I just got out of my first day of conferences and thought I'd take a minute to update y'all on my trip, thus far.
My flight (that was supposed to leave at noon on Monday) was delayed (joy). Instead of taking off on time, I didn't actually get air-born until sometime after 2:00, which made it equally joyful to make my connecting flight in Atlanta. I should have had an hour and twenty minutes to leisurely make my way to my gate. Instead, I had 10 minutes to get from concourse D to concourse A - not an easy task. Of course, by the time I got to my gate, that flight had ALSO been delayed. They apparently decided on that little detail while I was running on the moving walkways.
I landed in D.C. around 6:30 and took an exciting shuttle ride to my hotel. I got out of the van grateful to be alive after several near-death experiences and two near-collisions with pedestrians. After sorting out some issues with my check-in, I happily ordered room-service and sprawled out on my "heavenly bed" (that's the actual trademarked name - and not an exaggeration. It's amazing.) I ate a bellyful of of seafood pasta and the biggest slice of cheesecake I'd ever seen, then drifted into a deep, wonderful sleep.
Yesterday, I proudly made my way around the city by myself. I caught the Metro and rode to the National Mall, where I spent most of the day touring around the museums. I found that it's actually really relaxing to be able to do things on your own time and see exactly what you want to see, without having to wait around for someone else. Not a bad deal. Later in the afternoon, I headed to Arlington National Cemetery and spent some time reflecting on the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. Seeing the sheer number of headstones is both visually breathtaking and emotionally overwhelming.
I got back to the hotel just in time for our welcome reception last night. I met a lot of interesting people from all over the country. I'm really looking forward to getting to know them better over the remainder of the week. Some of us tried to go to a local Irish pub last night to celebrate St. Patty's day, but after seeing a ridiculously long line wrap around the building, we decided to grab a bite to eat somewhere else and call it a night.
Today, I heard several speakers and learned a lot about my role as a communicator. I think it's excellent that they offer things like this for those of us who are new to the industry. Not only are we learning valuable information, we're building a wonderful network of peers.
Well, it's time to wrap this up. I'm about to head out for a tour of the FDR Memorial and dinner at Union Station. Stay tuned for more updates...
Hope y'all are having a fantastic week!
Oh... check out my new friend:
Ha!! The squirrels here are very.... friendly. I was sitting on the bench eating a cookie and apparently this guy wanted a bite.