Tag Archives: road trip

That could have gone better

The trip to Elko itself?  Very nice.  We had a good time with Kile’s family.  Sunday was a big highlight for me, as the day was practically CROWDED with good times.  I love days that are crowded with good times.

But, and of course there is a but because that is exactly the sort of luck I have, it wasn’t perfect.  By a long shot.  Because I neglect my health.  In this particular case?  My dental health.  I’ve mentioned before that I need some work done on some teeth.  And that I’ve been clenching my jaw at night causing already unhappy teeth to be even unhappier.  But it was never a major problem and as such, was easy to ignore.

Hoo boy.  Folks?  Don’t ignore pain when it involves your teeth.  I know, I know.  Smarter, prettier and awesomer people than I have said this.  At the time that I read that post, I had pain.  But it wasn’t OMGKILLMENOW pain.  And while I knew that I was glimpsing down the road at my future, I still ignored my own pain.  Because, hello? DENTIST.  Nuh-uh.  I can be an immature brat when I wanna be and when it comes to the dentist, I am an immature brat of monstrous proportions.

So when I tell you that Sunday afternoon I said, “FINE, take me to a dentist and have them KILL IT,” that should tell you how bad it was.

Of course, in full accordance with Murphy’s Law, this pain didn’t really set in until we left town on Saturday.  As we drove towards Elko, the pain in my jaw persisted.  This was aggravating because I had taken four (count em': FOUR) ibuprofen before leaving home for this very reason.  And to have those FOUR ibuprofen not do diddly?   GAHHHH!

We arrived in Elko in good time, but not in good spirits.  Besides my pain, the kids had been horrid.  Mostly: Liam had been horrid.  Letting him out to run and play at McDonald’s in Winnemucca had helped substantially.  But the fact remains that when Liam is bored, he is ornery.  And he was very bored. (Note to self: next car MUST have a dvd player.)  So to say we were frazzled is probably a big understatement.  And my jaw… oh my jaw.  OH MY JAW.  I took more ibuprofen.  I applied a heated gel pack.  Rinse and repeat for the next several days.

Have you ever tried to knit and hold a hot pad on your face at the same time?  Probably not.  Because it can’t be done.  So I did get SOME knitting done.  But not anywhere near what I wanted to get done.  But it is what it is.  And I could live with it if it meant no more stabbing pain in my jaw.  Yep, we’d progressed from ache to OMGKILLMENOW.  The combination of the ibuprofen and heat helped considerably, but nothing abated the pain entirely.

Of course, by the time I finally willing to give in on the whole dentist thing, the dentist was closed (this was a 7day place that was also open on Sundays).  So we resolved to call in the morning.  In the meantime, I wanted to enjoy the rest of my Valentine’s Day.  Kile took me out to a very nice dinner at the Nevada Dinner House, which we later learned had gotten a “bad rep” in town for the new management’s shake-up of the menu and prices and such. But we loved it.  In fact, we may like it even better now.  No, check that, we DO like it even better now.  I had a chicken parmigiana that puts all other chicken parmigiana’s to shame. TO SHAME.  It was so good.  And yeah, a little pricey.  But you get soup and bread and salad and Basque-style beans and french fries with your meal.  And all of it is DELICIOUS.  We even got some wine with our meal and we loved THAT so much that we bought a bottle to take home and enjoy on our anniversary this summer.   I’m so glad we picked there to eat.  Best meal I’ve had in a long time!

The next morning, Kile called the 7 day dentist place and they were booked.  They promised to call if there was a cancellation but I wasn’t going to hold my breath.  So he found another dentist who could fit us in at 4:30pm.  I wasn’t terribly encouraged since that was hours and hours and hours of pain pain pain away and being that was the end of the work day… what could they really do for me in a half hour?  Kile and I both predicted pain killers and antibiotics.

Which… is what happened.  BUT… I think that would have happened at 9:30am too.  Because my tooth is alllll messed up.  (For the record, its the back tooth on the lower left side of my jaw.)  The size and placement of the cavity meant that a root canal just wasn’t going to work.  There would be no where to put a crown that would be secure enough.  The dentist recommended extraction.  And I was all for it because OMGTHEPAIN.  But first we have to get rid of the infection down at the root of the tooth.  I won’t go into all the reasons why but suffice it to say, that it’s hard to kill pain on a tooth that’s infected.  And I’m all about killing the pain.  So antibiotics it is!

I knew better than to even TRY to Vicodin I was prescribed until bedtime.  This isn’t my first rodeo and be it Percoset or Vicodin, I have no business taking either of those when I expect to be upright and/or coherent.  I woke up in the middle of the night… or actually it was 4:30am but that’s just as well as the middle of the night to a non-morning person such as myself.  So I took another.  And I believe that was my fatal flaw.  Because when I woke up about 8am, I was still firmly in the grips of the Vicodin.  And I was still in the grips an hour and a half later when we hit the road and I discovered that I could not knit in the car while on Vicodin.  Possibly, I cannot knit NOT in the car while on Vicodin.  But in the car is a DEFINITE no no.  A few hot flashes later, Kile got me a sprite and I proceeded to slouch forward with my head in my hands until we got to Winnemucca.  This was around 11am at this point, for those of you who are keeping track.  Kile took the kids in to play, eat and run off steam and I stayed in the car.  To sleep.  And I did.  (Anyone who knows me is probably picking their jaw up off the floor because I do not sleep in cars.) (Ever.)  I woke up feeling a bit better and definitely determined to not let this get the better of me.  Kile grabbed me a plain McChicken sandwich and between that and my Sprite, I was able to get some food on my belly in hopes of getting my strength back.  But first, apparently, I needed to nap some more.  So I did.

I woke up some where between Lovelock and Fernley.  And felt much better.  So I was actually able to try to knit.  By the time we had passed Fernley, I felt almost my old self again.  You know, at nearly 2pm in the afternoon.  TWO O’CLOCK.  Over 9 hours after taking the last pill.  Are you KIDDING me?  A half hour or more after that, I started to feel pain in my jaw again.  That was some EVIL Vicodin.

So we’re home now.  And I’ve taken some ibuprofen like a a smart person would.  Kile, meanwhile, is having a procedure done on his varicose vein in his leg tomorrow and picked up a prescription for that this afternoon.  Included?  Vicodin.  I told him to RUN AWAY.  It’s up to him if he actually listens to me or not.  Let my experience be a lesson!  STAY AWAY FROM THE VICODIN!!

How on EARTH do people ever get addicted to this stuff?  I never want to take another one again as long as I LIVE.  One less thing to worry about, I guess.

Aaaaand…. Liam is being a jerk which must mean he’s bored.  So I better go attend to that.  Or wring his neck.  You know, one or the other.   I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day and that no one else is anticipating getting of their teeth yanked in the weeks ahead.  Cuz I’m pretty darn sure that’s not going to be any fun.

And… it’s Monday. Again.

We’re back from our last-minute trip to San Jose.  It was actually a rather pleasant trip, despite our reason for going being such a downer.  It was nice to see my BFF and her daughter (who I had not met yet, if you can believe it).   It was a nice visit with my parents, even though the chaos that the kids (and by kids, I mean LIAM) created.  And the kids did have a great time there.  Harry was constantly out back, either swimming in the non-heated pool (brr!) or riding his scooter around and around and around.  Liam slept in a big boy bed, just as he had on our Disney trip and did just fine (though having a hard time being put down at night, but that was mostly because of being in a strange place and wanting to stay up and par-tay).  Evie had a great time cruising around, trying to get in kitchen cabinets and banging her head on various unforgiving surfaces (she has the bruise on her forehead to prove it).

It was nice to come back home too, though.  It usually is, though our fondness was strictly limited to it being our home and our things and our routines and had NOTHING to do with being happy to see Reno.  Which we weren’t.  Our state of disgruntlement is growing.  I can only hope this means our time here is short.   I mean, Reno doesn’t even have an IKEA and that is just not right on so many levels.

But at least we have an In n’ Out.  So it’s not like we’re totally living in the dark ages or anything.

In other news…

Over the weekend I noticed my stomach would start to hurt every time I ate something.  I have no idea why this is, but I’m not happy about it either way.  Lets hope this is something that a) resolves itself quickly and b) doesn’t get worse.  Amen and thank you.

Noggin changed their name to Nick Jr. today and officially freaked me way out.  They can’t just make a change like that!  I need to be consulted!  My mind was officially blown when TWO WHOLE HOURS LATER I finally noticed.   Cough.

My fifteen year high school reunion was on Saturday.  I didn’t go because of a confluence of issues, not at all limited to the fact that I didn’t remember until the last minute and had no information on where it actually was being held and all that.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t look at myself in the mirror in utter disbelief that it has been fifteen whole years.  Where have I been?

Also: Evie is cute.  I just thought I should put that out there.

Okay, Monday is coming to a close so I should probably go ahead and post this before it becomes TUESDAY and my own blog post outdates itself.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a beer.

Much fun was had by all

We’re in the process of packing up the van so we can head back home (well, if I want to be totally honest, Kile is packing the van while I nurse Evie so she’ll sleep on the road).

It’s a bit later start than we’d usually like, but sometimes these things can’t be helped.

We had a great time this weekend. I got a LOT of knitting done, Harry worked on a lot of Cub Scout stuff with his uncle and cousins, Evie had an utterly fabulous birthday party and Liam threatened to send each and every one of us to the funny farm. All in all, I’d say it was a sucess.

Now we have a good five hour road trip ahead of us (lots more knitting!) before we’re back home. I’m always anxious to move forward; once the decision is made to go, I don’t like to dawdle.

At any rate, it’s about time to go. You all be good while I’m traveling, you hear?

Catching Up Via Pictures

Okay, so I have been a really, really, REALLY bad blogger.  Apparently once you miss one day of posting, it becomes insanely easy to miss MANY days of posting.  Of course, I did have the sorta excuse of being out of town all weekend. But… Still.  I should be better.

The good thing about being lazy blogger for a few days is that I have some stuff to talk about. So let’s see… where to start…

Plumish That there yarn I dyed looks almost professional.  Go me! I plan to do some more. This was achieved via Kool Aid, and no, it doesn’t make it sticky.  I’m going to try some Wilton’s food dye next, as I’ve heard that can come out pretty neat too.

IMG_0128 The Britax has landed!  It arrived just in time, on Thursday night, for our trip to San Jose on Friday.  The last I mentioned the Great Car Seat Decision of 2009, there was some expressions of incredulity at the price of a Britax carseat.  I know they’re expensive.  But I also know that expense is very much worth it to us.  With Harry, we had to save money and get a more inexpensive carseat.  I’ve had both kinds, and believe me, the Britax is WORTH IT.  Part of it is because it is soooooo much easier to install these properly and therefore more safely.  And the kids are a lot more comfortable in them.  And this particular seat we got will allow us to leave Liam harnessed until he’s 80lbs and used as a booster until 100lbs.  After all the videos I’ve seen on YouTube about toddlers in accidents where they aren’t harnessed?  YEAH.  No-brainer.  And?  We know they’ll last until we don’t need carseats anymore, which counts for a lot, because they’re quality made. Don’t knock them till you try them!  (Which isn’t to say that some less expensive seats aren’t safe, but you can never convince me that they’re as easy or as comfortable.  Trust me.  I’ve tried them ALL.)

IMG_0131 A diaper that, can you believe it, I don’t want.  I ended up selling this.  Ah well.  It paved the way for a diaper that I wanted more so in the end, it was all for the best.

Yarn! (PixUp) Look at all that yarn!  It was sent to me so I could knit some lovely things for some lovely people.  So sadly, it’s not MY yarn, but I do get to play with it.  I think I want to marry it.  LOL.  And even MORE came yesterday.  I’m a busy, busy girl!

IMG_0135 Yeah, there was snow on the summit when we drove over the mountain.  It was pretty!  And thankfully, not on the road!  It’s snowing here on and off today but nothing much is sticking.  C’est la vie.  So much for winter, eh?

IMG_0137 Liam and Evie had a good time at my parents’ house.  Evie enjoyed having another set of people to fawn over and her and to flirt with.  And Liam enjoyed the attention and the new surroundings to explore.  This was a rare moment where they both stopped their adventuring to watch a cartoon together.  It lasted approximately .15 seconds.

IMG_0143 This was also taken at my parents’ house.  It’s not that the brotherly love exhibited in this photo is that rare, but the PEACE is.  Notice: Harry is not climbing over the back of the couch and bellowing like a hellfiend and Liam is not screaming and running out of the frame.  I’ll take it.

IMG_0177 This is being knit from some of that yarn in the picture before.  I did most of this in the car to and from San Jose.  I tell you what, knitting is the PERFECT car activity because it makes the time just FLY by.  Anyhow, these are being knit for a wonderful gal who contacted me on Etsy.  And the yarn was doing a thing called “pooling” up near the top but I tried what I could to minimize it’s effects.  I hope to have these done in another day or so.

IMG_0148 Harry with two of his favorite things.  Pup and Rock Band.  And, oh yeah, he’s going to need braces.  GREAT.

IMG_0149 Liam got this hard hat with a construction truck set my parents got him as a gift.  He comes over to me about 10 times a day to ask me to put it on his head.

IMG_0163 I love when he does this.  He always carries that nasty dolphin around by the tail and when he’s feeling tender or mellow, he’ll rub the dolphin’s tale against his cheek.  It makes my heart swell when I see him do it and for a small moment in time, I can forget that the rest of the time he’s a tornado on legs.

IMG_0171-Edit And I’m finisheing with ME!  I’ve taken in the last day or so to putting my hair in pigtails.  It’s not quite long enough yet on the sides for a ponytail and the pig tails are both adorable (if I do say so myself) and keep my hair out of my face.  Bonus!  And no, I don’t have any idea why I have a pair of toddler socks in my front pocket.  I didn’t notice that until I was developing the picture in Lightroom.  D’oh!

En Route

It just figures that the FIRST time we try to leave town and go anywhere, it snows. And rains. We’ve had nothing but mild, temperate weather for WEEKS now. I’ve wanted snow fir AGES. And now we’ve got some. You know, when we want to drive over Donner Summit.

That sounds about right.

So we’re gonna be down in The Ho for a few days. I’ll try to post but I may be too busy. Plus, I have a LOT of knitting to do. Did you know that’s an excellent car trip activity?

Travelogue

You didn’t think i would forget to post today, did you?  Not after being conscientious enough to post every single day while we were in Elko using nothing more than my (supa-cool) iPhone?  Of course not!  But I wanted to post some pictures of what your average road trip between Elko and Reno looks like.  And of course I couldn’t just upload pictures STRAIGHT FROM THE iPHONE (because surely it didn’t work this last weekend).  So I had to wait until I got home and then I had to futz with the pictures in Lightroom (which wanted to be updated first).  And we needed dinner.  And now the kids want to go to bed.  So this is actually taking a lot longer than I expected.  Whoops.  Anyhow… here goes.  Be prepared for a lot of BROWN (and water, as it was a rather wet day here in Nevada).

Road Work
When ISN’T there road work going on in Nevada??

Traveling Beetoe
My traveling companion

Nevada Landscape
See? Lots of brown.

Common Sight
And lots of trucks.

Down the hill
Getting closer to Winnemucca

Winnemucca McDonald's
We ALWAYS stop here for a break. ALWAYS.

Raindrops
Lots of little raindrops on the windshield today.

Chilled out
Liam is content with his stuffed animals, sippy cup and cars.

Livestock
Moo!

True Midpoint
This truck stop is almost exactly halfway between Elko and Reno.

Snowy Mountains
Snow!

Ramshackle
This “building” looks more and more rundown each time we travel past it. Someday I’ll imagine it won’t be there anymore.

Truckin'
Once again… lots of trucks

Peeking Sun
This was the first and last time we saw the sun today.

I see the Sierras!
Our first glimpse of the Sierra Mountains since last week.

Reno, at last!
Yay! We can see Reno!

One last stretch
And up the interstate towards home… at last!

I get so emotional

(For the record, I’m still mourning the loss of my x, g and u keys.  If you see one of those letters missing in my post, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Oh, and the “shift” key is also a little wonky.)

Today is a frenetic day at the Slackermama household.  We’re packing up and leaving early this afternoon for a long weekend in Elko.  (Which reminds me… why is Veteran’s Day on TUESDAY this year and not Monday??)  I’m not taking my laptop with me, since the poor thing would probably spontaneously combust if I exposed it to any more stress.  Kile will have his laptop that I’ll be able to use if need be and I’ll of COURSE have my phone with me.  If I don’t fall off the NaBloPoMo wagon altogether, then there might just be some very short entries or entries compose entirely of images so be prepared.  I don’t know what the iPhone internet coverage is like in Elko, after all, and there might be no 3G or Edge to speak of.  Still, I’ll have my in-laws wireless so that’s SOMETHING.

On top of the cleaning and packing and laundry and packing and packing, I had a parent-teacher conference with Harry’s 3rd grade teacher this morning.  It went just about as I expected it would.  Harry is doing GREAT academically, testing at the top of his class in both Reading and Math.  Socially and emotionally, however… not so great.  He’s very sensitive and is prone to overreacting.  He also has problems with other kids and often takes disappointments and small diagreements far too personally.  She says that barely a day goes by that Harry doesn’t cry about something.  She did say that he has improved in the last month or so.  I told her not to hesitate to call me if she has any concerns.  Though, I’m not sure what I could do as we’ve dealt with the same issues here at home.  He’s a very rigid, very sensitive, very emotional little boy.

He’s not going to be little for much longer, either.  In fact, Monday he turns 9 years old.  NINE YEARS OLD.  I can hardly believe it.  I see pictures of him as a small boy, as a baby, and I just boggle at the boy he has become.  These 9 years have passed so quickly.  It makes me wonder what the next 9 years will hold.  Because 9 more years is about all we have with him.  Then he’ll be going to college and leaving us behind.

Happy Boy

Okay, NOW I’m depressed!  On that happy note… wish us happy travels!  I’ll let you know how the trip goes as soon as I can.

Virginia City with the In-Laws

As I mentioned last week, my in-laws came to stay with us on Thursday.  Luckily, we were able to get the house pretty much under control by then.  And I feel I should probably say again (though I have said it before) that I get along great with my in-laws.  I am really lucky in that regard.  So when they said they would be going to Virginia City on Friday afternoon and asked if me and the kids wanted to go along, well, sure I did!

I’d only been to Virginia City once before.  Kile and I had gone up for the day once when Harry was just a baby.  So I was interested to go back and see if it was like I remembered.  It’s an interesting town.  The entire village is a historical monument and is filled with Civil War Era homes and buildings and while there is a lot there that is falling down around the knees, it’s also got a lot of character.  It’s also VERY touristy.  For instance, the first shop we went into was a leather goods store that boasted everything they sold was $20 or less.  No foolin’!  (I almost bought a purse there.)

There are people who are paid to dress up in period-style costumes and walk the streets, talking to tourists and posing for pictures.  There’s a horse-drawn carriage for rides, a trolly car that drives around the various historical landmarks and more saloons in a one mile radius than I think I’ve ever seen before in my life.  Not only are there a lot of saloons, but there’s a lot of CANDY.  There are several shops devoted entirely to ice cream, candy, fudge or whatever else.  Most of the candy and fudge is made on the premises and I couldn’t resist getting a 1/2 pound of sinful peanut brittle for Kile.  We stopped for ice cream cones and Harry’s eyes about fell out of his head.  That was the highlight of his day, perhaps even his week.   The cones were amazing and even Liam loved sharing my strawberry cheesecake ice cream with me.

The kids were actually pretty well-behaved.  We left after a couple hours and drove back through Carson City on our way to Reno.  I sat in the back of my in-laws truck, between the two car seats and if I wasn’t getting smacked by Liam, I was getting clawed by Evie.  We had to pull off the road at one point so I could feed Evie, and I was impressed that she’d gone as long as she had before wanting to eat.  We met up with Kile and my sister-in-law’s family who had just gotten to town and had dinner at the Olive Garden.  Needless to say, it was a LONG day.  But fun was had and isn’t that the point?

While you wait!
This is the place to get a beaver felt custom made hat while you wait

Bell Tower
Lots of museums in this town too.  But oh, the brick is so pretty.

For Brit
I saw this and thought of a particular someone.

Ponderosa Saloon
Harry desperately had to use the bathroom so we stopped at this saloon to use their facilities.  They had lots of grisly paintings on the wall.  Like this one.

Church
An absolutely gorgeous church.

Busted
Harry got busted.  Interestingly enough, they let him keep his ice cream cone.

Riiiiiight
Do I buy it?  Not for all the gold in Virginia City.

The view goes on and on
Quite the view.

Main Street, Virginia City
It really is a cute little town.  I’d like to have a decent camera and spend a day there sometime.

She had fun
Evie enjoyed herself too.

Day Trip With The In-Laws

I haven’t had much computer time today, but here is a little peek at what I’ve been up to with my in-laws today. I’ll follow with more pictures and the rest of the story soon. I know you’re all probably waiting with bated breath. (is it too late to insert sarcasm?). I’m writing this on my iPhone in the back of my in-laws truck, squeezed between two car seats (and subsequently trapped), with Liam screaming in my ear so I had better cut this short. Mwah!

BlogHer 08: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Before I get into what will most certainly be a long-winded and winding post, I want to say ahead of time that the people this year at BlogHer were fabulous.  And that it really looks like a lot of people had a really awesome time.  I had my own little set of issues this year but even so, there was a lot to love this year (even though the title of this post might suggest the contrary).

The Good

  • The Westin is a tip-top sort of hotel.  The room… it was FABLOUS.  I wish I had taken pictures.  It was beautiful.  White sheets, white bedspread, 10 foot ceilings, recessed paneling, floor length windows, sparkling chandeliers, glass doorknobs, plasma tv… it was plush, plush, PLUSH.  Easily the nicest hotel I think I’ve ever stayed in.  I loved that room.  And the Heavenly Bed?  Was not an exaggeration.  It was HEAVENLY.  I think I died in that bed.
  • The childcare.  KiddieCorps really did a great job with the kids.  Liam had a BLAST over there and I don’t think he missed us one tiny bit while he was in there.  They had games, movies, snacks… and a pretty much endless supply of chocolate milk.  They even took Liam down to meet GROVER (which his no-count mother couldn’t even manage to do).  When we realized we’d left Liam’s diapers in the valet-parked van, they generously and awesomely told us it was no problem and covered Liam’s diaper-shortage.
  • All the fabulous women that I got a chance to meet or reconnect with.  I’m not going to link them here because I do hope to do a links post at some point in time.  But seriously.  I got some big time warm fuzzies from some of you all and I puffy pink heart every single one of you.  If anything, I’m severely depressed that I didn’t get more time to spend with you, slobbering all over your (fabulous) shoes.
  • The swag.  There was some GREAT swag this year!  I mean, no, I didn’t get any laptop or Wii Fit or cameras or anything like that BUT… I got some great stuff regardless.  My kids loved the stuff that I brought home for them (Harry is a particular fan of the Magic 8 Ball and the bracelet/zip drive from PBS Kids).  I haven’t even had a real good chance to go through it all and see what all is there, but I love the tote bag and the Zazzle suite (where we could drop off what we didn’t want, pick up what others don’t want, etc) was a GREAT idea.  Since I didn’t need to worry about packing restrictions this year, I stopped by there and grabbed some extra goodies.  I even managed to get a go at the “Swag Suite” before we left and got all sorts of nifty stuff up there too.  And even then, I know I only got a small portion of the swag available this year.  It was amazing.  God bless the swag!
  • The Community Keynote.  So I may not have been able to go to a lot of sessions or do a lot of fun things at BlogHer this year (I missed the CheeseburgHer Party too!), but I did make most of the Community Keynote and it was AWESOME.  It was the single-most inspiring moment of the conference for me.  Listening to all those awesome women read their awesome blog posts aloud in front of that jam-packed room really brought it home to me WHY I do what I do with this blog.  What it’s all about, and how my little blog posts can change my life (if not anyone elses).  I laughed, I cried…  it was all kinds of awesome and I hope they do this every year from here on out.

The Bad

  • The food.  Now, I hate to complain because most everything was just awesome, but the food this year pretty much sucked.  I know I’m not the only one who thought so.  There was more than one grumble about the lack of bacon in the morning (it was more of a continental breakfast than anything else) and the lunches were pre-packaged sandwhiches or salads.  The only problem with that being that they disappeared like freakin’ HOTCAKES.  Apparently.  The first day, Evie was a ticking time bomb after my session finished so I had to take her up to the room to nurse her and hopefully get her to lay down and nap for a while.  By the time I was finished woo-ing her to sleep and got downstairs, the last of the lunches had been passed out.  GAH.  Thankfully, some awesome women took pity on me and took me out for a hamburger.  Otherwise, I may have very well starved to death.  I heard good things about the snacks, but the meals left something to be desired.
  • The “Lactation Lounge” was about a joke.  Seriously, it was a room with a round table and some chairs.  They had water bottles and glasses, at least, but the set up was not very inspiring for us lactate-rs.  The doors were also wide open all the time so if anyone was feeling particularly modest or had an easily distracted child, it wasn’t very private or quiet either.  Maybe next year they could have a sofa or glider or something?
  • The Westin was a pretty confusing place.  Shoot, they handed us maps of the place and I could still barely find my way around.  It took me half of the first day to even find out where all the mommy blogging sessions were at because I kept thinking that they were on the third floor when in fact they were on the first floor.  Seriously, I’m good at directions and reading maps and looking at the map on our agenda often made it HARDER for me to find where I was going.
  • Temperatures.  And this is inside the Westin, mind you.  One minute it would be freezing, the next it would be stuffy and stifling.  You never knew what you were going to get. (For the record, the lactation lounge was pretty much always FREEZING.)  There didn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it either.  Maybe someone else has some insight?
  • PARKING.  OMG.  We wouldn’t have had to leave early if it hadn’t been for the parking situation.  Perhaps next year find out if there is a way to include overnight parking in the cost of the room?  Or warn us ahead of time that it isn’t included?  Because finding out the next day that it cost us $50 to have our van valet parked overnight even though we were hotel guests was pretty crappy.  And a huge part of the reason we ended up leaving early.  Even better, work out a deal ahead of time with the hotel where conference participants can either check out later or at least keep their vehicles there later.  That would have been UBER helpful.  I know this is S.F. and parking is at a premium, but STILL.
  • I didn’t hand out nor recieve NEAR as many business cards as I would have liked.  DANGIT.  EVERY YEAR it’s the same old story.  Next year, I want a bag I have to drag home overflowing with other people’s business cards.  I’m so not even kidding.

The Ugly

  • There wasn’t a lot that was ugly this year.  NO, I’M SERIOUS.  No one was a total ass, that I know of.  No one was mean or rude or awful to me (that I know of).
  • In fact, the only thing ugly was me not meeting everyone I wanted to meet.  I’m still excited by all the people I actually DID meet (Redneck MommyBackpacking Dad! Boobs, Injuries and Dr. PepperKristen from Better Now!) but so sad by the ones that I didn’t (far too many to mention here and if I do it’s only going to make me feel depressed again).

So that’s it.  I think.  I’m almost certain that I’m leaving all sorts of stuff out here.  It really was an amazing trip and my head is still swimming with it all.  I wish I could have stayed there several more days at least and just soaked it all in.  Elisa, Jory and Lisa all put on a FABULOUS event.  And I truly am grateful that I was able to be a part of it.

Coming up: My session and how people who leave in the middle can make an introvert think she must be a leper AND a big round up of all the cards I received from people including LINKS LINKS LINKS!  Good times will be had by ALL!