Along for the ride ?>

Along for the ride

Just a couple more nights in Mississippi, and we’ll be off for our grand adventure. As my Dean of Students told me today, “Congratulations, but really I should tell that to your wife; aren’t you just along for the ride?”  Yep, that’s my official role on this trip – along for the ride. 🙂

Today, I brought all my students to the lab that we’re going to use this semester. I’m teaching my classes via webcam and with a telepresence robot. I really, really wanted to get a robot that was equipped with wheels, so I could cruise around campus remotely, but Lynn talked me out of that purchase.  The test session went well with my literature class. Tomorrow, we’ll test everything out with my composition sections.

As Lynn mentioned, we ended up with a fairly long layover in Amsterdam. Since the airport is only a 15 minute bus ride from the city center, I’ve worked up a little mini adventure for us. While most of the “what should I see in Amsterdam if I only have 8 hours?” guides revolve around certain adult activities that aren’t kid friendly, I think I’ve hit on a great plan that doesn’t involve any red light districts! Did you know that Amsterdam is famous for waffles? Since our kids’ favorite fine dining restaurant is Waffle House, waffles for lunch at De Carrousel Pannenkoeken (featuring carousel horses) ought to blow their minds. We’re then going to check out Rijksmuseum, which has a really impressive mobile app complete with scavenger hunt games for families. A walk around the canals and a train ride back to the airport will round out our day. Should be a lot of fun!

Our packing is now almost complete. All we lack is the juggling to make sure each bag is under 50 pounds and double-checking what we have in our carry-on bag. Since Lynn mentioned all the Amazon packages that have been coming our way, I thought I’d close this post with my plan for sleeping on the plane. As you may know, many airplane sleep solutions on the market today might be comfortable, but end up looking a bit dorky. Early contenders included the J neck pillow, the Trtl travel pillow (should you want to feel like you’re being choked by a really weak guy), and the Skyrest travel pillow (better than faceplanting into the tray table, I suppose). Ultimately, I went with the super-stylish SeatSnoozer, which admittedly does look like something designed over many beers but in early tests actually seems to work! I offered to order Lynn one as well, but she has opted to stick with an airline pillow.  Ridiculously over-engineered single use solution vs. ancient technology dating back to the Greeks and Romans, if not Mesopotamia (see this brief article for a quick history of the pillow!)…which pillow will reign supreme? We’ll have to compare restfulness levels after our first red-eye.

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