I finally caught my breath, I think.  It’s taken me this long to decompress from conference.

That’s mostly due to the fact that I was away for just shy of two weeks. My daughter and I went down early to visit old neighbors who now live in the Bay area.  Last January or so, they invited the girl child to go on a week-long vacation with them. They planned to visit Yosemite, then take a few days at one of the lakes to do some boating. I was supposed to house sit while they were gone, take care of their cats, etc., and then mosey over to SF for the conference after having 5 days of peaceful writers retreat.


Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, including *two*sudden family deaths (our friends’ family, not ours), a postponed surgery (also theirs), and a cheerleading camp (ditto—these poor people!), the whole thing devolved into them having just two days to play—a weekend, in other words, and not even a long one.  As it turned out, they would have had problems doing the Yosemite thing anyway because of the fires. Yosemite Valley actually lost all power during the weekend they would have been there.  If I’d had any idea how much was piling on our friends, I would have made other arrangements, but much of it happened at the last minute. We had a wonderful time and they were terribly gracious, but I’m afraid it frazzled all of us more than was intended, and most especially them. We did survive, however, and I’m really grateful to them for being such wonderful hosts in the middle of all this stress.

On Tuesday, I met my friend/roommate. Sheila Roberts, at the Oakland Airport BART stations and we headed over to SF, only to discover that WAY back in February or so, when I made our hotel reservations…I didn’t actually make the reservations.  Apparently I never hit that one final button to confirm all the info, or if I did, it went awry.  So there we were in the lobby of the overbooked Marriott with nowhere to stay. And we had to find a room in downtown SF in a hotel safe enough to leave my 13 yr old daughter in for a day or two while I was in workshops (a necessity predicated by the aforementioned cheerleader camp being scheduled opposite RWA well after the the original plans were laid). 

So, welcome to The W Hotel, a very nice, but much more expensive hotel than the Marriott.  After I stopped kicking myself, we discovered it was not such a bad thing to be out of the conference hotel (elevators were much faster, for one thing). However, it was a costly mistake, and since it was my mistake, I absorbed the extra expense. Ouch.  But again, we did survive. [Side Rant:  Can someone explain to me why the freaking Motel 6, at $50/night, can offer free wifi, but a hotel that’s already charging you *well* over $300 a night wants an additional $14.95 PER DAY for the same service???]

After conference, my daughter and I drove up the coast along Highway 1.  Very beautiful. Very curvy. Very slow.  We had no reservations and still managed to wind up in nice places, first, the slightly quirky and absolutely wonderful Jenner Inn in tiny Jenner, CA, and then the more traditional but also pleasant Emerald Dolphin Inn in Fort Bragg, CA.  We went horseback riding on the beach, picked up much beautiful beach glass, and generally had a great time together. But because we were already tired from the previous week and a half, we pooped out after two days on curvy, slow Highway 1 and cut over to I-5.  It took us longer from Ft. Bragg to I-5 and home than it took all the way from home to our friends’ in Dublin along I-5. 

So that’s why it’s taken me so long to recuperate.

In a day or two, I’ll actually write about conference. In the meantime, to make up for the extra hotel money, I’ve cut out all trips to the local latte stand for the next, oh, two years or so. Pity me.

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