Last night I had one last chance to hang with the USNI gang and the guest bloggers who tagged along to USNI West Conference.
I confess, I was drunk. Then after I was poured back into my hotel room I tried to pack....it took forever. There seemed to be a lot of retracing my steps while holding the same object. But eventually I got it done. I was in bed at midnight, but so worried the alarm wouldn't wake my for my early morning flight, I woke up every hour and checked the time.
I made my flight, the snow forecast for the mid Atlantic didn't impact me. I slept on both legs of the flight and was home by 7 pm. Everything is unpacked. Almost all the laundry is done. My bed has fresh sheets.
I will have lots to write this weekend since most of what I did down there was on Twitter. You can see my tweets and those of other Tweeps following and participating in #WEST10
Here is a quick recap.
Budget rental car is ridiculous and no one should have to surrender $450 of open credit to secure a car for a days rental.
The Sofia hotel is lovely and they are very attentive and friendly. Except for not having a bathtub, it was ideal.
My Marine likes to torment me, so he was waiting to greet me at the front desk where I was bedraggled after 8 hours of flying. I hadn't brushed my hair or my teeth.
I heart Mary Ripley and would have flown the eight hours just to hang out with her.
Screw Budget rental car.....Amtrak did a better job getting me to Port Hueneme.
Seabees in general and NMCB 21 in specific, .... rock! NMCB 21 is a unit of reservists from all across the country training and getting ready for a little adventure. They are giving up their time and in many cases lucrative private sector paychecks to serve our country.
My tiara is the perfect item to wear to a bar full of Navy bloggers and USNI staffers as well as on the museum ship USS Midway.
Until you get the chance to meet people you correspond with or read, you really can't know how much fun it is.
A conference where panels discuss the Navy's future, the fight against pirates and other matters maritime while Sailors roam the exhibit hall is almost more than I can take! Part of my job was to catch up with potential readers for USNI blog. So I was chasing Sailors and got to call it "work".
When you get the chance to visit USS Midway, don't miss the flight simulator and word to the wise, there is a camera filming you and people are outside laughing their asses off.
ADM Stavridis is a smart man. Do you know how I know this? Because he told everyone that they should be reading the USNI blog and he quite specifically recognized Mary Ripley for her work as blog administrator.
What's better than listening to panels on such topics as fighting pirates in the Gulf of Aden? The after panel discussion with fellow bloggers and hearing their insights.
I had the most marvelous time and I am very grateful to Mary Ripley, USNI blog admin, General Thomas Wilkerson, USMC (ret), CEO of the United States Naval Institute, and William M. Miller, III – Publisher at the United States Naval Institute.