Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Orlando

Okay, so I didn't go to the gym.  I enjoyed sleeping entirely too much to work out.  I didn't make my step goal two days.  It was hard since I was sitting for 8 hours three days in a row.

The travel itself was SUPER easy.  I checked both of my bags, so all I had to tote around was my small carry-on shoulder bag of entertainment.  A few days before we left, one of my co-workers recommended downloading a movie to my iPad to watch on the plane.  The concept of having to entertain myself had never entered my head.  So on the flight to Orlando, I watched Snow White and the Huntsman.  I thought it was pretty good.  I was worried about it since Kristen Stewart only seems capable of grimacing these days.

I flew on the same flight with 3 of my co-workers, so we all carpooled in a taxi to our hotel.  We stayed at a Hilton, so it was really fancy.  I had a room to myself, so I immediately unpacked everything after checking in.  After my first night there, I was ecstatic when I got back to my room to find the bathroom cleaned up and my bed made.  Housekeeping!  I totally forgot about housekeeping!  That's a luxury I miss most.  

There were many times I think they went overboard with the tidiness.  There were no trash cans in the conference.  There were hotel employees walking around constantly taking people's trash or finished plates.  We had a 15 minute coffee break in the morning and afternoon.  Every time I was at the coffee table, I felt like I was waiting for the employees to finish wiping up a drip of coffee, or grabbing someone's discarded sugar packet.  We're only out for 15 minutes!  This can't wait??

Also funny - they folded all paper products.  The toilet paper was folded into a triangle point.  They must have someone walk through the bathroom every hour or so because every time we had a bathroom break, the toilet rolls were folded again.  The tissue paper dispensers had tissues fluffed to look like a flower on top.  The paper towels were folded neatly.  It was nutso.

The hotel and conference center was on Disney property, so I could see Downtown Disney from my room.

In the evenings I hung out with various members of my group.  The first two nights we went to Downtown Disney for dinner. The third night we stayed at the hotel and had sushi.  The last night, I went with some new friends I made at the New Member Meeting and Opening Session (for the rest of the conference) to Universal City Walk for dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.

The landscape was beautiful - this golf course was visible from the foyer where we ate lunch.

The pool had a lazy river, a giant slide and beach-like access.  Bummed I never had a chance to take a dip.

One of my friends called this the Torture Conference.  There were all these beautiful views outside each window, but I barely got to go out and touch it.  HA.  Maybe I will find more time when I go back for another conference in February.

The pre-conference itself was great. After this trip, I am confident in saying biosafety is where I belong.  I am honestly interested in what this job entails.  I am so glad I found my niche.  I thought the classes were interesting.  The only one that didn't grab me was Fundamentals of Biosafety, but that's only because it was old news to me.  I already knew everything they talked about in that class.  !!!  How fantastic is that?

The whole thing was great for networking.  I met lots of people at facilities we have to deal with frequently.  It was interesting to talk to people who have a similar job position to me, but have a different role based on what their institution specialized in.  The whole thing was a great experience.

The one thing is I missed my family dearly.  I talked to Travis every day, but there were a couple nights I didn't get to talk to Aiden because I wasn't available until after his bedtime.  I was thrilled we got to talk via FaceTime twice (hooray for free wi-fi).  Travis kept the kids alive and the house intact.  In fact, he even got out of the house with them over the weekend.

The spent Saturday morning at Froberg's Farm, a farmer's market.  You can barely see it, but Aiden has a toothpick hanging from his mouth. 

They picked up pumpkins that we are planning to carve this week.

Travis got a lot done really.  He took Friday off and got new tires put on his truck.  Then in the afternoon he had professional cleaners spruce up our carpets.  They look FANTASTIC.  I came home to a clean car and a full gas tank as well!  Travis was even able to find time to purchase a new pair of sneakers for himself.


I had fun, but it's nice to be home.

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