Hub met me at the airport so late on Friday night that It was almost Saturday, with a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee. “Real coffee”, he said, since he knew I’d been drinking Starbucks mud all week. Late as it was, I was grateful. He’s a keeper, that one.
All things considered, I had a pretty good week. My flights last Sunday were full of turbulence, but not horrible. I was able to get a window seat on the long flight in to LA, and spent it alternating looking out the window and watching a movie. I marveled at how brown New Mexico and Arizona seemed from the sky. I sat next to a guy with the longest legs EVER, so long that they invaded my space, but still, I did ok and only got up to pee once. After retrieving our things at LAX, my friends and I spent the rest of the day in Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.
The work part of the trip was not half bad either. I mean, any time you get 15 project managers in a room, all passionate about their particular subject and way of doing things it can be a bit crazy, and it was. But I guess in the good sense of crazy. The summit, as we called it was jam packed with learning and mapping out our new process to kick off the project that we will be running until the end of July (a project that will have me going in to the actual office at least 3 days a week, but that is a post for another day), but because of the sheer volume of knowledge, we had a good break schedule, and we were out no later than 5 every day. We only had one scheduled dinner the whole time we were there, so our evenings were basically free to do whatever we wanted. I saw more of Hollywood, went shopping, and spent an evening in Malibu.
This was quite the concept for me, as I’m sure you can imagine. Do you know when the last time that I had no obligations after work was? When I could go out to dinner, and not worry about being back to put someone to bed, or make tomorrow’s lunches or do the dinner dishes? It’s been a long time. We’d go out for the night, and then come back and sit around the fire at the hotel and relax before going to bed. I missed my family terribly, but it was sure nice to be on my own for a while.
The last night after seeing a movie in a VIP lounge, my friend K and I had drinks out on the patio at the hotel. When I went in to get 2 more, the bartender was closing up for the night, but still agreed to make the drinks. He made them extra strong, and didn’t charge me. I stayed up too late, drank too much, and passed out in bed without even packing up. Friday morning came early, and I basically threw all my stuff in to my suitcase so I could head in to work for an hour before the shuttle came to take us to the airport.
And just like that, it was over. I wasn’t able to change my seat for the plane ride back, but sat between 2 much smaller people so I was a bit more comfortable. We flew all day, but it seemed like I was home in an instant. As if I never left, I relaxed on the couch for a few minutes, wiped down the kitchen counters, and took the cats their (very late) dinner. I was exhausted, but still had a hard time sleeping. The girls expected me to take them to gymnastics in the morning, so I did.
I’m still not unpacked, I’m still totally on west coast time, and I have a very busy week ahead of me. But I am home and I am glad.