August 10, 2007: The Great Weigh In

Today is the day of reckoning – at nine thirty this morning we do the first round of final weigh-ins for the weight loss contest at work. It has been three months which is very hard to believe. I had no food at all yesterday and stopped drinking water later in the evening. I am very prepared, I think. Although I am not in the lead and there is very little chance of me winning.

The air conditioner in our bedroom isn’t working correctly – the thermostat has adjusted itself so it always thinks that it is cold enough no matter how you set it – so I haven’t been getting very good sleep. Not only do I sleep very poorly when it is warm but Oreo doesn’t either and his restlessness wakes me up throughout the night.

It is raining again today. Just what I needed. It was raining before six this morning and just got heavier. Flooding is probably inevitable and that means that instead of getting to go home after work I will be forced to drive directly to Newark – Liberty International and leave my car there which isn’t necessarily the worst move ever. It means that I don’t have to deal with taxicabs and on Monday morning I will have a lot more flexibility between my flights.

I weighed in before leaving the apartment this morning, as I try to do every morning but often fail to do, and my loss as of this morning was 35.5 lbs (or 16.1 kilograms for you metric types or two stone seven for those in the UK.) That’s right, just over two and a half stone! Woot. But we still have to see what the “official” weigh in is. I have not been on that scale since we first weighed in three months ago so I have no real idea how it will correlate to the measurements that I have been taking.

The final weigh in was at nine thirty this morning.  My final, official, weigh in amount was 37 lbs!  Not too shabby.  However, not quite good enough to win the contest and I ended up losing by .4%.

I went online after lunch and noticed that the flight to Atlanta that I am taking tonight is already delayed by several hours so I packed up and ran out of the office in the hopes of getting to the airport early enough to be able to hop an earlier flight that has now been delayed until about the time that I was originally supposed to have left.

I got to the airport before four thirty but it took more than half an hour to be able to get to a parking spot which is completely ridiculous.  I can’t believe how poorly Newark – Liberty International is designed.  Everything about the Newark airport is awful from the design to the hospitality to the ability to get flights in and out reliably.  Nothing works right and there is no allowances for that in the airport itself.

I ran into the airport after finally finding the economy parking spot to put my car in at $15 per day and discovered that all of the earlier flights out of Newark where full and closed without any standby left available so I was totally out of luck.  Had I known for sure that it was going to be like this I would have driven back home and waited for a few hours and then had Dominica drive me to the airport but I didn’t know so I went with the intention of getting the best possible situation at any cost.

So it was just after five in the afternoon when I got into the airport and was all ready to get on the plane.  Too bad my plane wasn’t scheduled to depart until about eleven o’clock (originally more than three hours earlier than that.)  So I had nothing to do other than just hang out in the woefully underprepared Newark terminal area where there is only one restaurant or bar, a mini-TGI Friday’s that has almost nothing for vegetarians.

The TGI Friday’s is always so packed that the last time that I got stuck for a long time in Newark I never managed to get in there and this time it took several hours before I was able to get in and get a seat.  It was probably a little after seven when I finally got in there because there was no way to get in until after the fight to Atlanta ahead of mine took off.

I sat at TGI Friday’s and hung out with other Atlanta and Chicago bound passengers stranded in the Newark airport until the restaurant had to close.  They told us that normally they close at eight (at EIGHT with no other food available anywhere even from vending machines!) but because of the huge number of delayed passengers in the airport ath they could keep the bar open until nine to give people a place to go for just a little longer.  So there was an hour and a half of additional waiting to do even after that before I could board my plane.

At ten thirty I was able to get onto flight 579 going to Atlanta and get into my relatively comfortable business (first) class seat.  The service in first class is really worth in, IMHO, on AirTran as it doesn’t cost that much more and they really do treat you pretty good.  It makes the flight a lot more enjoyable.  It helps even more when you are flying alone because you aren’t pressed up against the people next to you which is okay when I am flying with Dominica but when flying with strangers I appreciate the space around me.  And Atlanta to Newark is about a two hours flight so it isn’t really short.

It was a little after one in the morning when we finally landed in Atlanta.  I had been worried for quite some time about how I was going to be able to find Andy when I got to Newark as he does not have a cell phone or any mobile Internet access.  Originally we were expected to arrive within twenty-five minutes of each other so it was going to be really easy.  But I was hours behind now with no way to let him know.  So when Andy was waiting for me at the gate as I came off of the plane it was quite a relief.

It turns out that Andy had been able to hop an earlier and direct flight from Rochester to Atlanta so he had arrived a full five hours or more before I did.  He had been stuck in the “post security” portion of the Atlanta airport with is carry-on luggage all of that time walking up and down the concourse area just killing time.

We went to Avis and rented ourselves a car for the weekend – a Chevy Cobalt.  We got my luggage and then we were off to Anderson.  It was just barely before two in the morning by the time that we got into the car and left Hartfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport for our long drive to the north east.

About forty five minutes northeast of the airport we decided that we needed some energy and a chance to just relax for a little bit so we stopped at exit 126 on US i85 and hit the Waffle House there.  I love being able to go to Waffle House when I am down in the south.  It is an important part of the southern experience.  We got some “breakfast” and I got some caffeine into my system so that I could continue driving.  I was getting pretty tired.  The entire flying process was pretty exhausting.

The drive from Atlanta to Anderson takes almost two hours and at night when I am really tired it doesn’t seem to get any shorter.  It was after four in the morning when we finally pulled into the parking lot of the Comfort Suites in Anderson and got checked in.  It didn’t take us very long to get to sleep after that.

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