Planes, Trains & Automobiles… and Ferries

Well, I am sitting at the ferry terminal on my way to Shaw Island for the weekend. Just missed the ferry by 2 cars, and there is a three hour wait for the next ferry. So, now is a good time to write about our trip to the National Sports Collectors Convention.

We had a great plan going into the National. My brother Toby was living in Milwaukee, and we could save about $100 per ticket by flying into Milwaukee instead of Chicago. We would fly in a day early and have my brother show us around Milwaukee before we all headed to Chicago. Toby was going to drive us to Chicago and help us man the booth. We would have a vehicle in Chicago, and he would then drive us back to Milwaukee so we could catch our flight back to Seattle.

It seemed to be a fairly simple plan… until my brother got a job offer in Minneapolis. Just two weeks before the National, tickets booked, and now we had to juggle our schedule.

Oh well, no big deal. There is a train between Milwaukee and Chicago, and we can take taxies for everything else. Rather than giving you to blow by blow, I will just give you the itinerary that we finally ended up with.

  • Mon July 28th 10:00 PM PST, get a ride to the airport to catch the redeye to Minneapolis
  • Tue 3:30 AM PST, 1 hour layover in Minneapolis
  • Tue 6:00 AM PST, arrive in Milwaukee
  • Tue 6:30 AM PST, take a shuttle to a hotel
  • Tue evening, take taxies to and from the Brewers – Cubs game
  • Wed 4:30 AM PST, take a taxi to the train station
  • Wed 6:00 AM PST, take the train from Milwaukee to Chicago
  • Wed 8:30 AM PST, take a taxi to our hotel in Chicago
  • Wed 9:00 AM PST, walk about 1/2 mile to find our booth and set up

That was our trip to the National. National went great. I will do another post about that, but first you get to read about our trip home.

Just before we were about to leave the national and head to the train, one of the dealers decided to take us up on our offer to ship cards back to our warehouse for free. He dropped off 4,000+ cards in toploaders. All of a sudden, we had to repack so that we could carry the equivalent of more than ten 2 row shoe boxes full of toploaders to Milwaukee so that we could ship them on Monday. Mark happened to be staying in Wisconsin for a few extra days to visit with his brother. So he would be holding on to the customer cards and shipping them for us.

  • Sun 4:00 PM PST, take a taxi to the train station
  • Sun 5:00 PM PST, check our luggage and carry 5,000+ customer cards
  • Sun 5:45 PM PST, board the train heading from Chicago to Milwaukee
  • Sun 7:15 PM PST, Mark gets off at the Milwaukee airport to pick up a rental car
  • Sun 7:30 PM PST, arrive at the main Milwaukee train station
  • Sun 8:30 PM PST, get picked up at the train station by Mark
  • Sun 9:00 PM PST, Mark drops us off at a hotel and takes the customer cards in his rental car so that he can ship them the following day
  • Mon 1:30 AM PST, wake up and schedule a shuttle to the airport
  • Mon 2:00 AM PST, take the shuttle to the airport
  • Mon 4:00 AM PST, board a plane headed to Denver
  • Mon 5:00 AM PST, plane delayed due to weather finally takes off
  • Mon 7:30 AM PST, plane arrives in Denver, just 5 minutes after our connecting flight took off
  • Mon 1:30 PM PST, we finally board a flight heading to Seattle
  • Mon 4:30 PM PST, we arrive in Seattle 6 hours later than expected
  • Mon 5:30 PM PST, we arrive at Steve’s house and jump in the hot tub
  • Mon 6:15 PM PST, I head to Redmond for a 7:00 basketball game
  • Mon 9:30 PM PST, I watch the Mariners come back to beat my Twins
  • Mon 10:30 PM PST, I swing by the office and notice that the site is having issues
  • Mon 11:00 PM PST, the site is back up and the issue shouldn’t happen again
  • Mon 1:30 AM PST, I finally head home after pushing cards into sellers’ accounts and writing a blog post

It has been a long week, but we are glad to do the work necessary to provide our consignment service to fellow collectors. Oh yeah… and my brother’s start date for his new job got delayed. After all of this, our original plan could have worked.