And she’s back…overview and Friday

Hi! Welcome to everyone dropping by from the LITA blog, other blogs, various tweets, tweeple, meet ups, I handed you a business card, we shook hands, we danced, we had a meal…..all of that.

I saw a delightful number of friends and met a whirlwind of people in four days, many of whom I have business cards for and really should be sending personal emails.  Hmm…maybe I could send nice snail notes instead, would that be too 1.0 or creepy? I think it’d be fun to get snail mail that isn’t annoying post-conference stuff.

Headed towards DC early on Thursday morning. As anyone who follows along on Twitter or Facebook knows, I got caught behind the storms that ravaged Chicago and then stomped all over DC. Such it was that I got in a full 8 hours later than originally planned.  While I did get some quality time with three of my friends in Chicago, it wasn’t exactly how I’d planned to spend the day. Still, having time to get a pedicure was nice and I’m grateful to the friends who were flexible enough to meet up, offer up couches, and bear with 15 phone calls in five minutes when it seemed I might not make the 9:15 flight due to overbooking.

I stayed in a garden apartment about three blocks away from the Convention Center and it was phenomenal.  Having my home base *right there* and it not being a hotel room was spoiled rotten incredible. I stayed with Madame Storyteller and a friend of hers and our schedules were off enough that we had no shower conflicts…. Full kitchen, washer/dryer, back patio, closet space.  I wasn’t really there except to sleep but still…

Friday was my day to run over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  When two GIANT blue diamonds are in that close of proximity to each other, a girl really must go. I’m not even that big a fan of diamonds, sapphires being my preferred sparkly of choice, but it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The huge elephant in the lobby made me sad.  I love elephants and have many figurines and stuffed animals that have various memories of special events and the Incredibly-Patient-Mother. Reading the description was heartbreaking though: the hunter found the tracks of the large elephant on one trip to Africa and returned the following year with a hunting party to specifically track down and shoot the animal. No villages were being razed, the elephant wasn’t causing problems. He was just big and, therefore, a worthy trophy. I stood on the balcony and took several pictures, hoping perhaps that in memory, at least, he was being thoughtfully admired.

Per the recommendation of my friend Travis, I went to Zaytinya for dinner.  The food was incredibly good, I ate far too much. I was reminded too just how much I like hummus. I really need to stock up on that at the grocery.

After dinner it was off to the LITA Happy Hour, which was lovely! I caught up with several friends from last year, several friends in the computer, and met a lot of new people. We talked about book vending machines, plans for the weekend, best programs to hit, all sorts of things. I was identified by necklace at least by the redoubtable Aaron Dobbs.  🙂

Back “home” to change and then it was out to the ALA Dance Party.  Though directionally it was a bit challenging (apparently some of the locals even struggle with where 22nd street is off Dupont circle), I did finally get oriented and was able to meet up with old and new faces.  I think we can successfully say the bar was surprised and amused, and the DJ did a decent job for the first couple of hours. I could have lived without the soap bubbles they kept blowing into the air though–it made the floor slippery and I was in four inch heels.

Grabbed a cab and headed back…