Had a wonderful time at EMS Today. Got good participation and feedback in all my my presentations, and got a few helpful critiques that will help me tweak the new ones.
After meeting friends for dinner Friday night, The Girlfriend and I decided to join other friends for the unofficial EMS Today pub crawl around Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I learned two things: 1) I am not the power drinker I was in my youth, and 2) the bouncers at the clubs are the TSA of the nightclub world. After being told I couldn't bring in my knife (I had forgotten it was clipped in my pocket), we walked thirty feet away, put it in The Girlfriend's purse (still in full view of said bouncers), and breezed right on through.
Apparently, burly guys in slacks and dress shirt are notorious knife fighters, but attractive blonde women are incapable of using weapons. Good to know.
After pouring myself and my sore feet into bed later that night, I looked forward to sleeping in, grabbing a late breakfast with The Girlfriend, and cruising the exhibit hall at my leisure until it closed Saturday afternoon.
I woke up around 8:30, padded silently to the bathroom so as not to awaken my beloved, and noticed that the hotel had already slipped my bill under the door.
"Wow," thought I. "They're really jumping the gun. I don't check out for another 24 hours."
As I slipped back into bed and continued dozing, my reverie was soon interrupted by the ringing of my phone. It was Orbitz, calling with my flight status update.
"Now, why are they calling me with flight status updates 24 hours ahead of time?" I grumbled. "And why are they calling with updates about my DFW connection, and not my initial flight out of BWI?"
Then it hit me.
In a panic, I sat bolt upright and checked my phone, and sure enough, the date was March 3. My flight was March 3, at 7:00 am. All last week, I was thinking that March 3 was Sunday.
I'm blaming it on Leap Year.
After a fruitless twenty minutes spent on hold with customer service at Orbitz, and sticker shock at airfares in the next 24-hours ($750 for a standby seat one a one-way flight? Are you kidding me?), I was finally rescued by an angel named Gabrielle from American Airlines, who bent the rules and changed my ticket for a $75 fee, provided I could make it to BWI within the next hour.
After that, it was a mad dash getting packed and checked out and hailing a cab to the airport, interspersed with apologies to The Girlfriend and sarcastic jabs from TOTWTYTR.
Anyhoo, I made my new flight, and arrived home a mere ten hours after I was originally scheduled to arrive.
In the next couple of days, you can read my EMS Today afteraction report on EMS1.com.