Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Got up early and went for a couple of rides in the water park with John and Kathryn. I guess they were fun. It was good to be in the water. I think it was salt.

Leave the resort at 12:20 pm. 75 mph almost all the way back to O'Hare. Traffic slows down a bit when we get into the metro area. Had to stop for gas in Madison and again just outside the airport. Promised to fill it up when I picked it up. Stopped to pay tolls four times again. Saw a sign after the last toll stop that said something like: "forget your toll, pay online at" or some such. Which makes me think I could have skipped this tollbooth thing, which would have been really nice. I mean here we are cruising down the road, making good time, and now we have to pull over, stop, and sit in line and wait for Uncle Dufus to dig the 847 pennies out of his pants pocket to pay the stupid 80 cent toll. Actually the lines were not that long, and we did not have to wait long, but it was still dumb. Next time I will just drive by and see if they ever catch up with me.

We get to the airport in plenty of time. Attendant at the rental car company checks us in, right where I pull up using her hand held computer. Prints me a receipt on the spot and tells me I am good to go. There is a total on the receipt but I have no idea if it is anything like it should be. I spent four days in Chicago paying double for everything and then four days in Wisconsin not spending anything. At this point I have no idea what a rental car should cost.

We spend about ten minutes waiting in the shade of the portable office for a shuttle to take us to the terminal. The first one is full of people who arrived AFTER we did and cannot take us. The second one is right behind it and there is plenty of room for all of us and all of our baggage. Thank goodness there is no beer.

We are so early, the skycap puts us on standby for an earlier flight. Supposedly there are 50 available seats and we are number 20 on the list. But by the time that flight is boarding, all the seats are full and there is no standby, so we move on to our regularly scheduled gate and settle in to wait. Actually we all dump our stuff there and my family leaves me with the carryons and spreads out looking for whatever there is to amuse them in an airport. Food and magazines. Bah. I do latch on to a fruit salad and a bottle of water.

This time the plane is an Airbus 320, and the legroom is not nearly as great as it was on the flight coming here. This must be "Economy Minus". But they are playing a movie I haven't seen: "Spider Man 3". It wasn't that great but it kept me amused, and I do like Mary Jane. After that it was just boredom. I was too tired to read, but not tired enough to sleep. Annoying things were playing on the video screen, but without any sound it was tolerable.

Eventually we got to Portland. Our luggage was already there, it went out on the earlier flight. We just had to haul it out to shuttle bus platform to catch the shuttle back to the Radisson. No beer this time, thank goodness. Picked up a shuttle phone in the baggage claim area to call the hotel and halfway through the phone call the cord falls out of the hand piece. Things are falling apart left and right. We got back to house sometime around midnight.

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