Archives for April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013 – Keynote in Baltimore

What a terrible night! This turned out to be the worst night I’ve had in a long time, if that’s possible. There were creases in the layers below the sheets that formed welts on my body, the sheets were flat and wouldn’t stay in place, so they were constantly bunching up and creating lumps, which woke me up practically every hour. I kept trying to smooth them out, but it was impossible, and the sheets were really rough, too. Then the alarm clock went off at 3:30, and I punched every button I could feel in the dark, hoping I had shut it off permanently, but worrying that it would come on again. Just managed to drift off to sleep when all of a sudden, the TV came on at 4:12 am! I had to scramble to find the remote, and because I hadn’t even turned it on the night before, I didn’t know which was the power button, so I had to struggle with that for a minute. I was still worried about the alarm clock, so I decided to turn the light on and straighten that out, then went back to bed, waiting a long time to get back to sleep, but finally did, and fell into a very deep sleep until 9:00. Good thing my event wasn’t until the afternoon!!! If I had had to get up to do a training session at my usual time, I would have been a real mess! I took my time getting out of bed and getting ready, but before noon I headed downstairs to join my group for lunch. I sat through a couple of presentations before they split into plenary sessions, so I went up to my room again for a little while. Finally, it was time. Came downstairs, made a few lighting changes on the stage, and performed my 90 minute keynote speech/training to a quiet crowd of 150 engineers, but they received me well and seemed to enjoy themselves. Afterward, several came up to me to speak with me, then we headed out to a cocktail party with heavy hors d’oeuvres that substituted for dinner (which was fine with me!), before we headed to the company’s entertainment section (called the Mike & Mike Show), which was a series of team exercises that were very entertaining, and in some cases, quite a workout! Very fun, and a great break fro the stress I’ve been dealing with for many weeks now. Headed up to the room, looking forward to a better night sleep.

Sunday April 28, 2013 – Travel to Baltimore

Spent the morning packing and getting my outline for my speech in order, then headed out to the airport around noon. We had decided since it was for such a short time it didn’t make sense for Hubby to drive all the way to the airport and back, so I just took the van. Because it was raining cats and dogs (my favorite weather for flying… NOT!) I decided to valet the van, since it was only for two days. Even so, the valet wasn’t completely under cover, so I had to run through the rain to the curb anyway. Checked in my carryon so I wouldn’t have to bother with it, and before I knew it, I was once again sitting in first class on another flight. Seems like that’s been a constant this year, being on a plane! Anyway, it’s a very short flight, so a snack and a cup of hot tea was about all I had time for. Caught the hotel shuttle to the Westin BWI, missing Hubby all the way, arriving in time to get my pick of rooms. I ended up in a corner room at the end of a quiet hall, which boded well, and after settling in, headed downstairs to the restaurant for a lovely bowl of crab soup, though I had to wait for bread and butter to go with it, as the soup was getting colder all the while. Spent the evening working on my speech and reading. Didn’t even bother to turn on the TV, just wanted to appreciate the quiet I had in the room, yeah! I miss Hubby being with me, though, we’re not apart often, and we never like it when we are. At least I had my old phone turned on for him, and we spoke throughout the day anyway. Looking forward to getting this job finished and back to him!

Saturday, April 27, 2013 – Shopping and Rest Day

Had to run out and do some shopping, then tried to relax at least rest of the day, since I have to fly out again tomorrow. Worked on my script a bit, as I only have 90 minutes to speak, and figuring out what to cut out is the hardest thing to do! Managed to pare it down to a manageable script that should do just fine.

Friday, April 26, 2013 – Laundry and Rest Day

With a quick turnaround for me, I spent the day catching up on laundry and trying my best to rest, though computer work, as always, was the priority. It was great to be on my own bed, but I had a lousy night for some reason, just kept waking up every couple of hours, though I did manage to get back to sleep eventually. So much anxiety these days, with so much still to do!

Thursday, April 25, 2013 – Travel Back to Charlotte Day

Had to get up fairly early, enjoying the hotel’s free breakfast before heading out to SFO, first to drop off our cute Jeep by 8:30, then catching our flight, which, fortunately, was pretty much on time. Thank goodness we decided to fly first class this time, it’s just something we’ve decided we need to do from now on, or certainly whenever possible, especially for these long jaunts. We’ve just reached a point in our lives where we just want to enjoy ourselves a bit, and flying is so dang hard these days, especially cross-country, so it’s a nice way to treat ourselves a little, even when it’s on our dime, like this time. Anyway, it was a nice flight, the lunch was okay but not great (some kind of barbecued chicken with corn and other flavors of the southwest, not my favorite), and we arrived on time, having made up for a late start. I grabbed the shuttle out to the parking lot and picked up the van, then picked up Hubby and headed back to the farm, arriving about 8:00, just as it was getting dark. We are SO ready to sleep in our own bed!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 – Rest Day

Once again worked ourselves over the past two days into exhaustion, so we spent the day resting in our hotel room and preparing for our trip back to the east coast tomorrow.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 – Rest, Laundry and Dinner Day

I was glad to see that LaQuinta also had a guest laundry, which happened to be next to the pool, so I bought some detergent and fabric softener from the front desk, got on my bathing suit, and headed out to do laundry, sunbathe and read. Finished in pretty short order, then headed back up to the room. We had dinner planned with one of our clients who would be attending our workshop tomorrow, and met him at a place called Pizza Antica in an area in Santa Clara called Santana Row, a popular shopping area with the feel of a small town Main Street, only with all the big chain stores. Had a fabulous evening with our new friend, gave him a ride back to his hotel, then headed back to ours, in bed early in order to be up bright and early for our THIRD job since we arrived in San Francisco. We really crammed them in this time!

Saturday, April 20, 2013 – Shopping and Sun Day

Slept so late we missed the free breakfast downstairs, so we headed out around brunchtime to a place called Hobee’s, which had a spectacular menu which was very well executed. Came back to the hotel and truly indulged ourselves by sitting out by the pool for awhile, though the water was a bit too cool to do anything than briefly plunk myself into to cool off, which took half a second, then back out under the warm California sun. Brunch was so late and so filling we didn’t need anything else but a few snacks for the rest of the day. A nice relaxing day which we really needed, and the beds are more comfortable here. We’ve had the window open to let the cool night air in, and so we could turn off the A/C, but then we hear the noise from the parking lot below, which isn’t bad, just enough to make me have to wear earplugs. I honestly don’t know how people can stand to live in all this noise, but I suppose they get used to it after awhile. I guess I must have, too, at some earlier point in my life, but it certainly isn’t my preference!

Friday, April 19, 2013 – Work and Transfer to San Jose Day

Got up early to work with another team of presenters, then observed about half of their afternoon presentation before leaving the hotel. We hired their town car, with a very nice driver, to take us to the car rental place at the San Francisco airport, where I picked up my “Wild Card” car from Thrify, which turned out to be a really neat white Jeep! Four wheel drive and everything, it was perfect for me, just high enough to be above most of the freeway traffic, and much more like what I’m used to driving anyway. Great choice for me, Thrifty! Headed down to San Jose where we were booked at a LaQuinta near the San Jose airport. Because of some budgetary restrictions from our next client (a not-for-profit), and because apparently there is some kind of event going on as all the usual prices have been doubled at most hotels, we were compelled to stay here, and at first, we were quite hesitant, as the outside looked barely better than a common motel, but as soon as we entered the lobby, that impression changed dramatically. Despite it’s humble exterior the interior had obviously been completely redone, and everything was done on a very high quality level. The front desk greeted us warmly and helped me find a suitably quiet room. My biggest concern was the wall-type A/C unit, but it was new and relatively quiet, plus there were windows I could actually open, which will be great at night, since the nights are still cool here. We moved in and were settled down quickly enough, then headed out to a grocery store for some essentials, grabbing an early dinner at the Royal Chinese restaurant nearby, before we had a relaxing evening in the hotel. The only drawback here is that it is under the flight path of the San Jose airport, which fortunately isn’t too busy. The last flight out is a bit after 11:00, though the first flights are promptly at 6:30 am. Can’t wait to get back into the peace and quiet of the woods!

Thursday, April 18, 2013 – Observer and Work Day

Our next job is to work with a few presenters and to observe a few others at an event being held by some old friends of ours. Spent the morning observing and a couple of hours in the afternoon working with a team of presenters for their presentation tomorrow. Enjoyed a nice dinner with the group before heading back to our room for another night of hard sleep.