Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm leaching internet from a hotel I'm not staying at. Charlotte, Day 1

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
5pm EST

It's Tuesday afternoon. Here I am in Charlotte. Le sigh. The two hours I've been here have been dragging on, and I can only imagine how long it's going to take to get to Saturday. OMG. I arrived in North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, and I spent through Tuesday lunch with my friend Lisa, her husband, and their two kids (ages 1 1/2 and 3 weeks). It was fantastic. It was slow-paced and full of baby time. We ate ice cream, drank coffee, and cuddled their kids. Plus, I even found a Cubs game on tv.

Now, I'm in Charlotte, were I'll be for a national work conference. Ho hum. I'm staying at a posh hotel for a good rate, which work is paying (trust me...when a guy inquired about a room while I was checking in, I heard the average room rate is something like $300+. Yikes!). And, for all the money they pull into this hotel, nothing's free. I don't have a fridge in my room, and there's no microwave available in the hotel for guest use. I asked. An ethernet cable has been provided for my laptop, but it costs $10 per day (24 hour period) for internet access in the hotel). I'll be spending a lot of time at the chain coffee shop down the block, where I'll drink too much coffee while I check my email. And breakfast? At that coffee shop, too, or the Pop Tarts I bought at the tiny drug store up the road. There's no continental breakfast at Posh Hotel. Again with the endless cups of coffee, where I can get a bagel for less than $5. Oh, sorry, I was mistaken; bagels are $3.25 from Room Service.

After doing a little unpacking and hanging up my business casual wear for the conference, I headed the two blocks down to the convention center hosting the conference, where they're also having a trade show. I walked through the damn lobby three times before I figured out that the "registration foyer" where my registration took place was on the SECOND floor. (Counter-intuitive much?) No signs. And did I mention I requested conference material in large print...my conference packet is in regular-size font.

Plus, it's like a million humid degrees here. Where Lisa and her babies aren't. Where my lovely girlfriend is not.

And I've been told by my lovely girlfriend there's no point getting on the damn internet; all the Harry Potter spoilers are out there. Goddamn. Getting on the internet was one of the few things I had to look forward to tonight.

There is a little reception happening at the convention center this evening, but I think I'm going to pass. I don't know anyone here (yet), and I hate mingling with strangers. I'm not sure the free food is even much of a trade off.

After all, I have my Pop Tarts.

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