Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something happened on the way to Chicago

  1. I (almost) had a meltdown. It was one of those "I'm fat, ugly, and have nothing to wear" meltdowns, coupled with a toddler-like kicking and screaming of "Noooo! Noooo! Noooo! I don't want to go and network and be all schmoozy" - and mashed-up with a healthy dose of mommy hormones - just the thought of not smelling Daisy's little head first thing in the morning and last thing at night, had me on the verge of blubbing.
  2. I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm was due to go off at 4am but then managed to sleep through it for 30 minutes, making me a half hour behind schedule.
  3. I missed the freeway exit to Sacramento airport because I was zoned-out listening to an NPR story. Again, making me even later.
  4. The Day Parking for my terminal was closed, forcing me to race, with luggage, on foot from one terminal to the other. Again, making me late-late-later! (Although I made the flight... barely.)
  5. I had the taxi ride from H-E-L-L from the airport to the hotel. Instead of friendly Chicago Cabby I got a mute, Kamikaze Asian dude with a beanie. Even with my significant tolerance for speed, this guy sent my heart-rate through the roof, doing 100 down freeway exits and ducking-and-diving with alarmingly wild movements between cars, reminiscent of 007 escaping the KGB,
Then I got in town, unpacked my suitcase, set-up my little exhibitor table, downed a glass of Chardonnay, and headed-out for a shopping trip in the city. There is nothing like walking in a big city to snap me right out of a funk. Add to that SHOPPING and it was a recipe for afternoon bliss.

Deep breath and E-X-H-A-L-E.

I didn't bring the big camera but I did remember my trusty little point-and-shoot. Here are some cityscape pics I snapped on-the-fly and on the way to Loehmanns.





Then it was game-face on and off to schmoozey-woozey at the networking reception slash cocktail hour. Three hours of mindless small talk and repetitive sales pitches later and I was sitting comfortably with my good friend, Kim (who is in the same industry and at the same conference with her company) in the lobby bar, drinking a Lemon Drop martini.

Our goal was to have one cocktail and then retire to bed. Yeah, weeeeell, that didn't happen. First we chatted with Kim's boss, then one of my competitors sat down for a chat (we talked kids and families, not business, thank God) and then, before we knew it, we were on cocktail #2.

A little light-headed, we decided go back to our room and then, we looked at one another and confessed we were starving hungry. It was now midnight and only in a large city can you find good food at midnight. But find it we did, at Smith and Wolensky, right on the river. There we chowed on pretzel bread with butter, to-die-for Mac and Cheese with truffles, and a yummy flat bread pizza-type thing. By which time we were lapping up this whole crazy post-drinking, city-supper thing and HAD TO try the Drunken Donuts which were, exactly as they sound: donuts with alcohol saucies. Delish!

It was 1:30am when I crawled into bed. Kim had to be up for a 7am working breakfast (oy vey) and I wasn't far behind. It was brutal, let me tell ya, BRUTAL, being woken up by the room-service coffee I ordered at 6:45.

Two more days of this folks and I won't even have the energy to melt down.

2 comments:

CGBCYouth said...

Wish I could visit Chicago someday too...but I'll be in NYC so that's not bad either. I will not, however, drink myself silly since I still get to smell my kids' hair, morning and night...

e said...

You have to -- HAVE TO -- sneak out one afternoon, ditch the conference, and take more photos. Do it! Man, I want to visit Chitown.

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