June 22, 2011

My New Favorite Website

... is called The Guide to Sleeping in Airports and I only wish is that it had been around during my show skating days.

I'm sure many show skaters have had to do this often.

In fact, I skated in five different shows in Japan and only one of them paid for my ticket all they way from my home base. For the other shows, the producer said show up in Vegas or LA on your own and we'll fly you to Japan from there.

For anyone coming from the East Coast or Midwest, there was no way to get to LAX in time for the 1pm flight to Tokyo without staying overnight. For me, a hotel room and a cab or bus to get there was out of the question.

In fact, I left the airport in Minneapolis-St. Paul with my last $25 in my pocket. (It was 1989, so that could buy you a little more than today's bottle of water and a large bag of M&Ms.) And I had done the same park show the previous summer, so I knew once I got on the plane, there would be food. There would also be food waiting for us at the amusement park.

Otherwise I might have borrowed another $25 from my mom.

On that particular airport sleepover, two other skaters, from Hamilton, Ontario, also planned to spend the night in LAX. We hadn't met before, so I didn't realize we could have teamed up for night watch duty or something.

They got robbed that night (if you go to the website, you'll see that LAX is #4 on the Worst Airports of 2010!). Luckily my last $25 covered us all for breakfast the next morning.

So these tips -- alas, 22 years late -- are for you, Joyce and John, and the hope that no more figure skaters get robbed when sleeping in airports.

Tips for not getting robbed in your sleep

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