Mixing Business With Pleasure

The trip to Europe was set! Business before pleasure was the itinerary. At the Tampa airport, my flight to Atlanta was delayed due to bad weather. Already running late for my connection to Amsterdam, there was a delay for a gate. Finally in the airport, I take the tram and run the concourse to my flight. The door was shut. I missed it! I inquire about my next step. Getting another flight to Amsterdam via a stop in Paris was the only option. So there I was flying through Paris, stuck in the center seat section beside a Hungarian woman twice my size. She said with her deep Hungarian dialect, “I will get up to let you stretch.” Good thing!

Tired and delirious I arrive in Paris. My connection was a small plane to Amsterdam. Once in Amsterdam, it was apparent my bag was not on the flight. Leaving the airport, not knowing what day I would receive it, I departed for the hotel. Checking into the hotel

it was obvious I had been assigned a smoking room. Knowing my allergies? I donít think so! Very tired and in need of a shower, I went back to the front desk in no mood to negotiate about a non smoking room.

The second day my bag finally arrived. Although excited for my bag, my rude hotel neighbors were up every night until three thirty am playing loud music.

Finally the last night without the noisy neighbors, I was able to sleep. I requested a wake up call since the room didn’t have an alarm clock. When I woke up it felt late; obviously no wake up call! I bolted out of bed and grabbed my watch. I had fifteen minutes to throw on my clothes and brush my teeth. No shower today. I ran to catch the transportation to the airport. We were flying to London, the second leg of our business trip.

Our leisure bus ride from the airport to the hotel included a British woman pointing out the highlight attractions along the way. When she mentioned that our hotel was experiencing renovations, everyone in our group was taking bets that I would be the one next to the construction site. Guess who was assigned the room beside the construction site? Yes me! The bell hop said he would escort me to my room. What a nice gesture I thought, until it became an obstacle course to my room due to the construction work. Arriving at my room, I couldnít miss the large plastic drape that was hung at the end of the hallway just outside my door. This was the demarcation between the hallway and the hotel construction site. I knew I would not sleep well with the dark construction area on the other side of my room. Fortunately my only time in the room was to sleep. Getting up at two am, I met my driver who would take me to the London airport. My pleasure part of the trip had finally arrived.

Waiting to board my flight to Milan to meet my husband, a mysterious man dressed in a white suit carrying a metal briefcase sat beside me. When we arrived in Milan, I went to the passport check area. The mystery man was beside me. I heard the officer at the check point ask him to open the briefcase. He refused to open it. Within seconds officers carrying guns surrounded him and took him away. It probably was just as well I didnít know what was in that briefcase.

A feeling of comfort came over me when I suddenly spotted my husband in the baggage claim area. My bag did arrive on that flight. He was not so lucky. His bag arrived an hour later on another flight. What was all the commotion about, he asked. I said letís order a cappuccino and Iíll tell you all about my escapade.

We then departed for the pleasure portion of the trip, and it would certainly make up for the business part. We were now in our favorite place, Italia. Rest and relaxation at last!

Mixing business with pleasure, well it seemed like an exciting idea. Would I combine the two again? Easy decision to make based on this trip.

K Mikula

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