Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Getting to The Milblog Conference

Thursday I left work to pack and run some last minute errands for my trip to DC. Everything just seemed to break my way. Items I picked up were on sale, things were available in my size, my color. Because Frank was still in the Bahamas, the house was still clean......lol. I met the guy from Enterprise to go get the rental car and he gave me a free upgrade on my $12.50 per day rental car from a Chevy Aveo to a Dodge Stratus. I was ready to go at 2330.....timing it so that I would pass through New York and New Jersey in the dead of night. I made great time and even stopped in a rest area in New Jersey and took a two and half hour nap. I hit DC around 9 am, well ahead of schedule. That's the only place I hit traffic. I found the hotel easily, but still drove around a bit to orient myself. Check-in at the hotel was supoosed to be at 1500 hours, but when I stopped in at 1000 to ask if they could store my bags until then, I was informed that my room was ready. Good deal! Good size room, king size bed......big, round tub, mmmmmmmmmmm. I took a bath, changed my clothes and went off to explore DC. After a quick manicure (remember what Fernando says, it is better to look good.....) and a trip to an ATM, I walked down to the White House. I couldn't go inside, you need to arrange those tours a month ahead. I imagine my clearance will take a little longer, oh well next trip. I stood in front of the White House in the light drizzle and was just awed. I called SouthieBoy from my cell. He *gets* me, doncha know. Then it was around to the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. I was most moved at the WWII Memorial. I noticed that people had placed carnations on some of the states and made plans to come back before I left and do the same for Massachusetts for my grandfather's brother Dan who died at Iwo Jima.

Then it was back to my hotel for a bath before the trip to Walter Reed for the counter protest.

I was down in the lobby at 2016 but no cab drivers would take me there. Apparently because they can only charge set fees, they don't like to sit in traffic. I didn't catch on right away or would have just offered them an extra $20. So I went back upstairs and was going to try again in a bit, but I fell asleep. Not exactly surprising since I had driven for 8 hours and walked around DC for 5 hours all on two and a half hours of sleep. Frankie's girlfriend called at 2130, thank goodness or I would have slept through Fran O'Brien's.

Putting faces to everyone's screen name was loads of fun. I passed out my cigars to Capt. B and Taco. Taco wore his kilt and I found out later some bold women checked to see what was under the kilt. Why didn't I think of that? You are probably as disappointed in me as I am. John and Beth Donavan were fun adn friendly and just as I imagined they would be. I met Were-Kitten, 1SG Keith, FbL, HomeFront6, LL, Dadmanly, and so many others. At one point Fran O'Briens son Marty stopped me and smoothed out my name tag, alledgedly to read my name. I said "Baby, you don't give a fat rat's ass what my name is, you just wanted to touch me." He proceeded to tear my name tag to strips very slowly. Lol, NameTag man gave me another. I met Bill Roggio but didn't recognize him as part of one of my favorte blogs The Counterterrorism Blog! I was ready to call it a night when FbL told me that Sgt. B was on his way from the airport. He walked in the door and hugged Fuzzy. It was very touching. Like watching a brother and sister who haven't seen eazch other in a long time. When they parted, I introduced myself, shook his hand and off I went to bed.


Capt B said...

Thanks for the stoag buddy! It was a great time and we are ready to go again!!!

BostonMaggie said...

Buddy!!!!! Buddy!!!!!

Do I look like someone's buddy!

As far as the cigar.....you are entirely welcome.

FbL said...

It was great meeting you, Maggie. I wish we would've had more time to hang out together. But... next year!!!