37,000 feet above Oklahoma City Kongo checks his blog and reflects upon yet another just completed “slam bam” weekend. A slam bam weekend is when you fly in from the opposite coast on Friday afternoon and are back in the air Monday morning heading east again. Kongo has pretty much perfected the art of the slam bam. So much so that he often feels like a tourist in his home town.
The trick to surviving these types of weekends (Kongo is on his third in a row at this point) is to never change your clock. Go to bed early. Get up early. Stay on East Coast time. Of course that tends to screw up the rest of the household and that is probably why Mrs. Kongo forgot to go to the laundry so Kongo is flying with his “B” clothes not his preferred “A” clothes. Not that the monkey is much of a clothes horse, or maybe clothes monkey, it’s just that he has his favorites.
You have to carefully plan your time out during a slam bam. Kongo is sure to map out some naps, attack some honey-dos, maybe watch some Olympics (this usually brings on another nap) and try to get out for a quick photo shoot somewhere.
This trip goes to Washington, DC for a few days then up to Philadelphia for some serious project crashing for an upcoming proposal, then an early flight back to the Coast on Friday for a dentist appointment and Valentine dinner. And sadly, next weekend is another slam bam.
So why do a slam bam? Why not just stay on the East Coast? Well, it’s nice to see Mrs. Kongo. It’s nice to change out the suitcase, get a haircut from someone you trust, and see familiar spaces instead of watching snow build up in a hotel parking lot. Besides, if you plan your travels right the cost of flying back and forth is about the same as hotel three extra days of hotel room and rental car. Life is too short.
So, after several years of slam bams the monkey has a few rules for surviving them:
1. Never change your watch. Keep on the same time zone as where you just left.
2. Make sure you have clean laundry ready to pick up. Remember to do this before the laundry closes on Saturday afternoon.
3. Take naps. Lots of naps.
4. Don’t start a project you can’t finish. Trust me on this. You will be getting texts and emails about it all week if you screw this up and they will all be at the wrong time since you’re three hours out of sync.
5. Say hi to your neighbors and let them now you still live there.
6. Be nice to the people who do things for you like gardeners for example. The last thing you want to do after 9 hours flying and scampering through airports is to mow your lawn. If you gardener likes you he will take care of you.
7. Don’t try to do too much. But do something. Get out of the house.
8. Don’t drink too much. Hang overs and slam bans don’t work too well. Over eating is also a no-no.
9. Always pack on Sunday nights.
10. If you must eat out, do it on Friday night.
Have fun. Travel safe.