I just returned from Houston on Tuesday Sept 5th where I had attended Convergence 2006. I had a great time and met some very nice new people. Convergence was hosted by the Houston Big Men’s Club and they did a very nice job during the week end. There were less than 200 people there which is a pretty low number for convergence, it was more like an East or West Coast Conference than a convergence. 

The event was held at the Houston Marriott Medical Center. The hotel staff was rather amazing. I believe that they were the most accommodating hotel staff that I have ever seen at a convergence. An example of this: at one meal the only deserts were pecan pie and chocolate cake (trying to overdose all of the diabetics). Someone ask if there was any thing else available, the waiter said he would check and eventually brought them a slice of lime pie. Not only were they accommodating but had some really nice looking waiters. One of them was a rather young Russian who was extremely attractive, staring at him certainly got me in trouble with my boyfriend. 

Travel to and from Houston was not near as bad as I had expected. I checked the airline sites to see how early I should arrive. Most of the sites were saying 3 hours before the flight and the Pittsburgh airport was stated as requiring extra time to go through security. I wear suspenders and the metal buckles always requires me to be hand wanded. Even with this, the Pittsburgh departure only took about 10 minutes in the security line and then 10 minutes to make it through security. Leaving lots of time before departure. I kind of expected that so had planned to eat lunch at the airport before departing. This worked out great as we had a leisurely lunch at Fridays after going through security and before going to the gate. 

The return trip from Houston was more interesting, in that someone who had a rental car offered us a trip to the airport. Only bad thing is I forgot to ask them which airport and ended up at Houston International instead of Hobby. This required then getting a taxi from Houston International to Hobby. Arriving about 1 1/2 hours before the flight. We had gotten boarding passes before leaving the hotel so only had to check luggage. The process of checking luggage, going through security and proceeding to the gate only took us about 10 minutes. Thus even though arriving much later than recommended we had plenty of time to spare. 

Before leaving on the trip I reviewed the airline sites and the TSA sites for prohibited items for carry on due to the new restrictions on no liquids or gels. The one thing that I found very strange is that KY gel in 4 oz or smaller is still allowed. Just why does the TSA feel that KY gel is required for travelling aboard a plane? Are they fearful that if people can no longer join the mile high club that they will quit travelling.

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