Palo Alto, Day One - Tuesday, June 20

1) Up at 4 AM, car service present at 4:30 AM, arrived airport by 4:45 AM.

2) My first time in about seven years flying [Insert Name of Airline Here]. For some reason the auto-kiosk wouldn't allow me to check my bag. So I had to get into the Customer Service Line . . . for 45 minutes. Two family groups were in the two slots closest to the start of the line when I got in line, and they were both still there when I finally got to the counter. This contributed to the impression that nothing was happening, and that we'd all be in line there forever.

3) Then a 30-minute line for security.

4) After buying some breakfast at a place with no line, I got to my gate and - horrors! - couldn't find my ticket! or passport in my travel folio I ran back to security, where the guard pointed to them . . . in my shirt pocket.

5) Two colleagues were also on this flight, but we were not seated together. Since I hadn't been able to buy my traditional copy of the Economist before boarding. I had nothing to read. I either tried to sleep, or became engaged in entertainment on other people's screens. This included Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, and a film called About Time.

6) A handsome flight attendant with a ring on his fourth finger told me how much he appreciated that I said "Good morning;" apparently I was the only passenger to do so. This led to a discussion of customer service in general, the Boston community, and travel. Later he brought me a complimentary cheese tray. The benefit of courtesy!

7) Colleagues and I took a Lyft out to Palo Alto, checked into the hotel, and, after a bit of confusion on foot, found our way to the Quaint Main Drag and a sort of a sports bar for a good lunch.

8) A NAP and then a pleasant hour with one of my elderly volunteers and his wife (they both live in the area) and one of my new, much younger volunteers. A nice mix of generations.

9) Dinner with our entire cohort of colleagues at a very nice Italian restaurant was marred only by the absence of three colleagues: one due to illness, the others due to a very late flight. I enjoyed a caprese tradizionale and the special risotto con frutti di mare. I could feel Etiquetteer giving me the hairy eyeball since I enjoyed a red wine with these dishes. I distracted him by observing the excellence of the service.

10) I was dropping by the end of dinner, and chose not to go to the late-night mixer for conference attendees. In bed at 9:45 PM for a sound sleep.