Travel

My Washington DC Trip From Hell

My recent trip to Washington, DC was a nightmare. It  could have been a lot worse, but so many things went wrong. It was one of those trips where every time you turned around there was another obstacle.

I guess it was flawed from the start. It started on a Monday, and normally I would have gone down on Sunday, but I had plans that I couldn’t change. So I drove down on Monday morning.

It stormed terribly the whole way down — all 8 hours. The guy behind me in stop-and-go traffic got into an accident, but was thankfully far enough away from me that he didn’t hit me. Then, I get there and the parking situation at the hotel was totally flawed with wrong signs, and no parking space. Also, inside the deck, you had to drive on the opposite side as normal, which was super weird! My phone starts going off. An emergency alert that there is is severe storms and a flash flood warning.

I had never been happier to get to my hotel and just chill.

  
The hotel restaurant didn’t have anything vegan, so I went across the street to the restaurant there. They didn’t either, but had a chicken pasta dish that they modified. I’m not sure if it was really good, or I was just hungry. Either way, it was the perfect comfort food.

  

I woke up the next morning to learn that I had forgotten my straightener. I have never done that. There was a Walgreens next to the hotel, but I didn’t have much time, so I made do by pulling back my hair in a pony tail. It looked terrible and I felt terrible.

At the same time, I also realized I left my handy travel battery pack, which I also never leave home without, was sitting on my bed, at home. So much for charging my computer and phone.

Off to the conference. I was so excited about the first session. I was staying about 8 blocks away, and asked the hotel desk for directions to be sure I was going the right way. They told me a different way, so I followed it. Ten blocks later, I realized it was in the completely wrong direction, and had to turn around. Yup, finally got to the conference just as the session was ending.

Then, the next session I was excited about was delayed for 20 minutes.

In addition to always traveling with my straightener and battery pack, I always travel with a long-sleeve black sweater, because I am always cold, and it’s usually freezing in conference rooms. But, I decided my 3/4 sleeve sweater would be ok that day. Nope.

It was freezing! Both in the conference and outside. The hotel was too far away, but thankfully there was an H&M right next door, so during my lunch I break I ran over there to buy one.

Looking in the mirror at the store, my hair really was a disaster, and because I was going to be seeing people I don’t see often I wanted to look nice. Luckily, right next door to the conference was a small day spa/salon, and luckily I had an hour between the last session and the banquet.

I walked over, explained my situation and for $45 they washed and blew out my hair so fast that I was back to the conference well before the banquet started. So, then began my hunt for an outlet. Ah ha! There was a power-like strip right in the lobby!

  
Things were starting to look up, until I looked at the conference schedule again. It didn’t end until 4 p.m. on Wednesday? No way! Yup, way.

The next day I got all my items together, checked out of the hotel and went on my way to the conference. Overall no excitement. Walking from the conference to the parking deck I walked right past a bakery that had vegan, as well as gluten-free cupcakes. Totally stopped in there to bring one (or four) home.

  
Time to leave DC. I made a wrong turn, so my GSP sent me through what I believe has got to be the worst areas of DC, at least that was my assumption. Back roads, lots of light and stores with bars across the windows.

Really? I just want to go home! I had to finish working on my weekly newsletter and at that point I knew the drive was going to mean going half way, so I could finish my work and then leaving again in the morning to finish the rest of the drive home.

All good, right? Wrong. I was filling up my gas tank in Maryland, and it would only let me put in four gallons, through which it kept stopping every time I went to fill it. Last time this happened, they had to replace the whole gas tank, because of issues with the place, I didn’t have a car for three months.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case this time, and by 10 p.m. I was at least back in New Jersey. I had to do work and all the dogs wanted to do was play.

  
At 2 a.m. I finally finished work and wouldn’t wait to get to sleep and drive back home in the morning, What a trip!

 

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