Hi there! I’m back. Did you miss me? I’ll bet you didn’t even realize I was gone. But I was. I was at the Public Library Association Conference in Boston. Want to know what I learned? Too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway.
I learned how to use the new CharlieTicket. It’s not so bad, really, although the CharliePass sounds like it will have RFID and that makes me a bit nervous.
I learned that carrying a suitcase, a laptop and a duffle bag sized pocketbook up the stairs at the Park Street T Station is challenging. So is fitting through the turnstyle with all that stuff. Hey, I never claimed to be graceful.
I learned that a martini in the Oak Bar of the Copley Fairmont Hotel costs about $16. But it comes with it’s own mini ice bucket and some really great atmosphere.
I learned that walking from Copley, down Boylston Street, across the Public Garden, down Beacon Street, all the way to the Charles/MGH T stop will give me a honking blister on the bottom of my foot. And doing that on the first day of the conference? Not a good plan.
I learned that there are Mexican beers besides Corona. At The Border Cafe, in Cambridge, they serve one called Negra Modelo and it’s really really good. Especially when you have 2 of them, along with the seafood enchiladas, for lunch. On the first day of the conference.
I learned that the elusive (to me, anyway) yarn shop, Woolcott, isn’t all that fantastic. It’s nice and all, but I wouldn’t make a special trip back.
I learned that The Cheesecake Factory is a great place to meet up with knitting buddies. We had a fun visit there, even if Wendy and Jackie weren’t as excited by the Well Mannered Dirty Martini as I might have hoped. Maryse and I had to finish theirs for them. And Kellee introduced me to plaintains, which are quite yummy, it turns out.
I learned that a pot of coffee, delivered by room service at the Copley Fairmount, will cost $20.
I learned that the walk from the Copley Fairmount to the Hynes Convention Center can be accomplished by staying inside, through the Copley Shops and the Prudential Shops, or by heading outside and nearly getting run over by a tax, but either way, when you have a blister on the bottom of your foot, it’s going to hurt.
I learned that there are A LOT of librarians in the world. And some of them will travel from Alaska and California and Hawaii just to attend a national conference. And most of them are really bad dressers.
I learned that big groups of librarians make it tough to get a lot out of a conference. Especially when the workshops are overcrowded and you can’t find a seat and you end up walking out and then walking back to the hotel. With a blister on the bottom of your foot.
I learned that vendors at library conferences can be pushy but a lot of them give away books. Which you then, of course, have to lug around with you, which is not so much fun. Especially when you have a blister on the bottom of your foot.
I learned that my colleague, Amy, makes a great roommate. She even volunteers to go get Starbucks and bring it to me to save spending another $20 on room service coffee. And she knows her way around the city. And a menu, too, considering she chooses things like eggs benedict with smoked salmon, and fried clams, and fried oysters and catfish. The girl can eat, and I like that in a traveling companion.
I learned that librarians are friendly and like to see someone knitting. And then talk about knitting. One or two might even pull out their own knitting and show you their sock. Frankly, this was probably the coolest thing I learned.
I learned that fancy hotels and excellent food aside, it’s nice to come home to your family. And your own bathroom.