Novel length post alert!!
Warning!! Warning!!Update: Now that I've started to write this it really has turned into a novel. Be warned that it will take some time to read this one. Congratulations and thank you if you choose to read the whole damn thing. :)
So the call came down that it was official. "We're shipping to Florida. Oh and by the way you better make your reservations since you'll be there tomorrow." Gee thanks for all that advance warning fuckers. Yes we've known we would most likely be heading to the Cape sometime soon, but no one would commit to dates which is just fucked. However, it is what it is. I've been uttering that phrase a lot since I got here. Back to the beginning though.
Headed to El Segundo and work at 2:00 PM on Tuesday. The plan was to meet up with the "CONVOY!" at 4:00 PM and head over to LAX. I got there early to take care of some last minute business. Turns out that was a good thing since I left my phone at home. My only means of communication with the team while on travel. Oh and I'd left my keys at home because I wasn't going to need them. And yeah the landlord wasn't home. Oi. After a few frantic minutes the details were worked out and a coworker drove me home to get the communicator and back to work where now I got to rush through the last minute business stuff. With that finished I headed out to meet with my travel companions and the security crew that would be escorting us and our satellite to LAX. After standing around for about an hour the first bunch of us hopped in trucks and headed over to LAX where we were led out to the international terminal area on the tarmac.
For those that don't know, and most don't I think, LAX doesn't allow the ferners near the terminal right away. They make them exit their planes out on the runway and then they bus them to the normal terminals. I'm sure they've been properly scanned, probed, in-terror-gated and whatever else before they are allowed to mingle with the general population. Or not. Regardless they don't get to exit their plane directly into the terminals. Hah, hah!
With that said when you're going to board an Air Force C5 you don't get to do that from a normal terminal either. Hah, hah! And that is precisely what I was preparing to do. Unfortunately that is not a fast process. It was at least another hour before the rest of the group with the satellite in tow arrived to stand around with us. Then it was another long ass time before the C5 showed up, but there was no doubt even though we didn't see it land that it had in fact arrived. It's just a little louder and shriller than normal commercial airplanes when it throws the engines into reverse on landing. It sounded! Fucking! Cool! Really cool. Shortly after that it taxied over to where we were and took up at least two if not three normal parking spots.
It was big. And loud. And they never turned it off.
Which means it was never quiet while we were there. I mentioned I got there around 5PM right? We didn't leave until 2AM. After that actually. I think they finally let us on the plane a little before 2 and then we taxied around forever and finally took off around 2:30. The passenger compartments are at the top of the plane. No overhead storage. Plenty of under seat storage though. We all had a row of seats to ourselves and as soon as I finished recording the sound of our takeoff I loosened my seat belt, stretched out across the seats and fell asleep. Ear plugs were a necessity. If I'd thought the plane was loud outside well it gets even louder inside. Nothing like the nice "quiet" commercial planes.
Sweet, sweet oblivion until the "stewardess" blared out over the intercom, "Get up, seat belts on! We're landing." As a side note his opening speech was "I'm a terrible stewardess. Sit down. Shut up. Go to sleep." Heh. We landed a half hour later. Eesh, coulda used a little more sleep time. Landing was incredibly smooth. Smoother than any flight I've ever been on. Seriously. I guess when a plane is that big and that loaded with crap it doesn't do a whole lot of bouncing or jolting on touchdown. Or the pilot was excellent. Either way kudos to the Air Force pilot for a job well done. Not just for the landing, but the flight as well. I didn't mention before, but getting to our seats required climbing one set of stairs to get into the cargo bay, clinging to the sides of the cargo bay as we worked our way to the back of the plane where we then proceeded to climb another set of stairs to our seats. Both sets of "stairs" shared more in common with a ladder, but whatever. We reversed that boarding route to get back off the plane only to greeted with temperatures below 40 degrees. In Florida! What the hell? It was warmer in California when we left and we were standing on a breezy runway at LAX at 2 in the morning. After wondering where the hell our replacements were I finally asked and it turned out they weren't there yet. In fact they never showed up. Wasn't part of the plan. Called the security guy and once he showed up we stole his rental car and headed back to our offices in Titusville. After a short conversation we, me and my work mate, got a ride to Orlando to pick up our rental cars. National doesn't have a storefront in Cocoa Beach go figure. Out and back took about 2 hours and once we got back to the office we loaded up our bags and headed to Cocoa Beach to check in.
Now since the notice to reserve hotels among other things was so late there supposedly wasn't much available and I ended up with a two month reservation at the Holiday Inn. !?!? Well on Wednesday I didn't care where the hell my room was. I'd gotten up around 8 AM on Tuesday. I got less than 5 hours of sleep on the C5 and it was now around 4PM. I checked in and the company travel agent had not only booked me at the wonderful place shown in these pictures, but also booked me in to a smoking room. Now even while I smoked I never stayed in a smoking room. I requested a non smoking room when I checked in. None were available, but this room "is not too bad and I'm asthmatic". If this room was not too bad I never want to know what "bad" is. Still all I really wanted to do was get some food and crawl under the covers and get some much deserved, if I do say so myself, rest. I dumped my stuff and headed just down the street to my favorite restaurant in Cocoa Beach, Roberto's Little Havana, for some dinner.
I got there a little before 5 and they weren't open yet, but I sat out front for few minutes and headed in when the neon OPEN sign popped on. The hostess did a double take when she saw me, but led me to my table without saying anything. The waitress brought me a menu and a Presidente. Since it was Wednesday I ordered the special pork fricassee. It was probably the largest helping I've ever gotten. Oh and it was good too. Just for good measure I ordered yucca frita for an appetizer. Needless to say I was a happy camper. As I was paying I could see the the gears mesh for the hostess and she welcomed me back to not only the restaurant, but Cocoa Beach as well. It was nice.
Please note that the picture is not messed up. All the numbers except 5 on the remote were gone.
Back to the "hotel" I went for sleep, beautiful sleep. The chair, yes the chair. The area is not bad. Not by any stretch. Cocoa Beach, at least the part of it directly on the A1A is as peaceful and safe as it gets anywhere in the U.S. My door though had seen better days with regards to being closed. I think I've seen a Yugo valve cover gasket seal better than the door. Now if this was normal, for me, Cocoa Beach weather I never would have cared. However, seeing as the temperature at night was going to be around 32 degrees I wanted the damn thing shut as tight as possible in hopes of keeping at least some of the heat generated by the dilapidated heater in the room while I slept. Especially since I didn't want to have anything to do with the bed spread. One thin sheet, one thin blanket and a struggling heater later and I was off to the land of oblivia. Too little time later I was struggling to wake up and return to work. I made it. Grudgingly. Before cruising off into blissful sleep I had asked Mrs. LK to see if anything was available with regards to places to sleep other than where I was at. I suggested Holiday Inn Express, but she came back with the Hilton. Godsend I tell you. Fucking godsend. If there really was a god then the fucker intervened to help me get set up at the Hilton. In reality it was really just Mrs. LK kicking mother fucking ass. Word up Mrs. LK. Word up.
Leaving for work that day, while not fun, was at least comforting knowing that I would be staying at a respectable, comforting, pampering hotel on my return. Turns out I headed back to Cocoa Beach earlier than expected so that I could "rest" for a couple of hours before having to go back to work that night. Which worked out quite well and allowed me to check into the Hilton earlier rather than later. Drop off my crap. Grab a bite to eat. Sweet.
Gabe!! Man I can't tell you how happy I was to get to the Hilton, check in and ditch my shit in the room. It's kinda nice too when the woman at the desk upon hearing your name instantly commiserates with you regarding where you stayed the night before. It was funny. Another girl came out just as we were discussing the Ho and she asked where I had been staying and I pointed south and she immediately consoled me as well. I guess the Ho has a rep. Too bad for the Ho. Actually while the two people I dealt with at the desk were absolutely accommodating and friendly all I can say is F the Ho. Right in its eye. Nasty establishment. It's what I picture a hostel being and based on that impression I will never stay in a hostel because I'm sure the hostel is much worse. Back to Gabe. The last time I was here I got familiar if not friendly with "my" bar staff. Gabe. Heather. Josh. Well, Gabe is the only one left that couldn't/didn't want to escape the bar here. Funny too because as I said good-bye to him in October of 2007 his last words were, "I'm thinking we'll see each other again." Prophetic? Maybe not. A burger and a beer later and I was on my way back to Titusville. I type that and I think Tight Ass every time. Side note. Sam Adams is no longer on tap. WTF! Now they have some shitty ass wheat beer in it's place. Can't even remember the name, but I'm drinking it. Definitely gonna have to pick up some Presidente from the Publix up the street.
Work. That night sucked. Did not go well. Not gonna discuss it. Went home at 4 in the morning. Temperature as I got on US1 was 32 fucking degrees. BS! Back at the Hilton around 4:30. In bed before 5. Sweet!
B A N G !! B A N G !! B A N G !!
Yes that is the sound coming from the room next to mine at 8:30. In the morning. Less than 4 hours after succumbing to sleep. A quick call to the front desk and much assurance that the noise will stop and I'm back to neva, neva land. I even heard the building engineer come up and say keep it down. Something about a guest working swing shift or grave yard or some shit. Thought I was golden. Until 10:30 when the roto hammer kicks in. Really? No, really? Yes, really. I'd love to include sound effects, but I'm not sure how to convey the sound. Another call down and my statement that if they're gonna be noisy get it the fuck over with so I can at least sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Sir, yes sir. Er, not quite. Really I was very polite and so were they. Side note, in fact everyone I deal with there is wonderful. Very friendly. Always a hello and a smile on the way in or out. I mean everyone. Wait staff. Front desk. Housekeeping. Definitely still good people even a year later. Anyway back to the story. Less than optimal sleep later and I'm heading back to work for another joy filled evening.
Wait. Gotta stop and figure out just what evening this is. Oh yeah.
Call at four stating don't come in until 8PM and by the way you'll be there until at least 6AM. Turns out that was 7AM. Back at the hotel by 7:45. Shitty BK breakfast and into bed. I did ask the front desk, "There's not going to be any construction work on Saturday right?" "Oh no sir." Bullshit. Drilling and hammering when I got to my room. Was gonna call, but turned out I was so tired it didn't make a fucks worth of difference. Who knew? Back at work at 5PM. Supposedly 2PM. No later than 4PM. Yeah, whateva. 5PM was close enough. Unbelievable, but I was out of there by 10PM. No shit. Couldn't believe it. Bar at Hilton closes at midnight. Except tonight. Closed before I got there because "No one(customers) showed up." [frown] I showed up dammit. Free Sammy to take to my room. Consumed. Enjoyed. Bed. Slept.
And I believe, but don't hold me to it, that I'm now up to date. Today is Sunday right? Guess it doesn't make much difference. At least to me. Oops. Wait just got a call from the bossman. You're gonna be here at 6AM Monday right? Right!?!? Suuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeee. Can't wait. LuvUBy. And that leaves us current. Will be having dinner at the H. In the bar. Gabe should be on duty to make me feel comfortable. BBQ burger for dinner. Couple of beers. All is good. At least for now. Until the next shitstorm hits on Monday. Guaranteed.
Total absolute side note. Every time I write "bad" words I automatically apologize, at least in my head, to mom for being such a foul mouthed bugger. ;) Love you mom.
Sappy emo shite to follow. FU!
I think that's it. You're all current to the shit that is my current world. Florida. Just ok. Work management. Less than ok. Life. Pretty damn good. Talked with my favorite, most loved partner in life. Still alive to see her again. She'll be here in less than two weeks. Only have to hang on until then.
Labels: anarchy, Florida, launch, mayhem