I’m writing this blog from 35,000 feet, in aisle 9, seat A of a Southwest flight from Chicago to Las Vegas (where I’ll transfer to a flight to Burbank and home). Sleeping in aisle 9, seat B is our own Robert Gregory Browne. No snoring as of yet, thankfully. It’s Tuesday, two days ago.
We are returning from a week long trip back east, first to Columbus, Ohio, to the RT Booklover’s Conference, and then a couple days in Chicago where we visited good friends Tasha Alexander and Andrew Grant, and had lunch with the wonderful Dana Litoff.
I’m wiped, really and truly wiped. Conferences have a way of doing that to me. They are fun, entertaining, educational, etc., etc., etc. But they can also drain every last ounce of strength from me. I know that going in. I expect it, and yet I’m always surprised by just how tired I feel afterward.
This was my first time at RT, and I have to say it will not be my last. It was an excellent conference, and I got a look at a part of the book world I hadn’t been exposed to before.
Like most conferences, I seldom left the event location. And to make things even easier, the Columbus Conference center is connected directly to the conference hotel, so I seldom even stepped outside.
Sorry, Columbus, my only view of you was basically from the window of my taxi to and from the airport. You looked like a nice place to visit, but I really can’t say that I was there. If I did, it wouldn’t be fair to you. You’re conference center is nice, though. Good job!
I guess that might be my problem with a lot of conferences. Change the name on the airport, and the building on the ride to the hotel, but otherwise it’s the same location-wise.
Don’t get me wrong I love conferences. I’ll continue going to them. But as a diehard traveler, I like to get to know the places I go. Usually this means wandering around the city, and soaking it in. Unfortunately, conferences take up most of an attendee’s time, and even if there are a few hours here and there, you want that time to rest up, or, as I was forced to do on this past trip, sneak away to your room to get a few hours in on your revisions.
Yeah, I know. I could come in a day or two early, but, often, that would probably be cutting into my writing schedule. And, like it or not, I have deadlines I have to meet. (I like it.) Staying a few days after is not an option as all I would want to do is stay in my room and sleep. (Yeah, I know I stopped off in Chicago this time on the way home, but you can ask the others…we all did a lot of sitting around talking and watching Firefly…which was about all I could handle and exactly what I needed…FYI, I love Firefly…LOVE. IT.)
I’m not complaining. What I’m actually trying to do is apologize to cities like Columbus and Baltimore and Madison and even Chicago. Wish I knew you better, and maybe someday I will. And to all those future conference cities, a little I’m-sorry-ahead-of-time because chances are I’m not going to get to know you either.
Okay, the flight attendants are bringing out the free drinks, and, believe it or not, I need to put in a little mid-air time on my revisions, so I’ll leave you with this image:
Let’s do a little game of travel ranking:
A) Favorite/least favorite airline.
B) Best/worst trip you’ve ever taken.
C) Dream vacation spot.
I’ll start –
Airline Favorites: Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, and domestically I’m going to have to give a nod to Southwest strictly on the no fees for check bag thing alone.
Airline Not-so-favorites: Most of the other U.S. domestic airlines
Best Trip: Five months traveling around Europe when I was twenty. Outstanding.
Worst: Hmmm…I tend to find something to enjoy on most of my trips…so I don’t actually know.
Dream vacation spot: Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. No cars, no real motor vehicles at all. Just beach and laid-back hotels and open air bars. Bliss.