Monday, March 11, 2013


Alternately titled: the many ways in which I can embarrass myself publicly.
Alternate alternate title: why I should not be allowed to leave the house.

A few months ago, I applied to go to a conference. Then I forgot that I applied to go to it until I got the email saying that I was accepted. I didn't entirely forget, I just did that thing where you don't think about something until it comes along and then you're like, "Oh hey, that!" The conference had to do with test setting and I can't really say more than that since it had to with testing and testing has to be confidential. Also, the only people who would find it vaguely interesting would be the two people who read my blog who are also educators. Even that is questionable. (Actually, it was very interesting, but I enjoy this kind of thing.)

At first, I thought I was going to have to leave very early in the morning to make it down to Indianapolis for the conference and I was all, "Way to sign yourself up for this, genius." But then, I actually read the email and realized that since I live more than 50 miles away, they would pay for a hotel room where the conference was being held. That's the point where I emailed Shane and was like, "HAVE FUN WITH THE KIDS." Actually, we considered all going together and Shane would take the boys to the Children's Museum, but Luke has perfect attendance in school so far and we hated to pull him out. It was decided that I would go alone, at which point I sent Shane the aforementioned email and selected that I would like a room with a king sized bed.

Truthfully, I've never been away from my kids AND my husband all at once. I've always had one or the other with me, so even though I was looking forward to it, I kind of wasn't... because I knew I would miss them. Still, king sized bed. I didn't know anyone else who was going (it turns out that I did, but I didn't see her until the meeting in the morning), so when I got down to Indy, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. I had no husband! No kids! Who was I? So, I walked around and took pictures of buildings and tried to find an open restaurant.

Apparently I was walking the wrong way because I couldn't find any open restaurants. I did find a candy shop, where I bought Pez for my children and Keli's. I walked some more, but it started to rain and also, my feet are jerks so I didn't want to accidentally anger them by walking too much, so I headed back to the hotel. I thought I would get something at the in-hotel Starbucks, but that apparently closed at 1PM, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE. I looked at the room service menu, but paying extra for food to be brought to your room is kind of dumb and also, you can't get drink refills on room service. This was my main reason. Thus, I decided to head down to the bar and grille in the hotel... which turned out to be fancier than I realized.

I was wearing flip flops and yoga pants. I was also the only person there and the helpful waiter/bartender directed me to a seat with a couch because he thought I'd be comfortable there. This is probably what they do to all people who walk in wearing yoga pants. He was right. I was quite comfortable. I've never eaten a meal alone. I actually really admire people who can do that, but I'm not that person. It would stand to reason that when I decided to be that person, I would be the only person in the restaurant and way underdressed.
I also ordered skirt steak with chimichurri and french onion soup, because me and my yoga pants were going to LIVE.IT.UP. Throughout this all, I was still the only person in the restaurant, which meant that I got amazingly good service. Finally, I decided that it was probably time to stop eating alone and headed back to my room.

I discovered that the phone charger I brought with me didn't work, so I realized that I was going to have to go out to the [scary] parking garage and plug my phone into my car overnight, otherwise it would be dead by morning. Only, when I got into the elevator, I couldn't find the button for the parking garage. There was no G button. This was perplexing because I knew that I went from the parking garage elevator directly into the hotel lobby. I knew it was possible, but it was like Narnia. The entrance to the parking garage had simply disappeared. I got off in the lobby and loitered around for a few minutes, until I saw a guy walk out a side door. I sidled after him and, ah ha! The parking garage. I was still perplexed as to how I got INTO the hotel before, but I found my car and plugged in my phone. Then? I took the elevator from the parking garage back to the 11th floor of the hotel where my room was.
The next morning, I packed up all of my things and decided to take everything to my car before the meeting. I got in the elevator and punched the lobby button at the same time as another guy who hit the 3rd floor button. And guess what? THE THIRD FLOOR IS THE PARKING GARAGE. Only it doesn't say that, so I guess you have to go to Narnia often to understand how this works. So then I was all, "Oh, huh, I was going to check out and THEN go to the parking garage, but I guess I'll just go to the parking garage first since we're stopping here!" to save face. At the meeting, the teacher next to me expressed her confusion and annoyance at the whole confusing parking garage situation, so thankfully, it wasn't just me. She said she asked the clerk in the lobby and he acted like she was dumb, so I'm glad that I just chose to stand around like a creeper.

The rest of the day went pretty normally. We had lunch on the 21st floor with a great view.
When I went to leave, I realized suddenly that I didn't remember carrying my coat downstairs that morning. In fact, I was pretty sure I hadn't. Still, I checked in my car to be sure and yeah, no coat. So I was that person who had to ask the front desk to call housekeeping because they left their coat. It's amazing how when we travel with the kids, I organize their things and mine without trouble, but send me off by myself and I forget how to navigate elevators and don't carry my coat!


TexasBobbi said...

Oh but a night of nice sleep.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I'm going to our state early childhood conference in april and i'm stocked. However, I'm going with coworkers and sharing a hotel room, but still, stoked!

mandorac said...

Glad you enjoyed your conference! I like downtown Indy. Much like you, though, I'd be at a loss without the hubs and in, I don't know what I'd do with myself. It sounds like you did quite well! I'm going to the adult prom in April...always a lot of fun. :))

tehamy said...

I adore eating alone! Once a month I take myself to lunch. I take my kindle, order a nice (for lunch) meal and just relax and read for 45 minutes. It was weird at first, but now it's fabulous and I look forward to it!

One crazed mommy said...

Gosh - now you have me scared. LOL! I'm going on a work trip (leaving today) for the first time since 2008...but, I am looking forward to sleeping with no kids, no hubby and no cats squished up against me! :)

Bari said...

I love traveling without my family because it's nice to get away, but I hate eating in restaurants alone.

Julie said...

I want your running dialogue on swizzle stick confusion more often. :-)

Lyndsay said...

90% of my solo-trips have been for medical appointments with my foot/ankle surgeon on the side of the country. I don't have to make the trips anymore (we finally have a f/a surgeon in our city), but I did love those little getaways. Eating peanut M&Ms while I watched a movie on the plane... feeling all metropolitan and independent on the subway... watching chick flicks in bed...

Everything except eating dinner alone. Hated that part. I should have just ordered 3 bellinis. Good call.

The Newlyweds said...

swizzle stick...that sounded like a nice conference. Glad you got to go!

Crooked Eyebrow said...

not sure why it posted as the newlyweds...odd.


Kaycee said...

Interesting conferences are SO much better than the long pointless boring ones! Glad this one was good. Between the restaurant, the parking garage, and your coat it sounds like it was definitely an experience! :)