on friday i traveled to a research conference which i had to attend for work, and i just got home at 1am this morning. (needless to say, i am just slightly sleep deprived.) overall, it turned out to be an interesting conference, and after several days of workshops and seminars, i earned a research certificate which i needed for my job. however, while i was on this trip, it seemed like anything that could go wrong did go wrong. luck was certainly not in my favor for the past several days, and my trip was less than glamorous, to say the least.
in the past 6 days . . . i have been in 4 states, in 4 airports, on 4 air planes, in 2 hotels, on 10 shuttle buses, on 4 monorails, on 2 trams, and in 1 taxi. i have endured numerous waits, delays, and cancellations. i have survived countless demonstrations about seat belts, oxygen masks, and flotation devices (all which i am glad that i didn't have to use). i have gone through more security check points than i care to admit. i have seen the "baggage claim" sign one too many times, and i have sat in a ridiculous amount of lumpy chairs.
. . . and i did it all "alone." as it turns out, traveling "alone" wasn't nearly as bad as i had anticipated. (i say this with just the slightest bit of sarcasm.) even though the conference kept me busy, it was nice to get away and to have "me" time. sure, i was lonely without someone to talk to on the flights, and i would have loved to have had someone to eat dinner with or to help out with directions. however, it was a good learning experience. (boy, was it ever a learning experience!)
here are a few things i learned while i was away . . .
1. fly delta air lines, not united air lines. period.
2. when you have the option, get a window seat.
3. the newark, new jersey airport should be avoided at all costs.
4. airlines totally do not care if they delayed your flight, delayed it again, and then cancelled it.
5. airports really need more places to plug in your electronics to charge them while you are on 5-6 hour layovers and/or delays.
6. even if you make a perfectly organized schedule, someone is bound to do something stupid that will change your plans.
7. people are ruthless and will steal your credit card number and charge $1,400 worth of merchandise to your credit card without asking for your permission first.
8. the people who work at the discover credit card company are the best people ever. seriously.
9. double-wide strollers are one of the worst inventions ever. especially in very crowded places and in very tight aisles.
10. my husband is a saint. i'm telling you, he is a saint. the man baked a loaf of whole-wheat pumpkin bread while i was gone so that it would be sitting on the kitchen counter when i walked through the door. (yes, we ate a slice at 1am.)
i enjoyed (most of) my trip, but now i'm happy to be home (far away from those people in the "hospitality" industry). i'm happy to hug ryan and leko, eat my own cooking, and sleep in my own bed again. oh, how i have missed my own bed.
in the words of judy garland, there's no place like home.