Finally, Mary Ripley has her house back to herself and I am nearly home.
Good for both of us! I know I am very nearly out of steam and will be lucky to make it to a bed without falling down. This trip has been absolutely fabulous, but really draining.
From Boston to Vegas, to Williams, AZ, to Phoenix....then Annapolis - with a side trip to DC.
I was in Annapolis for the USNI Naval History Conference and I must tell you - this was the best USNI event yet! That's saying a lot since I have loved them all.
For this event, Mary, the admin for the USNI blog, had several Navy bloggers - Galrahn of Information Dissemination; Phib of CDR Salamander; Eagle1 of Eagle Speak; XFormed of Chaotic Synaptic Activity; LCDR BJ Armstrong, USN of USNI blog and of course....My Marine, UltimateRatioRegis also of USNI blog (who has a fabulous post about GEN Conway, USMC today).
Some of the bloggers were in a nearby hotel, but many of us rotated through Mary's home which she graciously opened to us.
The first night, My Marine carried my suitcase of bowling balls (when he picked it up he made some crack about bringing my own bowling balls) to the second floor where Mary had thought of everything I could need. She pointed out the location of the washer/dryer/laundry detergent because she knew I had been traveling since I left her in Vegas where we shared the most fabulous suite at Mandalay Bay. Really, the secret to good travel is knowing who to hang with!
Once I had dumped all my stuff and brushed my teeth we headed out to dinner at The Chart House in beautiful downtown Annapolis. Dinner was attended by all those listed above and we were joined by LCDR Claude Berube, USNR who was a panelist for the conference.
I can't even tell you how many wild and interesting conversations happen when you get a group like this together. But my favorite was a highly technical, over-my-head thing about cell phones between XFormed & Galrahn. A few weeks ago I was having lunch with XFormed in Tampa and he was trying to explain some highly technical thing to me and I was lost. But in a flash I saw him, in my mind's eye, talking to Galrahn and the two of them on the same wave length...and me...lost. And now here it was, exactly as I pictured. At one point when they both paused for a moment, I told them "You know, I imagined this exact conversation a couple of weeks ago." LOL! I wasn't disappointed.
So, like good little children, we left at a decent hour....although a certain person, who shall remain nameless, did abandon us wayyyyyy earlier........lol.
I was up early and stood at the top of the stairs, listening for signs of life from my housemates. I heard none and decided this was a good time to shower. Afterwards, I heard movement downstairs and went down to the kitchen. There I was met with whining and sobbing about using all the hot water. I believe the quote was "We spent to morning running pipes from the neighbors to get hot water". I simply explained to them that the Navy and the Marines had taught them to take very, very short showers.......so that I could enjoy "Hollywood" showers. Sheesh! Don't they know who I am?
They headed off to the conference before I did. I move slower in the morning than most. But I took the extra time to make sure I was organized and started a load of laundry.
This is where I will leave off for now, since the actual conference should have it's own post anyway.