So, the annual ICAAC-IDSA meeting is in Washington DC this weekend. It is also the first year in probably a decade (not sure of the numbers but a long time) where the two associations (Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy) and (Infectious Disease Society of America) have held a joint conference. When I first started my fellowship, the annual meeting was a 5.5 day affair of debauchery and learning! Then, somewhere along the lines the two associations had a fall out – over – guess what? – money. So, for a number of years now, there have been two competing meetings in the fall. Not a good move cuz nearly no one could do both. Personally, I think I last attended either in the fall before I adopted the boys…so a long time ago.
I’ve been anxious about this trip. Already paid > $800 and so wasn’t really looking forward to cancelling it but… the au pair has only been here a few weeks and was afraid of overwhelming her. Still not sure it will all work out but I keep telling myself that it is only Washington and I can be home in 2 hours if necessary (more about that later).
It is a dreary day in the Mid-Atlantic; rain and fog and cool weather. I left my house around 2 and realized that I didn’t have my email confirmation (from which they scan your bar code to prove that you paid the registration fee)…so, I had to go 1/2 hour out of my way to go to my office and find it on my desktop computer and print it. In the meantime, I picked up this laptop because my laptop, my precious laptop, my poor poor laptop…had coffee spilled directly onto it this morning and it no longer comes on (boo, hoo, boo, hoo). [like a good non-nerdy computer person, I’m hoping it will dry out over the next few days and start up again!]
So, I start up here with my handy dandy “Google Maps” emailed to my smart phone so I can get on the road (don’t I sound all hi-techy?). Well, the combination of weather and traffic and it takes me nearly 2.5 hours to make it to Northern VA. Then, I promptly get lost as I am coming off of Memorial Bridge!!! ugh! So, I pull over and call the hotel. Well, 3 phone calls, several U-Turns and much cussing later, I am here.
Well, you say, that is not too stressful, what are you complaining about? Well, while I am on the phone the first time with the hotel (the time they kept me on hold for 7 minutes – I timed it!)…Riley calls me and leaves a message. I’m not savvy enough (nor calm enough) to put it here in it’s entirety but it goes something like this…
“Mom…Matthew cut Wall-e’s cord…yup, he really did…and Addison and Logan are up and they were crying and…well, I think you need to come home cuz its an emergency, well I don’t know if it is an emergency but…love you, bye”
So, over the next half hour I tried my home phone no fewer than 10 times and the au pairs cell no fewer than 6 times and kept getting the answering machine. (also interspersed in with calls to the hotel and trying to find the dam place) and well, I need a drink!
Finally got through and the au pair said …”everything is good…we are cleaning!”