I'm now in Chicago, changing gears for the American Library Association. I'll share more about the Smart Marriages conference later. But for now, I'll share a bit about my crazy day.
6:00am - woke up to be ready for interfaith chapel service at 7:45am
7:45am - realized that today is Saturday, not Sunday. Oops. The first session doesn't start until 8:30am.
7:50am - filled out order form for CDs of Z author sessions. Found a couple I wanted for myself.
8:00am - realized I forgot my debit card in my room.
8:05am - returned to my room to retrieve card. realized that checkout time was at noon, not 2pm. Oops...haven't packed yet.
8:15am - returned to CD table. Nice man let me get the multi-purchase discount, and pay separately for work and personal selections.
8:30am - decide to take one last tour of the exhibits
9:30am - Oops...a few conversations later I realized I missed the opening season.
9:35am - return to room to start packing
10:00am - back downstairs (27 flights, switch elevators, walk across skywalk to convention center, up the escalator, down the hall).
11:30am - leave session early to finish packing and check out.
12:15am - all checked out! back to the convention center (across the skywalk...) to grab a boxed lunch and say good bye to a few folks.
1:00pm - find a couch to sit, read the last 2 days worth of news, eat lunch and wait for my ride. My ride is my friend (and former roommate) Sue, who lives in Dallas. We haven't seen each other for 6 years.
1:30pm - Sue arrives. She looks exactly the same! Feels like no time has passed. We set up in search of a store to solve a fashion emergency. We take a "scenic" route. All is well, I see the 6th floor book depository. We took a wrong turn. I see the 6th floor book depository again. We suspect we're close to Neiman Marcus. We park in the ramp across the street. We take the wrong stairs down. Old, spider webs everywhere...a bit scary. Back up the stairs and out the other way. Neiman Marcus! $60 later (OY!), all is well.
2:10pm - We decide to hit Starbucks...which closed at 2pm...on a Saturday...downtown Dallas. Go figure. We decide to head to the airport.
2:20pm - Bad accident. 3 miles in 30 minutes.
2:50pm - 3 miles later
3;10pm - What's that? A sign directing us to the airport!!
3:30pm - Our visit is much too short. And very eventful. Some things never change! I check my bags and head to my gate.
3:45pm - Stop for refreshing beverage.
3:55pm - Bumped by passerby. Refreshing beverage refreshing the front of my shirt.
4:10pm - Emerge from ladies room...Looking refreshed.
4:15pm - Find gate. Sit down. Ahhhhh.....
4:30pm - Board plane. Promptly fall asleep.
5:30pm - Wake up, move to an empty row and get a little work done.
6:30pm - battery dies (how did that happen?!). Pull out Blue Like Jazz.
7:30pm - arrive safely in Chicago.
8:00pm - Bond with plane mates. Still wondering if our luggage has arrived. (Made friends with future Generation Ex readers).
8:20pm - Luggage found at different carousel. Change never made on the board. Oops.
8:30pm - Share cab with a few others and head downtown to the Renaissance. It's the first time I'm in a cab with a DVD. Saw a good 30 minutes of Hitch. Still a funny movie.
9:15pm - Arrive at Renaissance. WOW...nice lobby. Approach front desk. "We're sorry, Ms. Abbas. We overbooked. But don't worry. We've made arrangements for you at the Four Seasons on our tab. A cab is waiting to take you there."
9:30pm - Talking to co-worker (who got the last room at the Renaissance. A suite!). BUMP! Another taxi door opens and my cab hits them. We're close to the Four Season so I get out and meet the bell hop. Bye luggage, I sure hope I see you again.
9:35pm - I'm escorted to the 7th floor to check in. I am escorted to my very nice room and my new friend shows me around. "Let me refresh your ice, Ms. Abbas." "May I take your clothes for ironing, Ms. Abbas?" "Would you like to dine in or have the concierge arrange for your reservations on the town, Ms. Abbas?"
10:10am - Enjoying one of the best steaks ever, sitting on my 500-million count sheets in my terry robe. Life is good.