This past week really tested my patience, endurance and energy levels. On the go eating of not so healthy food, catching sleep half hours at a time and just the mere disturbance of my daily routine of doing nothing. This trip was for two important events: Jeff’s presentation in DC and our friends’ Jess and Stewart’s wedding in Charleston, SC.
Jeff was invited to speak about social media in Washington DC two Fridays ago at an annual graduate admissions conference. We were both very excited at this opportunity and wanted to make sure we could do everything on our end the make this a smooth trip and stress-free presentation for him.
There were loose ends we had to tie up at home first like getting an automatic kitty kibble feeder, setting up the webcam to monitor Pepper’s food and water, unplugging virtually every electronic appliance, stopping the daily paper, making sure our bills were paid for the month, putting our mail on hold etc. I managed to do most of these thing on my own, freeing up Jeff from these duties. I wanted to take care of the more mundane things so he could prep for his speaking engagement. More importantly, it was like my mini daily mission to get these things done and crossed off our to do lists for both our sanity’s sake.
We pack our bags and set our alarms the night before leaving for seven days. We wake up semi-refreshed and ready to drive to Newark airport. As we’re driving on the freeway, the thought of us missing our 6:30a connecting flight to Philadelphia sets in. We still had to leave our car in the daily lot, check our bags and get through security all with in about 45 mins! I began to worry.
Jeff decides to drop me and our bags at the curb. I’d check them while he parks the car. These next few moments were stressful, not knowing if he’d get back to the terminal on time. I proceed to the baggage counter, check our bags and print our boarding passes. The next few minutes felt like waiting for an eternity before I saw Jeff speed walking to the security checkpoint where I was waiting for him. We get through security rather quickly, probably since everyone on that flight has already boarded.
We race to the gate just as the pilot reaches the adjoining door and the jet way. The rep at the gate says, “There you are. We called you a couple of times and the pilot even came out to look for you.” A little embarrassed smile, brief eye-contact to the pilot as we both scuttle down the jet way and up the stairs to board the plane. We made it with only seconds to spare.
It was a quick flight to Philly and a brief layover before we boarded the next flight to DC. Nothing out of the ordinary in Philly. We had a little time to get our coffee, a small bite to eat and of course, check in on foursquare and earn some badges!
In DC the weather was the same as it was in NJ, cold, gray with a steady brisk breeze. Surprise, surprise. We hail a cab, take a 15 min trip and get to the hotel/conference site around 10:30a. I had made a special request for early check in to the hotel when I reserved the room. The request was not answered and our room was not available yet. Instead of dragging our luggage around the lobby of the hotel, we left it with coat check guys and looked for the conference registration desk.
After getting his badge we were pointed in the direction of the “ribbon bar.” This was where registrants could bling their name badge with various sticky-backed multicolored ribbons. Jeff was especially excited that the bling was bigger than the name badge itself.
We still had time to kill so we wandered around the lobby more and finally found a little cafe that served cold sandwiches and coffee. Around 1p we finally got to check into our room, where we prompt crashed and passed out on the bed for a much needed nap for a few hours. When we woke, we decided to order room service. Their French onion soup was to die for! Totally delish, piping hot and ooey gooey cheesy! Back to bed! We had a eventful day tomorrow to rest up for!