Thursday, September 6, 2012

The (New) Adventure Begins

The term “travel blog” sounds exciting, but really the interesting parts should be called the “being somewhere else blog.”  The actual travel part is really boring.  Today involved a 3 a.m. alarm clock, a four-hour flight, juggling of suitcases and the kind of not-yet-organized system of finding things at a moment’s notice in one of the many pockets in my bag.  My deepest thoughts while traveling:
  • If anyone every analyzed food from American airports, they’d never again worry about what I ate in foreign countries.  There was an egg salad situation today that may or may not have been a biohazard.
  • Shuttles are worth it.  $40 bought me curb pickup and a direct trip from Baltimore to the front door of my hotel near Dupont Circle.  I might never do that plane-to-bus-to-train-to-metro system from BWI again.
  • College students are young.

That last one is odd, of course, but I had a depressing moment this afternoon when a student in the GWU bookstore called me “ma’am.” Seriously?!  I got over it because I found what I was searching for: a folder that I could take with me to all the meetings on this trip.  I forgot to bring the one I have at home but this was a great excuse to buy the one I really wanted with the GWU logo.

I’ve survived the biggest blind date of my life: meeting the other five people who will travel with me.  Anyone who knows me understands my attitude toward group travel, but these people are going to be very, very fun.  And after all the friendships I made on the mass-travel Cuba trip, I may have to rethink my bad attitude toward fellow travelers altogether. 

Tonight we ate at a southern seafood restaurant, a DC experience complete with the requisite four-block walk.  (It seems that absolutely everything in “my” city is four blocks away, no matter where you are or where you’re going.)  I’m always amazed how things grow here – flowers, trees, knowledge….it all thrives in DC. 

Now dinner is done, our unbelievably long day of work and travel is ahead and I’m winding down trying to decide if I’d rather watch political speeches on CNN or home decorating shows on TLC.  Life with hotel cable is full of so many difficult decisions.

The hotel we’re in is lovely and everyone who works here is so friendly and interested in where I’m from, I feel like I’m back in Havana.  There's free wi-fi in the lobby and I'm enjoying the chance to eavesdrop on the conversations around me - this is a business hotel and there are groups of many industries represented in every elevator and seating area.  And every time I get on or off the elevator, there’s a light that shines the phrase “Live to Discover” onto the floor.

Sounds about right.

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