Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ICRS the road trip

I promised I'd tell you more about my ICRS trip so here we go...

The plan was to leave Charlotte for Atlanta on Friday at 5:00 pm, stop for dinner, and then get to the hotel in Atlanta by about 9:30 or so. It was me, Lysa, Marybeth and Heidi reenacting Romy and Michelle's road trip. Two of us met at the prescribed time and two of us did not. After meeting, some of us still had to shop for clothes to wear to ICRS, and luggage, and go by Radio Shack. Whle others were still on their way and hung up in traffic. And so, I have no idea when we finally got out of Charlotte. But it was MUCH later than five. But it was all good-- why? Because I was with girlfriends! Except that I was very hungry.

I think it was nearly 9:00 by the time we finally stopped at Cracker Barrel an hour outside of Charlotte for dinner. Cracker Barrel is not one of my favorite places because I ate there once while pregnant and immediately got sick to my stomach. Hadn't eaten there since but Marybeth and Lysa like it so I braved it without complaint. Now I have to digress to tell you that in the weeks before ICRS I was in a panic because Yankee Candle discontinued my favorite scent TEA & HONEY (if you find some please send them to me and I'll pay you!!). There were none left in my local store and they were sold out online. That's the candle I burn in the morning during my quiet time. I found two jars of Tea & Honey at that Cracker Barrel for 25% off. So I was a very happy woman, and didn't care at that point how the food might taste. My chicken was actually quite good.

For the next few hours Heidi drove us, while "Sista Sue Sub-Navigational System" guided us, and Lysa kept us awake by "spinning records" on her ipod shuffle for us. Bleary-eyed, we got to downtown Atlanta at ONE AM. I only wish I was kidding. We were greeted by no less than 50 Latino men dressed exactly alike in black suits, white shirts and red ties, milling around outside the hotel like it was noon and not one am. It was a bit bizarre. We asked the nice bellhop why there were so many Latino men here dressed alike in the middle of the night and he explained it was a convention of the Latino equivalent of Amway. For reasons still unknown to me, their meetings ran from five pm to five am. Not kidding. Inside the hotel there were at least 80 Latino Amway-types waiting for the elevators. We just wanted to get to our beds but our room was on the forty-eighth floor, so walking up was not an option. Finally we got on a severely overcrowded elevator. I could feel claustrophobia setting in quickly and wanted to flip out. Thank God there was a mirror on the ceiling of that elevator because staring up into it while praying under my breath is the only way I got through that ride without major incident.

Once we finally got in our room and washed up for bed, somehow we began talking about deep life issues and experiences at 2:00 AM! They were asking me about how I met my husband and how I felt when my mother died, etc. How is it that four gals who've wanted nothing more than sleep for the last 3 hours suddenly choose talking over sleeping when given the chance? It was all good though because we didn't have anywhere to be before noon the next day and the hotel had comfy beds and light blocking curtains. :)

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