I’m down in Houston, Texas for a few weeks on business. It’s already worth writing about.
I flew out with some fellow business trippers from Pearson International Airport (Toronto, ON) complete with a stretch limo ride from my door to the terminal. Things were pretty straightforward at the airport. No delays at security. The most interesting thing there was that my customs official had “GILLIGAN” on his name tag. It took everything within me to stay serious and not even crack a smile. :)
Toronto to Houston is a 3 to 3-1/2 hour flight, but our flight only had 16 passengers so that made things go a little more smoothly and quickly. A very uneventful flight — the way I like them! We headed down to claim our baggage only to be greeted by the Texan Space Cow (official name, unknown) which I took a photo of. I will have to put it here when I upload.
Other unusual things at the Houston Airport (George Bush Intercontinental) included the disposal areas in the restrooms for hypodermic needles, the “don’t be a victim/don’t talk to strangers” signs, and the idea that the rental car people really didn’t know where to circle our hotel on the map.
Once we got our vehicle (a very nice Suburban LT) we were on our way to the hotel. Should only have been a 15-20 minute drive. Was more like 1 to 1-1/2 hours since we definitely got lost, turned around, whatever. We were doing well following signs (which I am usually quite impressive at) but then I believe our great disadvantage was not our funny maps, or our bad directions from the rental car guy, but the missing signs here and there (usually at key places) as a result of Hurricane Ike. So our grand tour of Houston (in the dark, remember) took us through many neighbourhoods… many without power… many with damage.
On a lighter note, we found a coin laundry chain called the Washeteria. We saw a Burger King convenience store. (And just to complete the circle, we also saw a “Super Market Fast Food” store.)
The hotel we are staying in just re-opened today. In fact, it was a very good thing it did since the hotel we had our reservations with found they were unable to reopen in time. The people at the desk said that only part of the hotel is open, due to the damage sustained. That’s the story all over this city.
I’m having trouble connecting up with Salvation Army contacts here… and I’m hearing of more and more people say that they are coming down to help with the relief effort. The Army is definitely at work here. Who knows if I’ll be able to connect with any one or any corps at this point. But it’s early days here for me.
So in the morning I will be up and out for the first day on-site. Kind of scary. It’s a big company and my first time doing anything like this, but it’s good. I’ll be here with the others until Friday. Then I move hotels and stay for another week. At least. But one day at a time. Let’s meet the clients first, shall we?
Already I like TV here… maybe just because it was really late getting in to the hotel, but lots of Christian programming. Heard a super Joyce Meyer talk while I was unpacking some things.
Anyway, I had better get some rest. It is officially after 1am here now, so I am officially exhausted and looking forward to sleeeeep. :)