As my last post indicated, the week is off to a thrilling start with the theft of a car. The day was filled with anticipation as well. I love to travel, and although I often get looked at a bit more closely when passing through TSA scanners, in Phoenix at least I am known somewhat so I don’t often have challenges there.
It has been a year since I have made a trip out of AZ that was more than 24 hours though. For the last CC event in Baltimore.
My normal method of going on a trip is to pack the night before I leave, this time I was packed and prepped three days before, and had hoped I would be able to rest the night before.
No such luck. I was too wired, too excited. This conference can be incredibly energizing, and gives you a chance to network, meet people, get great ideas, think outside the box, and generally feel that you are not as alone in your efforts as can occasionally happen.
This year, they have an app for the conference schedule, which is pretty cool and will come in handy, even though I will be still using the printed booklet.
I have come with a member of my board of directors, and Les met us here. Funding for this trip has been an ongoing challenge, and basically we are paying our own way for most of it, which means that Kim and I are broke as all get out, but we don’t care.
I am armed with information, brochures and guides and packets printed out before we left, as I am interested in more opportunities to work with other organizations.
The trip to the airport was easy. I live 15 minutes away assuming you hit every light and you drive the speed limit. Foolishly tried curbside checkin , which was a nightmare and gave me fits as we were close to the baggage cut off. I packed lighter this year, but even that leaves me with two cases at minimum.
Boarding was easy, the flight uneventful. Cab trip downtown was the same. Slept, awoke twice, was going nuts because in the rush on arrival, my new e-cigs were lost. replacement was waiting for me, but i was amped by the time we landed.
So amped that rather than take the tram to baggage, I walked it. That is, for the record, a long walk. It helped wear me out from the nervous twitches enough that I was able to relax and smoke outside.
Tipped ok, as I know how hard it is to make a living on tips, and besides, you get to talk to people that leaves memories.
The event is at the Hilton. With 2500 people pretty much a given showing up, hotel rates were high among all the hotels. I can’t help but hope that one day Phoenix will get this event. I will so put time in on the hosting committee if possible. The revenue and exposure is important.
We ended up heading to a Best Western about three blocks away. It was less than half the cost, and the tiny room is actually pretty decent, if a bit worn.
I feared the cold, especially after my last trip here, where the wind and cold did its best to kill me, I think, lol. Is warmer than I was expecting, which is a blessing. Still cold for me, but not dreadful.
Decided to recommendations from the front desk for dinner, and on arrival walked into a group of employees joking among each other, with one saying she was going to reprimand another.
Well, natch, we took up that cause, and reprimanded the poor guy without even a moment’s hesitation for slights comical and imagined, and thereby secured not only great humor, but new friends. They directed us to a place right across the street.
Tavern style, upscale, average of 40 bucks a head. Craft beers, blah blah. The food was excellent, and all of us were most pleased by the dishes – a challenge given one of us needs gluten free. The server was a highlight. Handsome, Kwessy was funny, sharp, personable, and knew what he was doing.
After dinner, all of us were worn out, so we retired to the hotel and promptly passed out. Not sure about anyone else, but after a couple hours, I was awake again, in no small part due to the cold I have caught and am arguing strongly with.
After futzing with emails and the like, I went ahead and wrote this.
Tomorrow is my birthday, and the plan right now is to sleep in a bit, have a decent breakfast, and then go get registered and familiar with the conference. After that, the day is free and just for me…