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I’m on the road this week, dear readers, attending a conference in San Diego.

Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself.  There are times when my life could be a sitcom.  After a 5.5 hour flight from Washington, I arrived in San Diego this morning.  I picked up my luggage, jumped into a taxi, and gave my destination to the driver.  We jumped on “the 5.” Isn’t it funny how out here, the interstates are “the something?”  We don’t call it “the 66” or “the 395.”  Those kooky Californians!

Anyway, my taxi driver is speeding down the 5 when he suddenly slams on the brakes.  The freeway was a little backed up and he was a little to focused on zooming me to my destination to notice that the cars had stopped.  We were “this close” to rear-ending the car in front of us!  Well I survived that near-death experience, and was dropped off at my hotel:  the Ramada Conference Center.  In the middle of nowhere.  Here’s where the sitcom starts.

I head to the reception desk and announce my arrival.  It’s about 11:30 AM.  The receptionist (do we call them that?) – er, guest services specialist tells me that my room is not ready; check-in time is at 3PM.  Okay, that’s frustrating, but I can deal.  “Is there a restaurant?”  I ask.  You see, I decided not to by the $8 sandwich on my flight because I figured I’d get room service or something at the hotel.  “The restaurant is closed,” she says.  Ooookay.  Is there someplace close by – fast food, restaurant, whatever?  She points me to the Mobil gas station across the road.  Seriously.  I question her further:  “Is that my only option?”  Yup.  So I leave my bag in the office and schlup over to the Mobil station.  Quite a selection.  I have to tell you that I have never eaten a hot dog or taco or burrito or sandwich from a gas station, and I wasn’t about to start now, so I settled for a Coke and a bag of chips.  And I had an energy bar in my purse.

I schlup back to the hotel to eat.  I’m sitting at an outdoor table and while I’m waiting for my room to become available, I thumb through my conference packet.  I have to chuckle when I read that I’m supposed to be someplace at “3:00PM sharp.”  Not bloody likely if I can’t check in until 3:00PM!

And just when I think my situation can’t get any worse, it starts to rain.  I thought it never rained in southern California.  That’s what Tony! Toni! Tone! said.  What can you do but laugh?

Fortunately for me, the Front Desk notified me that my room was ready, so now I’m warm and safe and dry.  And thank God for free wifi!

After seven years of living overseas in a variety of countries – Albania, Belize, and Italy (all were amazing in their own way) – I decided it was time to return to Washington, DC and the Harry S Truman building. The “mother ship.” The idea of starting a blog has been in the back of my mind for some time; it’s a great way for me to update family and friends on my experiences. But I’m back in DC now – there’s nothing exotic about DC! Or is there? According to this website, 15 million people visit DC every year – so there must be something interesting about the place, right? So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll be in DC for at least two years, so I’m going to treat this like I would any other tour. I will visit the historic sites and museums, go to the local festivals, find the interesting bars and restaurants and share my experiences here. It’s an ambitious undertaking; I do not promise to visit every museum, bar, or festival that the city has to offer, but I will act like a tourist! (Except I’ll stand on the right and walk on the left whenever I’m on a Metro escalator!)

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