Just got back from a really fun two-day business trip in Tennessee and North Carolina. Met some very interesting people, learned a lot about my client product and ate much catered-event food that was surprisingly delicious for catered-event food. Part of my trip included taking a scenic drive from Knoxville to Asheville and then through the beautiful winding Blue Ridge mountain roads of North Carolina. (I must Google "Pigsah," which was one of the areas we drove through and whose name caused us much mirth.)
The only part I didn't enjoy was the flying. The last time I traveled for business was before all the security precautions resulting from 9/11, that blissfully innocent era when you (and your unticketed companions) could get through security an hour before your scheduled flight with your shoes intact and bringing through as many liquid as you could carry, not just the quart-sized bag of 3 oz.-or-less containers.
Business flying just sucks. It sucks when you're flying on vacation, too, but at least you check your bags for that and you'll be at your destination much longer so you can kind of justify the inconvenience at the airport. Yes, yes, I know it's all for the common good of homeland security and I appreciate not having a terrorist on my flight. But when you're supposed to be on a two-day business trip and it takes you three days (nearly four if I hadn't miraculously been able to snag a last-minute vacant seat in Asheville, and that's a different story altogether) with all the flying and connecting and security precautions and what-not, well ... Let's just say I am very thankful for phone and Web conferences. It's great to go on location and learn things first-hand, but there's a lot to be said for being able to attend meetings while sitting comfortably in your office chair with a cup of coffee and having all the legroom you want.
Post-note: I googled "Pigsah" and apparently it's not Pig-sah but Pis-gah. It's a large national forest featuring many waterfalls and hiking trails and there is a local college institute with the same name that helps provides environmental education for students grades K-12 using the forest as a laboratory. I (and my co-driver) could have sworn the signs said Pig-sah. Now I feel bad that we giggled. Boo to me.