Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Returning Home

This morning I woke up to the reassuring thought that tonight I would be home sleeping next to my wife and son. However, there was a long day ahead of me and a conference call that was about to start moments after I stumbled out of bed. During this postponed weekly call I couldn’t simply let the productive few morning moments pass me by so I used the time confined to my room to take care of a last blast of emails and packed my bag. With a few minutes to go I had everything ready and as soon as I hung up the phone I was out the door.

After returning the key cards to the front desk, I made my way across the street and walked through the Hilton on my way to the show shuttle. Before inspecting the line I swung through the gift shop in search of an item required for my return to the office tomorrow… a Chicago refrigerator magnet. It may seem odd but it had become tradition that each time we travel to a new place for work we pick up a magnet for the office fridge. We have put together quite the collection from across the country.

With the line for the shuttle painfully long which would have prevented me from making to the booth on time, I made the detour to the front of the building, hailed a cab, and was at the convention center with a little breathing room. Enough time to check my coat and bags and make my way to the booth before the first scheduled meeting of the day. I guess it is a good thing that I was busy this morning because it left me little time to think about getting back home to my family.

The morning flew by with a number of excellent conversations and introductions including an interesting discussion with a fellow brother that happened to be passing the booth. Immediately after lunch it was time to leave the floor and so I made my way, along with the CEO and his wife, back to the coat check and out to the sidewalk to catch the final cab of the trip. Thankfully the show was a success and the hard work that everyone put in paid off so the conversations during the 40 minute drive was of a great experience and looking forward to the show next year in Atlanta.

Everything went as smoothly as possible at the airport (unlike my departure on Sunday) and I found myself with a little extra time before the flight. With nothing else that needed to be done I found a little restaurant where I could sit down for a late lunch and called the office to give a little update and my wife to tell her how much I looked forward to getting back home. Before I knew it I was on the plane, propped up against the window, and fast asleep with my legs crumpled against my briefcase.

The flight landed on time with me waking up just before the wheels touched the ground. After a bit of a wait outside the baggage claim (for some reason we pulled into the international terminal) I was soon nested next to my son as my wife drove us away from the cluster of a pickup area. It was a great feeling to be home and finally reunited with my family. While I may have woken up in Chicago, I will be going to bed with my wife and son tonight. A perfect end to a business trip.