Here is another attempt for my trip report. This trip report will cover my trip to Baltimore to attend the International Association for the Exchange of Students with Technical Experience (IAESTE) National Conference. This was going to be a great trip because a) my school was paying for everything as I’m the President of the Local Chapter at Ohio State and b) we were staying three blocks from the inner harbor and the weather prediction was about 40 degrees and that was going to be just perfect. And not to mention that I would get to meet people from all over the country and make new friends.
I was set to leave CMH
on Feb. 7 and fly back on Feb. 10. My flight was in the evening so I actually had to take care of a lot of stuff in school. For one, I had an exam at 8:30 am, and then I had a meeting with my advisor for my senior design project and finally I had another exam at 1:15 pm. After all that, I had to go home and then pack my suitcase for my flight that was supposed to depart at 5:50 pm which meant I had to be at the airport by at least 5 pm if I wanted to check my bag in. Well, my exam got done by 2:00 pm and then I had to take the campus bus over to Ohio State West Campus to get my car. By the time I got home, it was already 3 pm. First thing I decided to do was take a shower and I also called my sister at work who agreed to drop me off at the airport.
Around 4:30, she txt’d me saying that she’s on her way. She didn’t get home until 4:45 and immediately we set off for the airport. Now Blacklick is only 10-15 min. ride from the airport so I wasn’t too worried. But we found moderate traffic and by the time I got to the airport, it was 5:15 pm. I was now scared if Southwest would check my bags in or not since I didn’t beat their 45 minute policy. I go up to the counter and the lady says, wow you definitely didn’t make the 45 minute cut-off time; however you are lucky. The flight is running late so there won’t be any problem. I was happy and also not surprised as delays & I go pretty much hand in hand. You can read my other trip reports as well and they will show how many flights have gotten delayed when I’ve been on them So the new proposed departure time was 6:20 pm, not that much of a delay but nonetheless, still a delay. I decided to go over to Chili’s because that’s the only decent place to eat in Concourse A at CMH
. The lines were so huge that I decided it wasn’t worth it. So I went into that shop that sells books etc. and purchased Travel & Leisure magazine and just waited for the plane to arrive.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Southwest Airlines 1545
An announcement was made that the flight would be arriving in five minutes. Well, the five minutes came and went and it was 6:15 and finally we see a plane land. At 6:20 it made it to our gate and people start coming out of the plane. The crew did an amazing job turning it around as we were boarding by 6:30. This flight was completely full so by the time we all boarded, it was quite late and finally the flight pushed back at 6:45 and we were airborne by 6:54. The flight itself was pretty uneventful. It was a short 47 minute flight and the only service was a drink service with roasted peanuts. The only negative aspect of this flight was that there was a guy behind me and he just did not stop talking throughout the flight. Apart from that, the flight was very smooth and I pretty much listened to music throughout the flight and we arrived at BWI
around 7:37 pm. I went down to baggage claim and waited for my bag to arrive. I then had to head to the BWI
Rail station to take a train to Baltimore’s Penn Station. So after collecting my bags, I waited for the free shuttle at BWI
. I arrived at the Amtrak station and the just missed the train to Baltimore and now had to wait around 45 minutes to take the MARC train to Penn Station. The train I had just missed was an Amtrak train. I wanted to ride the Amtrak for the first time; but for this time MARC train would have to do. The train’s departure time was 9:36 pm. 9:36 came and went and the board kept saying ALL
ABOARD whereas the train was nowhere to be seen. Finally the train arrived and I was off to Baltimore’s Penn Station. I took a seat in the upper deck and I’d have to say that this train ride was very comfortable. Seems like a lot of people on this train looked like commuters as they were dressed in work clothes and most of them had laptops and they keyed away. I arrived at the Penn Station about 15 minutes later and took a cab to the Tremont Plaza, the hotel where the conference was taking place as well as where I was staying for three nights.
Time for pictures now…
View from my seat
Interior of this WN
An attempt to get Baltimore Downtown
Heading to Baggage Claim
Waiting for my bag
Waiting for my train
My Hotel Room
My Hotel Room
As soon as arrived at my hotel, at the check-in desk I was told that some of the members of IAESTE were hanging out on the 2nd floor at Tugs’ Bar & Restaurant. Therefore I went up to my room, which was on the 31st floor, and headed there as I was starving and also kinda thirsty. So I went there and got myself some expensive pizza with 2 Amstel Lights. I think they are the best tasting LIGHT beers. I ended up bringing my dinner and beer back to my room and watched TV
. After eating, I just had the TV
on and lied in the bed. I think by midnight or so, I turned the TV
off to sleep as I had to get up and be ready by 9:30 for the conference to start. The next day I woke up and made it to the opening lecture. Everyone was having breakfast and this only made me hungry. After the opening lecture, I had about 20 minutes so I got out of the hotel and roamed around to find myself a Starbucks. I finally found one and that was my breakfast until it was time for lunch.
View from my room
Another view, different window
While searching for a Starbucks
So after having Starbucks and attending a few workshops, we had about 2.5 hrs to kill. So I got together with some people from Purdue University and decided to go out and check out the Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It was a nice walk and the weather was just great to be enjoying all this walking…
Some more pictures…
Heading to the Inner Harbor
Baltimore St. in Baltimore??? Surprising!!!
I really like this picture
Almost there to the Inner Harbor
View of Baltimore Downtown
I found this on a sidewalk!!!
Lavish Hallway (This hotel was apparently a Masonic Temple at some point)
View just as the sun was going down
While walking back to my hotel room at 2 am
After a nice walk I came back to the hotel to attend the final workshop for the day and after that, the schools from the Midwest decided to go to the Inner Harbor to get some seafood for dinner. So there were about 21 of us (Purdue, UMich, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin-Madison, U. Illinois, and of course Ohio State) that ended up at Phillips to have some fresh seafood. After dinner, we all came back to the hotel as IAESTE had arranged an international dance party to which we all agreed to go to. So that was pretty cool. The next day was more workshops and finally at night we had a banquet. After the banquet we all went to Pickles Pub where we had some beer-pong going as well as some flip-cup going. It was really an awesome time after the conference pretty much ended. I think I came back to my hotel room around 4 am and I had to wake up at around 10 am so I could leave for the airport on time and be there around noon to catch my flight back to CMH
which was to depart at 1:05 pm. I was extremely hung over because of the stuff I’d had the night before. So I woke up and decided to take a shower so that I could in fact wake up. I was ready by 10:30 am and checked out of the hotel. I got out and started walking to find a cab. I finally managed to find one after I had walked for about 5 minutes and the cab took me to Penn Station. Without looking at the board again I walked to get a ticket and found an Amtrak ticket for $14 to go to BWI
. Now I’d get to sit on an Amtrak for the first time to take me to BWI
. Again the train ride was quite comfortable and it got me to BWI
in no time without stopping. Whereas on my way to Penn Station, the MARC train made three stops. I got out of the train and waited about 10 minutes for the shuttle to drop me off at the BWI
terminal. While on the shuttle, I swear I saw a Singapore Airlines 777 take off from BWI
. I was quite surprised myself but when I checked to find some more information on it, I found out that Singapore doesn’t fly out of BWI
at all. Was I just seeing things???
Train Info at Penn Station
Penn Station, Baltimore
Penn Station, Baltimore
Waiting for the train
Still no train
Here it is, finally!!!
The Train to take me to BWI
’s Amtrak Station
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Southwest Airlines 627
I was dropped off at the Southwest Terminal and when I walked in, it was practically empty. I walked to get myself checked in and I guess there were about 3-4 people in front of me in the line who were also in the same shuttle as me. The line moved extremely quickly and I was at the self-serve check-in machine in no time. I couldn’t really check-in a day before because I didn’t have a computer and I was actually just busy with the conference. I was expecting a C 50 something number for boarding and feared to sit in a middle seat. I wanted a window seat because the sky was sorta clear and I really wanted to take pictures. To my surprise, my boarding pass read B25. Then I knew that the flight load must be light. I proceeded to the security area and there was practically no one there. So I cleared security within a couple of minutes and then started to make way for my boarding gate.
The flight was scheduled to depart at 1:05 PM
and there wasn’t any delay expected. I decided to go to Subway and get something to eat as my head & stomach, both were killing me
After a nice 6” sandwich I got back to the boarding area and they had just started announcing for boarding. The lady also said that the captain will not be turning the seat-belt sign off because they were expecting a very bumpy ride due to high winds. People started boarding and I also got on the plane. I proceeded to the back of the plane where I could get clear views and I had an entire row to myself. This flight had a very light load. Pushback was done and we started moving towards the runway. We waited for a Southwest Airlines flight to land, and then waited for another Southwest flight to take off before we were given clearance. The 737 rocketed down the runway and rotated. I love the power of these 737s and prefer there take-off to any of the Airbuses. I could be wrong technically but personally I feel like the 737s have a more powerful takeoff than the Airbuses. The takeoff was extremely bumpy. I also took a video of us taking off which showed exactly how bumpy it was; however the video was about 350MB and I couldn’t really upload it to YouTube or any other website. I will have to compress it and then maybe I can add it on to this forum if people are interested.
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. There was a drink service again with roasted peanuts and I decided to listen to my music again until we got to CMH
. Just like they had announced on the ground, the flight was very bumpy and the pilot did not turn off the seat belt sign at all. During the middle of the flight, the turbulence got so bad that I heard a little shriek from the front of the plane. All was well though. For some reason I enjoyed the bumps. We started descending into CMH
and I tried to take a video of us landing; however in the middle of our approach, my camera’s battery died and the video was then deleted because it didn’t really show anything except me following our plane’s shadow. Our plane landed and I called home to tell them that I landed. I got my bags and had to wait for about five minutes before my sister showed up to pick me up.
Overall it was a great trip and Southwest was really good. It was efficient and got me from CMH
without any problems. The fare was also very good as I only paid $49 each way. The conference itself was very informative & educational and of course, A LOT OF
FUN… It was so much fun hanging out with people from all over the world. I also met some people from Croatia, Germany and even Switzerland. It was a blast.
Thank you for reading my trip report. Hope you guys enjoyed it because I definitely enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, please feel free to write them up. I appreciate reading the feedback from my trip reports so that I could make them better in the future.
View from my seat
Another view at the apron
Some pictures from my flight back to CMH
Some snow in the middle
Saw and airstrip down there
Watch out for my next trip reports...
and then April 4th, I'm heading to Vegas for the first time so I will post a report on that as well...
[Edited 2008-02-14 13:50:05]