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ISTE 2013 – Day 1 – Travel

June 21, 2013

Welcome to the first quick post from Todd’s ISTE2013 blog. Yes, I know you’re accustomed to reading everything from soup to nuts in this space, and I promise this will be the same!

I’m on my way to ISTE2013 – the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Yes, it’s definitely hotter in Texas than it is in Strathmore. Today is a travel day, and a dinner.

Started off with a bit of rain, as the continuing disaster unfolds in Calgary and surrounding areas. The flooding continues to cause major problems, and my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are affected.

The first leg of today began at the Calgary International Airport (YYC). Tried to check-in at the WestJet kiosk, and it didn’t ask me to check a bag. Huge line-up, talked to a WestJet person and they were very friendly and reminded me that I was in the domestic area, not the International Departures! Whoops! Headed over to International, short line, very helpful WestJet staff member, and I was out to Customs.

Bit of line-up in Customs and it seems like a very serious place. When it was my turn, I think the customs person is trained to not smile. After I was ready to go she THEN smiled and said “have a great trip!”

Went through security and made it to my gate with some time to spare. I was copying some files onto my Notebook when my good friend Michael Barr walked over – he was on the same flight to Dallas/Fort Worth! Michael is the Director of Technology for Calgary Catholic Schools, one of the most brilliant people I know! Our flight was maybe half full, so we got to sit in the same row, and got lots of visiting done, but also time to work. While I was on the flight, got the game show PowerPoint presentation finished for the ISTE Affiliate meeting – it’s going to be great! We were delayed a bit getting out of Calgary, (waiting for a connecting flight from Vancouver), but we got to Dallas/Fort Worth with time to spare.

I am always amazed with the view from the airplane!

This picture is outside my window before we got off the plane in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Dallas/Fort Worth is a really nice looking, and well-designed airport.

It’s a very short walk and up some escalators to the elevated train that runs in a loop around the airport, taking you to the various terminals.

Michael and I met a of interesting people along the way – who I’m sure were wondering who these friendly guys were! Met some other folks from Canada (Vancouver specifically) and hopped on the plane to San Antonio.

My seatmate was a fantastic teacher from San Antonio who was returning home after a shopping trip! Had a delightful conversation with this experienced Physics teacher for the 60 minute flight! Speaking of flights, this one felt rough. Take-off wasn’t smooth, landing wasn’t smooth, they started serving drinks, but only got about 2/3rds of the way through the plane, when were were starting to land. We didn’t even get a drink! The plane said it had wi-fi on board, but nope. Felt very rickety.

Stepped into San Antonio – welcome to the furnace! It is HOT here! Wandered down to the baggage carousel (this is a small airport) and after waiting for all the bags – discovered mine, Mike’s, and the lady from Vancouver’s – didn’t make it. Checked with the good folks at American Airlines, and they tracked it – Mike’s was on the next flight (due in 20 minutes), mine was on the next-next flight, (due in 30 minutes). So we went to find a snack, and visited with other arrivals. Both our bags did arrive as promised.

Check this picture out – it’s a vending machine for fresh flowers! Right in the baggage pickup area! I need one of these in my office!

Hopped a taxi to the hotel – this time I’m at the Red Roof Inn. It wasn’t my first choice, and in fact I was booked somewhere else. However they had a computer glitch and had overbooked, so they moved me, and took care of the transfer. You know, it’s pretty nice! My room A/C is working – thank goodness, and it appears recently renovated! Dropped my stuff off and walked downtown to the Guadalajara Grill for dinner with the rest of the Affiliate Day planning committee. Mmm. It was great to see some again for the second time, and meet most of them for the first time! Dinner was excellent, the visit was fantastic, and the day on Saturday looks to be very very exciting!

After dinner, it’s still stinking hot down here, and it’s like 9 PM! Visited outside some more, and walked back to the hotel.

Unpacked, prepped everything for Saturday, and we’ll be off to the races when the alarm goes at 6 AM! Going to be a great day, the start of a great conference!

Stay tuned!



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