Thursday, May 11, 2006

Goats, and Sheep and Puppies, Oh My!

I left sunny San Jose on Thursday for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival; the biggest knitting/spinning/weaving event in North America. I had my trusty work laptop with me, so that I could work from the hotel (and not be a slacker during crunch time). Yes, that's right. I *heart* the internet!

We were at the San Jose airport, and since we were flying Southwest (the Klassiest airline EVER), we had to wait in line to get our seats. That's right, kids! Stand in line! Fortune favors the prepared and patient! So, we sit in line, knit, and end up talking about Star Wars (I don't remember how). Everyone around us joins in. Everyone likes to indulge their inner geek publicly sometimes, especially if it's with people who will never see you again. We board the plane, manage by some airline miracle to be seated together, and fly to LA.

We get to L.A., stand in another line, and find that one woman from the SJ flight is going to Maryland as well. Small world. The head flight attendant on the LA to Baltimore flight was hysterical! We got to Baltimore early, got the rental car, and were off to the hotel.

I love the Residence Inn. I say this with utter sincerity. It is BY FAR my favorite hotel. I've been to nicer hotels, yes. The comforts of home (i.e. a refrigerator, microwave, etc) make longish trips so much easier, and it's not much more expensive than a regular hotel. Plus, they let you bring your pets. I'll get back to why I love the Residence Inn so deeply later.

We started off Friday, working our respective butts off, until I was struck with "Jasmin Kryptonite". That's right. The only thing that can stop the force that is Whirlwind Jasmin. A migrane. There were no drugs to be had, only lots of yarn and sheep, so I laid down under a table and slept it off. I had very vivid dreams about a woman with lips (amazing lips, not like I normally dream about women sans lips), and Cynthia and Mom dragged me back to the hotel 6ish so that I could recoup the force that is Jasmin. I slept for six hours, ate something, and slept for another six hours. Saturday, the busiest day of the show has arrived.

People were getting angry that we weren't open BEFORE OPENING. Which was ok, we sold them yarn anyway. There were a challenging people, but mostly there were competent people with brains who understand that when they want to buy things, they have to pay for them. It was BRUTAL how sunny it was, and although I was wearing sunscreen, I now resemble a very cute patchwork lobster. For those of my readers that do not know what a patchwork lobster looks like, it's a lobster that is red in some places and white in the others. [This is entirely made up by me, but wasn't my confidence convincing?]

So, Melinda wanted to spend some time with Tess, and she asked us if we would rather crash at the hotel she had been at (the Ramada Limited) or if we wanted to crash on the floor in the room that we'd been in. Since we all needed beds to sleep in, she assumed we'd take the Ramada room. She reserved a room, and said that we'd confirm by 4PM.

At 3:00 PM, I called to say "Yes, we'll take it," and magically, our reservation had disappeared. All they had was a two bed room in the smoking section. Ick. I said I'd get back to them in a few minutes.

I called the Residence Inn (so we'd be in the same hotel). All they had was a 2 bedroom suite in the smoking section, but they would go up and deodorize it for us. For about $40 more per night, we got bedrooms to ourselves, two bathrooms as well as the comforts of home. I made the executive decision to take it.

We drive there (which was terribly convenient for everyone involved), and a non-smoking 2 bedroom suite had opened up. The cute concierge had slid us in there! (He recognized me over the phone- is this a good thing? My future as a spy is looking more and more unlikely.) Oh, and when I got the bill, it cost EXACTLY THE SAME as the 1 room/ 2 beds at the Ramada. I couldn't have been happier with the service or the room. We were on the same floor, so nobody had to do any extra driving on our behalf.

The sunburn still hurts, still, but for the entertainment of my suitemates, I sang "Jasmin the Red-Nosed Admin" (because my forehead and nose took the brunt of my facial sunburn), even though I'm not an admin anymore. Cynthia and I would break out into a verse of "A Little Priest" occaisionally. Good times.

Sunday was better, Tess's boyfriend set up an awning so that we weren't further cooked, and it turned out to be a lovely, more mellow day that included a funnel cake. I LOVE FUNNEL CAKE!

My diet at the festival consisted of hot dogs and chocolate milkshakes. That's fairly balanced right? Hot dog in one hand, milkshake in the other. It was complete chaos all weekend, and I have to say that I'm thrilled to be back to my real job. I could stand to sleep for a week straight, but that's not in the cards for me.

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