Home sweet home.
I don’t normally say those three words, because I always like to be on the go, – seeing someplace new, exploring, meeting new clients, learning new things at conferences … well, you get the idea. But, right now, I am happy to be snuggled on the couch with my puppies.
The past three weeks have been a little crazy. It started out with a week-long trip to Las Vegas the first week of March to attend a veterinary conference, followed by another week-long trip to New Orleans to another conference where I was part of a group that presented some research, as well as moderated a panel, and it ended with a trip to Chicago and middle-of-nowhere Indiana for an awesome story.
If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. Not at all. I’m just a little burnt out, but so incredibly grateful that I get to do what I do for a living. I think I’m so happy about what I do, because I’m good at it. For example, my Vegas trip was an exploratory trip, and I have learned that I am good at these. I am good at going someplace, assessing the situation, working my way into the group and learning more, and then analyzing how it will, or will not, benefit my company.
After that I headed to NOLA, where the highlight of my trip was moderating a panel on natural disasters and how it impacts the healthcare industry. As a journalist, I was so honored to be asked to do this, because Katrina played such an important part in history. We were staying literally around the corner from Bourbon Street, which I didn’t get a lot of opportunity to explore, but I did have the best fried green tomatoes for dinner and stopped by a friend’s bar, which was also featured on the TV show Bar Rescue. (more on that later)
With one day in between to unpack and repack, I headed to Chicago, where I stayed for a day before taking Amtrak to Elkhart, Indiana. Oh, boy was that an adventure.
First, let’s talk about getting a cab from the train station to the hotel. It was a disaster – the clerk at the hotel offered to come pick me up after her shift was over. Then, my hotel, well all the hotels, didn’t have much around it. Thank goodness it had a restaurant inside. The first night I walked over to Applebee’s for dinner, and that was, an experience. I always sit at the bar to eat my dinner instead of sitting at a table, and the conversations I overheard, were, um, interesting – conspiracy theories, politics. I got out of there fast.
Already starting to not feel well, the next night, I decided to grab a cup of tea and eat dinner at the hotel. Having eaten McDonalds (fries and salad, egg sandwich and coffee) for both lunch and breakfast, I was really hoping for some good food. Not the healthiest choice, but I picked the baked mac n cheese. This might have been the best thing I ate all week. It was creamy, warm, the perfect amount of spice, but not overly cheesy.
They did a good job on that.
When it was time leave the next day from middle-of-nowhere Indiana, my train was two hours late. So, after being up at 5 a.m., I didn’t leave until almost 10 a.m. After that it was a series of, “is this really happening to me” situations. It started pouring as I got on the train, then there was no coffee or breakfast sandwiches available anymore. When I finally got to Chicago, I couldn’t find get the address right for the Uber to pick me up. Oh, and it was raining even heavier.
I thought to myself, “at least it’s not snow!” Yeah, I spoke too soon -Yup, snow, and a delayed flight.
By the time I got home at almost 1 a.m. I was sneezing, coughing, couldn’t swallow anything but liquids and just wanted my bed. Thank goodness I had off Friday, because all I did was sleep. Actually, it’s what I did all weekend. I was so sick, I couldn’t get out of bed. I’m not sure of the puppies were happy all we did was snuggle for three days, because I was so sick, or if they were unhappy, because I was finally home and that’s all we did.