Thursday, March 17, 2011

Creativity Journal Entry 2: Land, Sea and Air

Getting from BWI to the Baltimore Marriott via cab and water taxi

I needed a creative idea. When I landed at the Baltimore airport, I knew there would be difficulties in traveling to my hotel. The children's hospital conference organizers informed all the attendees that a St. Patrick's Day might add a delay to our journey. I figured that meant some slower traffic. I was wrong.

It turns out that the parade, which was being held the Sunday before Thursday's holiday, was a traffic nightmare. It blocked the main road that provided access to the hotel, and its participants would be celebrating until 5 p.m. I had arrived at the airport at 1:30 p.m. And I needed to have my display ready to go before 5 p.m. I was in a pickle.

I approached the Super Shuttle service provided from the airport. The informed me that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for them to take me to my hotel. IMPOSSIBLE. As in, no roads would ever take me to this hotel...until 5 p.m. Not being familiar with the area, I took them at their word.

So I needed another route to the hotel. I noticed another woman asking similar questions to mine. It turns out she was going to the same conference as me, so I asked her if she wanted to team up and find a creative solution. After much plotting and questioning of the information desk volunteer, we decided to take a cab to the inner harbor of Baltimore, and take a watertaxi to our destination.

So, luggage in tow, we took a cab to one side of the harbor with little problem. Taking a watertaxi was a different story. This wasn't just any watertaxi. Passengers could not just stand at the shore and hail the next boat that drove by. This was a sightseeing taxi, and it had several stops around the harbor before it came anywhere near our hotel. However, it did come, we did board, and we did make it to our hotel, with about 30 minutes before I had to be ready for my presentation.

In hindsight, I probably could have chartered a taxi and just paid the driver to take the long way around the parade. Being from Arizona, water travel is not my usual means of transportation. But it sounded, well, a little romantic. Very "Italian Job." And I loved the idea that I could tell people that I traveled by land, air and sea just to make it to the conference.

I liked this creative solution that arose by collaborating with people I didn't know, and rejecting the narrow-minded solution provided by the airport shuttle folks, who should have been better informed.

Who knows? It may have taken just as long and maybe less money to take a regular cab ride, but the new experience was definitely worth the wait.

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