I’ve continued to get requests for details and tips about work travel, so I’ve begun sharing some details about these trips when I can.
A trip to Washington, DC, was on the agenda last week. The trip was a three-night conference stay (Thursday -Sunday) and I was excited to participate in a fun and enriching professional experience. However, I was sad to be away from John and George for the majority of the weekend.
Thursday – Prepare/Plan/Travel
When I travel, I try very hard to limit the impact that my travels may have on my family. Because our kitchen is functioning now, I was able to cook a meal option for my guys (tuna noodle casserole) before I left. I also did some loads of laundry, organized and cleaned the house, and made a run to Whole Foods for additional dinner options and other groceries. I also created a few fruit and snack packs for George – these are essential for school pick ups and dinners and are very helpful to John.
I spent the rest of the day dropping off George at school in the morning, running, crossing some errands off my list, and working. Later in the afternoon, I made my way to IAH and parking at Terminal C. The TSA line at security was long and not moving. I always forget how disorganized TSA Pre-Check is at Terminal C. Anyhow, after a frustrating wait in line I made it through the checkpoint and picked up some water and snacks for the flight. Boarding began shortly after I arrived at the gate and we boarded quickly and without incident.
I was upgraded to first-class when I booked my original ticket and I was grateful for the extra room and a reclining seat for the long flight. I was also grateful for a normal seat-mate; sometimes I have the misfortune of being seated next to some pretty interesting characters. My seat-mate was actually delightful. She was flying first-class for the first time, and only flying for the third time in her life, so she had lots of questions. She also had major anxiety and it was nice to commiserate with someone on that topic.
They served a meal (dinner) on board the flight and I did my best to eat considering my Lent limitations – no bread or dessert. I chose the chicken and sausage jambalaya entree and it was pretty good. After my meal, I did some work (and listened to a few episodes of Seinfeld) and I also drank my weight in sparkling water.
Once we landed, I took the Metro to my hotel.
Check in at the Westin City Center was quick and easy and I was unpacking in my room before I knew it. After confirming that John and George were well and fast asleep, I went to sleep.
Friday – Meetings
I woke up at 3:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I passed the time by working and watching the news. Blerg. Later in the morning, I met my girlfriend, Sally, at a work breakfast at the Newseum. I really love it when my professional and personal lives intersect. I especially love it when it means I get to spend time with my Sally. After our breakfast we had some meetings, then had lunch together at Del Frisco’s. I had the most amazing kale salad and Sally had truffle lobster macaroni. We also split a delicious calamari appetizer.
After our lunch, I walked back to my hotel and did a few hours of work and conference calls. I also took a short nap before my evening events in order to feel refreshed. Later, I met a colleague at a work reception at the US Chamber of Commerce.
We left that event and walked to the National Museum of Women in the Arts for another reception and dinner. Sally met us there and we all had a great time together. Dinner service was painfully slow, but the company and food made up for it.
Despite the cold temperatures, Sally and I walked to her office to drop off a few things, then walked to her condo. It was great to see her roommate and her adorable dog, Chloe. By the time I got back to my hotel room I was exhausted. Walking all day in 4 inch heeled boots is not for the faint of heart, friends. I easily cleared 20,000 steps and didn’t even run that day!
Saturday – Meetings
For some reason, I had another terrible night of sleep. The hotel was a little noisy, but I’m not sure if that was the reason for my sleeplessness. Anyhow, I worked from the hotel in the early morning, then met my colleague for a day of conference meetings, a luncheon and afternoon meetings.
I made a quick return to my hotel late in the afternoon and changed for a short walk outside. It was a gorgeous day and I was thrilled for the opportunity to get some fresh air, Vitamin D, and to take in the sights.
After my walk, I quickly changed then headed out for another reception and dinner. This dinner was probably my favorite of the trip and yet again, the highlight was spending time with Sally.
I made it back to the hotel relatively early and watched the news (election coverage!) before passing out.
Sunday – Travel Day
I’m pretty sure I slept like the dead on Saturday night. Thanks to an early flight, I was up at 5:50 am. I got dressed, packed and checked out of the hotel within 35 minutes or so. I took a taxi to the airport because at that hour, it was much quicker than taking the Metro.
When I arrived at the airport, it was crowded, but manageable. Per usual, TSA Pre-Check saved me a wait in the general security line. I was in and out of the security checkpoint within 10 minutes or so – it was fabulous. I picked up some bottled water and a Kind bar for the flight and visited the United Club to organize my carry on items. I also picked up a few little gifts for George at a cute airport shop. I always try to have a few new toys/books when we travel and because we have a little family trip planned for next month, I picked up a few little things I knew he would like.
We boarded on time and without incident. I was upgraded to first class and I was glad to have a window seat on the single-seat side of our regional jet.
We were served breakfast on the flight, but because we were on a regional jet without an oven, we were only served cold items. My breakfast plate came with cereal, a banana, a scone, milk and (canned) fruit.
I had dry cereal and the banana and opted for lots of water as my beverage of choice. Most people slept on the flight, so it was very quiet on the plane. I relaxed by watching a few episodes of Saturday Night Live that I have missed recently, along with an episode of RHOBH.
We landed about 50 minutes earlier than expected and I was thrilled. With extra time on my hands, I was able to join John and George for brunch with some friends of ours. We had a nice brunch, followed by some shopping. Afterwards, I took a very long nap with George at the house.
We spent the rest of the day cooking, eating and playing together. I rarely travel on the weekends these days and I hate missing out on family time. Although I had a very productive trip, it was great to be back with John and George.
What did I Pack?
I used my trusty Tumi carry-on suitcase for this trip, despite the number of outfits (4 for work, 1 for exercise, and 1 for traveling home) I needed.
Fortunately, dresses can be rolled and packed easily.
I also brought along a (very) large handbag because I need easy access to work files and documents that I needed to review on my flight. I love editing documents in print and I hate carting my laptop around. I know this makes me less green, but I am old school when it comes to printed materials.