Stayed in my room this morning repacking my exploded bags. I did a much better job this time I believe. Having been to CRC, I am better prepared this time around for what really matters:
- The flashlight is very helpful for late night visits to the bathroom and early morning ablutions.
- Slippers ftw.
- Bringing along my own bedding means I don't have to use the plastic pillow and other bedding provided (though the blanket is nice).
- You can repack prior to actually leaving, so it's best to pack for summer camp for CRC, then repack for long distance flying afterwards.
- You can only bring luggage if it meets certain criteria, primarily a civilian style duffle bag. One hard side (with optional handle and wheels) is allowed. But hard cases are definitely not allowed. I included a picture of the rules board for luggage in the slideshow for Fort Benning in an earlier post.
- The money they tell you to bring in cash is potentially to be used to resolve issues that come up during processing. Don't spend it on other stuff.
- You can buy most incidentals for pretty cheap at the mini-px which accepts credit/debit.
- Bring lots to keep you occupied during extened periods of waiting, sometimes in a specific location, sometimes in line, sometimes just waiting around. I've got my DS (sudoku and zelda), books, and picture work on the laptop.
- Do not lose your temper at the mind-boggling inefficiency of it all. You are in their hands and getting mad will only make things worse for yourself.
- Do bring or keep handy plenty of water and some snacks in case they don't give you time to go to lunch. Also have a folder to keep the voluminous paper you have to deal with, and a pen.
About 11 I headed down to eat at the Sumo to Go, a japanese-ish place that served sushi (made that day! no thanks) and rice bowls. I had a chicken rice bowl. It was ok, huge portions, not great on flavor.
Then I wandered down to the Space Center (sponsored by a certain unmentionable soda drink manufacturer, and no I will not give them more free advertising by using the prefix here), the main attraction of which is apparently an omnimax style theater dome. Which was out of service naturally, so I wandered about the lobby and looked at the space stuff. Sort of a mini-OMSI, as in 1/36th the size. In the gift shop I found one of those little toy soldier's with a parachute, .99 cents, so I snagged one for Rowan and mailed it later in the day.
After that I wandered back to the nearby Marriott to enjoy the cool air and comfy couches while I read more of The Science of God.
Finally I decided to go on a quest to find some Sweetwater IPA and I headed over on foot to Phenix, Alabama, which is just over the river. At the Piggly Wiggly, I was disappointed to find no Sweetwater brews in stock. A person said they thought there might be some at the *other* Piggly Wiggly just up the road a bit. I asked if it was walkable and he said probably not, it was quite a jaunt.
Ha! I am a walker...I fear no jaunt. So I started out...turns out it was quite a jaunt up hill, for a long ways. After I despaired of finding civilization again, I finally did stumble across the other Piggly Wiggly's, which sadly did not have the IPA in stock. So I turned around and went back. Based on google maps it looks like about 4 miles one way. I felt like I got a pretty good workout.
Which of course justified going back to Mario's for dinner! The roast lamb was *fabulous*, it seemed to melt in the mouth. I had to get the baba ghanouj again, and mmmmmmmboy. I bid Sylvia a heartfelt goodbye and headed home having almost finished my book.
I'm pretty much all packed and ready to go tomorrow, except for the computer of course, which shouldn't take long. I decided to pack the Wii in with my main luggage this time instead of keep it in my backpack. That should hopefully make it lighter for casual carrying. The Wii uses flash-based memory, so it's less critical that it not be jarred. It's funny, I barely played the Wii at all this week, I had so much other fun stuff to do.
Oh speaking of which, if I was into that sort of thing, as I was leaving Uptown I saw they have erected a stage in the middle section of the street and are having a concert featuring local bands tonight. What a great place!