My post-Conference post

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I just got back from Baltimore for our Conference. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, which says something. I dread travelling for work, because most of the time I end up so dead-tired and drained that I fall asleep trying to take notes during sessions, and I get crabby because of a lack of alone-time. However, this trip went pretty well and I remained pretty upbeat and positive throughout the thing.

Sure, I did have a lot of work to do there, but the days went relatively fast and during downtime, R and I went down to the Inner Harbor. We went on a boat tour around the harbor right when we got there on Saturday night. It was cool because we learned about all the sites along the water and it was a boat with a bar. We both had a couple glasses of wine and sat up at the front of the boat, enjoying the breeze off the water and watching the sun slowly set. Ahhh. So nice. This was the correct thing to do first, for sure, because it kind of set the tone for the rest of our time there.

We ate dinner most nights down at the harbor, too. We got my boss J to come with us twice, so that was good. (If we hadn’t brought him along, he wouldn’t have ventured out of the hotel! He said so himself. Anyway, he ended up having a great time with us and it was good that my two work-friends got to bond a little more.)

R and I also toured two historic ships in the harbor while we were there: The USS Constellation, and the USS Torsk. I will probably do another post about the ships… a post with photos!… since I took a whole lot of pictures. I was inspired to write a couple more short stories while I was there, one of which will take place on that exact sub.

My flight back home on Wednesday is where I ran into trouble. First, the airline wouldn’t let me bring my carry-on suitcase on board, even though it was still within the size parameters. Why? Because I was in the last group to board, and all of the space in the overhead bins was taken. So they forced me to check my bag, and I wasn’t happy. I have had bad luck with checked luggage in the past, and since I was on a connecting flight stopping in Dallas, I had a sinking feeling that me and my bag wouldn’t see each other for awhile.

Next, we land in Dallas and there was almost no time to get to the next flight. I had to just rush over to another terminal and only had time to grab a fruit cup and a bottle of milk at an Au Bon Pain near my gate. I had been hoping for a more substantial meal, but since I was due home in Phoenix by 5:40, I figured I could wait and the little snack would hold me over for the 2 hour, 50 minute flight to Phoenix.

The plane was, once more, packed to capacity. And I was assigned a middle seat. Son of a…! But again, I told myself it was just gonna be a short flight and it would be fine. But then, the hours dragged on and on. I didn’t have a watch, but it did seem like a lot of time was passing. I kept just-missing announcements because I had my iPod on and I’d only realize they were doing an announcement in time for the last few words or so. Finally, I heard one of the announcements: There was a bad storm in Phoenix with high winds, and the tower in Phoenix wasn’t going to let us land. We had been circling around over New Mexico for awhile, just wasting time and fuel and waiting for the go-ahead to land. Well, after a couple hours, it never did come, and the plane was almost out of fuel. “We’re going to Las Vegas to refuel and then we hope to get you folks to Phoenix soon after that,” said the captain. The whole plane groaned.

Overall, I was on that plane for about 5 hours. I was starving and had to pee like crazy, but the lines to use the bathrooms were quite long and they kept telling everyone to remain seated/ go back to their seats so not everyone got a chance to go to the bathroom. It was pretty miserable, actually.

We finally landed sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 in Phoenix. I felt terrible b/c this was one time where I had asked someone to pick me up. Usually I just park down near the airport and drive myself to and from, but this time my sister said she could pick me up. She headed to the airport to be there in time for the 5:40 arrival, but of course the flight was seriously delayed. She and my brother in law just hung out, left, went and got dinner, came back again, and the plane was still delayed, so finally I told them I’d call/text when I landed, and one of them could come get me at that point. It sucked to ruin their entire night like that. I was probably more upset about inconveniencing them than I was to be stuck on that bad flight for so long. Fortunately, they were super-cool and understanding about the whole thing.

And man, I was shocked when I saw my suitcase come around on the luggage carousel! I can’t believe they didn’t lose my bag. That was so nice and unexpected.

I had the next two days off and I just putzed around mostly, going shopping and riding my bike. It was pretty sweet to have a 4 day weekend. Saturday was an excellent “hang out with my sister” day for the most part, too. I drove us around because, well, NEW CAR. It’s still fun to drive that Prius! I can’t wait to get the windows tinted, though. It’s getting so hot outside already.

For Mother’s Day, we took Mom to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, since that’s where she wanted to go. It was just the 4 of us like usual: me, Mom, T and BIL. It was a good meal, actually… I admit I love their food, too. After that we went back to T’s house, because she’d made a homemade cake. We then watched the season finale of Once Upon a Time together, which was fun. 

So that’s my summary of what I’ve been up to for the last week or so. So exciting, yes? By the way, the drive to blog is dying for me. It’s just not there like it used to be. I think that my days of posting every day or every other day are behind me. I’m moving on to other stuff, I guess. Like what? Well, I don’t know. Reading. Writing my own stories. Working. Quality pet time, now that there are 4. And now, exercise again. I know I’m not the only one cutting back on the blogging. For some time now, other bloggers have stepped out of the game or just haven’t posted at all, and it’s the way it used to be with all the mutual comments and stuff… Oh, well. Life goes on. And blogging doesn’t need to be a big part of it! That’s totally cool with me.

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