already-paid-10-miles-ago-so-go-on-through lane??? Yeah, there isn't one, so I paid another dollar. Now as a girl from a state that doesn't put much into the infastructure, I had an issue with the $6.75 I had to pay to drive 50 miles on a road, on top of all $20 in Lotto tickets I bought. I mean, don't I get a free pass or something for helping out Florida's children...isn't that what lottery goes for...I don't know, I'm an Alabama kid, with a public education, so I'm not really sure.
50 miles down, $6.75 poorer (oh, and no receipts from the toll booths, so no company reimbursement) and I'm in Tampa. Well, there is road construction and the exit Ms. Garmin insists I get off on, is closed. Where's my $6.75 going anyway??? I pass the closed exit because I'm pretty sure no cop is going to be as intimidated by my British dash-devil as I am and wait for GG (that's short for Genius Garmin) to tell me where to turn. For the next five minutes as I'm driving down I-275, GG is simply saying "Recalculating" over and over again. By this time, I'm doing about 10 miles per hour swerving from left lane to right lane because GG is telling me "Turn Right" "Recalculating" "Turn left in .2 miles".
Finally, I find an exit with a street name I recognize from my trusty Google map. GG recalculates and I decide I'll give her another chance. WRONG move! Picture this: Scared little tear streaked white girl in her rental car in traffic yelling at the piece of technology on her dash driving through an area of town I can only equate to the Ensley area of Birmingham. Yeah, most entertaining to everyone around me.
So after almost chucking GG out the damn window, I call the hotel...I know, I know...should've done this along time ago, but I didn't know where the hell I was and I knew that would be the first question they asked. I get to a street I've been down oh, I don't know, 12 times in 15 minutes and call the hotel. The guy, WES-Savior-of-my-entire-trip, answers and asks me where I am (told ya so!). I tell him and he says, "Oh, just take a left at the light from the street your on and you'll see us on your right." I thank him, hang up, make my left at the light and Ms. Garmin, now known as Beezlebub, is "Recalculating". I decided to check in and just call it a night. Dash-devil doesn't deserve a night on the town and frankly, I don't think my nerves can handle it!


Traveling this week...

I'm taking a whirlwind tour of Florida...and not the good parts like South Beach or Key West. Today I stopped in Pensacola before heading to Tallahassee. There are several great things about traveling for work though...

#1. Rental car with GPS...this was a new experience. I've never had a rental car before and then I rented a Garmin too. I love Ms. Garmin, my British navigating Nanny. She hasn't gotten me lost yet. Even with road work, she pleasantly says "Recalculating Route" in that nice British accent...very efficient and official sounding. This lady definitely knows where she's going!

#2. HOTELS!!!! This should probably go first on the list, but I don't feel like copy/pasting tonight. I big squishy heart hotels! I love walking into a clean room (don't at home so much) and turning on every light and the tv. I love hotel beds...I know, that's a little weird. I love the glamour of hotels. Of course, it is a Monday night and I am in Tallahassee, so glamour may be a little over the top, but you get the idea. I COULD be doing something really cool!

#3. Hours of actual work. Now this particular trip entails me visiting P'cola, Tallahassee, Tampa/Lakeland and Jacksonville and being home on Thursday night. I have about 3 meetings per day all lasting between 30 minutes and an hour then I'm driving. So that's what, 3 to 4 hours of work and then 4 hours of listening to XM radio (another cool rental car perk) and eating convenience store junk...Yay me!!

#4. Cozy little restaurants. I like to fancy myself the female version of Guy Fieri. I am in love with Diners Drive Ins and Dives on Food Network so when I go to a new city, I like to try the local cuisine. Tonight I had Chez Pierre...a French restaurant with a Southern twist. It was pretty great, especially the tiramisu (yes i know that's actually Italian). I like to research places and then go to dinner all by myself. Most people don't like to eat out by themselves, but there is something pretty awesome about enjoying a meal alone....it's like your own little secret.

Anyway, that's my travel happies! What do you like about traveling, work or play? Know of any good restaurants in Tampa or Jacksonville that I should try?


All in the same boat...at least I have a prospect!

I found another funny article on MSN. I don't have a whole lot going on in my world right now. I'm playing Mom this week, so probably have some anecdotes or rants (depending on the surly 12 year old) later.


BEIJING - A 107-year-old Chinese woman who was afraid to marry when she was young has decided to look for her first husband and hopes to find a fellow centenarian so they will have something to talk about, a Chinese paper reported.
Wang Guiying is worried she is becoming a burden to her aging nieces and nephews since breaking her leg when she was 102 and had to stop doing chores like washing her clothes.
"I'm already 107 and I still haven't got married," the Chongqing Commercial Times quoted her saying. "
What will happen if I don't hurry up and find a husband?"

I hear ya, Wang! I'm really excited about turning 30, but I think I'm becoming a burden to my friends and family. I haven't stopped doing chores (but wouldn't that be nice), but I depend on my family and friends to entertain me when I'm not being entertained by the boys. If I don't "hurry up and find a husband", I'm afraid my self-appointed directors of entertainment will soon turn their backs on me. And for good reason! First, Amy is preggers and she's got a new puppy. Between potty training a dog and giving birth, she's not going to have time to cater to my every phone call whining about nothing to watch on tv. Second, my parents are going to disown me if I don't get married and have many little Zaden offspring soon. Gone will be the days of camping at the 'rents house on Sunday afternoon to play Wii and not do chores.

Which brings to mind another story...
So I'm sitting with my mom yesterday afternoon (playing Wii and not doing chores I needed to at my house) and I told her I was thinking about buying a new vehicle. She asked me when and what. I mentioned the 2 door Altima since my truck will be paid for and pushing 200K miles in April. She said, "You can't get a 2 door. Where will you put a baby seat?"

Whoa there Sidney! I had no idea she had these plans for my transportation or my uterus. I'm not planning to be the unwed mother at 30...I spent too many college years trying to avoid the "unwed mother" sentence. To quote Wang, "What will happen if I don't hurry up and find a husband?" My answer...I'll get to have a 2 door Altima sans baby seat, all the shoes I'd ever want to buy without having to sneak them in the house and pretend I've had them for years, and no friends or family to entertain me.

It's a tough choice (I am entertaining and resourceful in my own right)and although I'm really leaning towards the Altima and shoes, I do, unlike, Wang, have a prospect and I don't have to call local "old folks' homes" to find candidates for marriage. I guess my question should be, "What will happen if I don't hurry up and marry this one? Will I be a 107 year old in a 2 door Altima and the hottest SAS shoes on the block?"


Welcome 2009!

I can feel it...this is the year of beginnings! I hope I'm right because I have high expectations for this year. 2008 wasn't bad, but it seemed very blah and monotonous. I guess that should probably be good, no dramatic sadness or anything, but there was also no excellent high either. So, that said, here are a few reasons I think '09 will be a year of beginnings.

#1: May 5th--Yep, not only is this the well-known Mexican holiday for eating fattening Mexican food and washing it all down with yummy Margaritas...this year 5-5-09 will mark my 30th birthday. Most people do not look forward to their 30th...particularly women. However, I'm stoked about being 30 (and I'm really not just telling myself that to make me feel better!) My 20s were great; an era of self discovery and all that, but now I have a good sense of me and what makes me feel good and I think 30 is going to be a great year and a great beginning of adulthood.

#2: House for Sale--In our New Year's Day/Scott's b'day festivities yesterday, I got the answer to a question I've been wanting to ask for several months now. If everything goes right, we will be fixing Scott's house up and putting on the market in 2009. This is huge! Scott and I have been dating for 2 years now and are both really tired of paying 2 households worth of bills. I have my fingers crossed that '09 will be the beginning of our cohabitation and steps toward everything else a single 30 year old woman wants (ie. husband, house, ?kids?)

#3: Settled at work--So I've been with QTS for 4 months now (officially today). I don't know everything about the industry because there is still so much to learn, but I have a better grasp on my role with the company and how to do it best. I truly think that this year will be the beginning of a great career for me. This position allows me to meet so many people and build relationships with them. Even if I'm not in the staffing industry for the rest of my life, I think the people I meet and know will be a huge help in my future.

#4: Bible study--In the year of beginnings, this is a big one for me and should probably be #1, but I'm not moving it now. Several people here at work participate in a Bible study on Monday nights. This Monday, I am going to join them...with the intention of participating at least twice per month. I'm beginning this instead of going to church for 2 reasons. First, in '08, my New Year's resolution was to go to church....I didn't go, not even for Easter or Christmas. Second, I'm already comfortable with most of these people and I'd like to find out where they go to church...then I can build into it, because church is one of those things I want to look forward to on Sunday morning, not hit the snooze as if it were work. So, I'm looking at Bible study as the beginning of my adult walk with God.

All in all, I think this year is going to be great! I can't control the economy and I can't control politicians, but my little world is full of possibilities!