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Kids & Cats Stay, we fly to Chicago

We get up nice and early this morning, packed the kid's luggage into the car and drive Derek and Teresa to Stan and Jeanne's. We would have liked the extra day with them, as previously planned, but this dratted Chicago trip can't be helped. We expected that they would spend the day swimming, eating, and sleeping, and that Stan would drive them to the airport tomorrow morning.

We drove back home, I changed into Chicago-ready clothes, we adjusted the thermostats, grabbed the cats and put them into their travel pods, and drove off to the airport for our 1:30pm flight.

I hope it's obvious that we were stopping by the Creature Comforts animal hospital and pet boarding facility to drop Kami and Karma off for a few days!

They had a neat system of cat boarding cubicals whereby any adjoining "cell" could be joined to the one above, below, and on either side. Kami and Karma had a cell each, and the trapdoor between them was lowered so that they could wander back and forth. Additionally, because there were no other cats below them, the litter pan in one of them was lifted out and I saw that the pan rested securely in a hole in the floor, so removing it opened up a trapdoor to the cell below. So initially at least, they had four cells to explore, although we had been warned that they were expecting more boarders later on.

With the cats safe, we drove off to McCarren airport, parked, and checked in.

It was just as well we got to the airport two hours in advance of our flight's departure time. The new security procedures seemed to cause more of a delay than I would have expected for a mid-day, mid-week flight. To be honest, I don't really think that the security checks as I experienced them are going to stop anything from being carried on the plane that wasn't already getting through the pre-9-11 checks, but I'm not an expert. I can't say that I felt "safer" because of the new procedure either.

Our flight was late taking off (although not, I think, due to the security overhead) and we started getting a little anxious about our connecting flight in Denver. (Normally Vegas to Chicago would be a direct flight, but last-minute cost-effective arrangements can yield some wrinkles like this.) As it happened, we would certainly have missed it, excpet that bad weather in Chicago had delayed our connecting flight as well, so there was no need for rush.

Chicago was overcast and foggy, and after we picked up our bags, as per our arrangements, we called the limo company to announce our presence. (The Acme office is in an outlying town from Chicago called Downer's Grove, and apparently it is cheaper to hire a limo than to hire a car or take a taxi, according to our new business unit admin person.)

When we checked in to the hotel it was 10:00pm and we ordered room service and fell asleep  promptly, after setting the alarm for 6:00am.

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