It’s now the middle of the BlogHer 2011 conference. I’m kicking back writing this post in my lovely large room in the Marriott Marquis San Diego. Even if I were dog sick, the view of the sparkling bay from my windows would warm my heart and make much of the trouble of getting here worth it.
So here’s how I got here:
Leaving the House
That’s harder than it sounds when I’m traveling alone with my chronic pain. I’ve taken six trips by myself in 2011, and I’ve left the house late for every damn one of them. Why? Because I’m scared. Always.
I don’t know if that fear will ever fade completely. It’s hard to do this–to set out by myself, knowing that I’ve got limits and that if I overstep I can get into pretty big trouble. It’s hard to do this, knowing for sure that it’s going to hurt.
But I always do make it out the door. And it’s always worth it, even when things go wrong on the road.
Making Transit as Easy as Possible
I almost always weasel my fiance into driving me to the airport. It’s cheap and it’s convenient. (For me, not for him.)
To be nice to him, and to me, I try to fly on “off-hours”–that is, between the hours of 10am-4pm on Mon-Thurs. Those are the dead hours at almost every airport–counter lines are shorter, security lines are shorter, and traffic to and from the airport is minimal.
This trip, I elected to forgo the wheelchair because I was feeling pretty good. That turned out to be a mild mistake, but more on that later.
I checked my bag, made it through security, and got onto the plane. I pretty much got on last and because Southwest is first-come, best-seats, that meant a middle seat that was actually farther forward than I expected. That’s okay on a one-hour flight. If I’d been flying to New York, I would have made a huge effort to board earlier so I could get an aisle seat, so I could have easiest bathroom access.
Leaving My Kindle on the Plane
Before exiting the plane, make sure you haven’t left anything–especially expensive electronics–stuffed into the seat pocket where you can’t see it. ‘Cause forgetting my fabulous Kindle that was a gift from your family last Christmas on a plane made me feel really stupid.
Picking Up My Bag
San Diego International loses a point for belching the bags from my flight up onto two different carousels. Jeez.
But I found my bag. Win!
If I’d been feeling lousy, I would have asked someone to help me heave the bag off the carousel. The wheelchair attendant will do this. So will most nice folks standing next to me, if I ask politely.
Getting Ground Transport
First I checked with the Information Desk to see if my hotel had an airport shuttle. It didn’t.
So I asked where the taxi stand was, walked to it, and was whisked off to the Marriott. It cost about $12.50 to get from the airport to the Convention Center/Marriott, if you’re interested.
Checking in to the Hotel
Usually there’s not a huge line at the hotel check-in desk. BlogHer is a whackin’ big con. I became nervous standing in line, because I was post-travel and starting to feel it, and standing in line hurts the most. I emphatically did NOT want to start my time at BlogHer by collapsing in a heap on the floor in front of two hundred conference attendees.
So I distracted myself by chatting up the two women behind me in line. Made first business card exchange before even checking in.
Also, I didn’t collapse in a heap. Win!
I went up to my room, realized the Kindle was gone, called the airline, took pictures of the gorgeous view out my window, flopped down on the bed, and laid there for about 3 hours.
I do that even when I’m not busy beating myself up about losing my Kindle. Even a short flight tires me out, and lying down and watching TV or reading helps perk me back up.
Becoming Part of the Sea of Humanity
Rested up and resigned to the fact that my Kindle is probably gone forever, I made my way down to the Convention Center to register, get my badge, and take part in the Festival O’ Swag in the Expo Hall.
Yow, that was exhausting! Blessed be the Samsung Recharge Lounge for providing upholstered seating for attendees. Y’all helped me out LOTS.
New thing I learned about myself: Expo halls hurt like hell and tire me out. Gotta remember that, limit my time in expo halls, and make sure that I take advantage of seating, even if it means absorbing a product pitch.
Next up, Part 3: Making Decisions. Lots and lots of decisions.