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Expensive Free Trip

February 20th, 2013 at 07:22 pm

Well, I'm back from Baltimore and the Americ@orps conference. Overall, I'm mostly glad I went, although I think maybe some of the younger, less experienced teachers here may have gotten more out of it.

We had three main speakers - Mark Shriver (brother to Maria Shriver, ex wife of Arnie "I'll be Back.") Sister Sissy (can't remember her real name, Sissy is her nickname) and Father Boyle (Homeboy Industries.) Of the three I got the most out of the second and third ones. Shriver was ... well, I felt at least, a bit pompous. Lots of name dropping, and during the Q&A he seemed really offended that some of the kids had Googled him to find out more about who he was .. some of the kids (most of the attendees were 27 or younger) didn't know who the Uncle Jack was that he kept referring to (JFK.)

In addition to the speakers, on Sunday and Monday we had our choice of 4 workshops to attend. I attended 3 because the fourth session the ones I wanted were already full by the time I had a chance to sign up. Two of the three I attended were okay, the third one I didn't really care for too much. Oh well.

The hotel tried to meet the needs of vegetarians, but like many non-vegetarians, they had the idea that vegetarians survive mostly on salads. Ugh. So ... I ate a lot of Subway, a few smoothies from the uber expensive Coffee shop in the hotel, and once at Jimmy Johns (my first time eating at one!)

On Wednesday last week I started to have really bad tooth pain. By Thursday when I went to ABQ to stay at the hotel before flying out, it had gotten much worse. So much worse that I left the hotel after dark to go to Walmart a few miles away. I decided to attack it from the angle of allergies, so I got some sinus meds OTC, but did not get any asprin. Which turned out to be a big mistake $$

The next day by the time we got to our layover in DFW, I had a headache that felt like it was going to split my head in half. So, I paid $7 for a soda and 3 2-capsule packets of aspirin. Those packets lasted til Saturday morning when I was again desperate ... so I paid $8 at the hotel coffee shop for ... a soda, and two packets of ONE-capsule aspirin!

Thankfully that afternoon my co-worker and I found a CVS a fw blocks away where I was able to get a 24 capsule bottle for $5.

I haven't totalled up how much I spent on food and medicine this trip, but I have a bad feeling about it. Much more than the amount I had generously allocated ...

Of course it gets even better ...

Tuesday morning we arrive at the airport a few minutes before 8 a.m. thinking we were cutting it close for our 8:45 flight. Not even close. We had missed our 8:15!!! flight!!! Both of us for whatever reason had 8:45 stuck in our head, and had not bothered to double check the itinerary email. I've *never* missed a flight in my life, until now.

It cost $75 to book the next flight out ...at 1:45 p.m. My co-worker didn't have a credit card with him, nor did he have enough cash to cover the fee. So I paid for his fee. (He already paid me back this morning.) He was thoroughly embarrassed having me do this, although I really tried to be very non-nonchalant about it.

By the time we got back to ABQ it was WAY past dark. I called the hotel I'd left my car at to come pick me up. The guy told me to take a taxi and they'd pay for it. Huh? Never been told that before ... so I went outside and found a taxi. The taxi driver knew what I was talking about, and took me to the hotel. I gave him my last $5 bill (the other $5 I'd left as a tip for the hotel maid in Baltimore.)

I needed to get a few groceries, but did NOT want to stop at little G on the way home after dark. So decided to go back to the same Walmart I'd been at on Thursday. Unfortunately, my GPS app had been updated with a HORRIBLE update, and it got me lost. Thankfully though I found a KMART. Well ... sort of thankfully.

While in KMART I ended up picking up a new purse (to replace the one whose strap broke this last summer in San Francisco), a set of full bed sheets, two HUGE stuffed animals on 75% discount, and a few groceries. No bananas though (which was one of the main things I wanted.) About $65 altogether.

I finally made it into my town a bit before 10 p.m. Kari was SO glad to see me. I was actually glad to see her as well.

Today at work I felt a bit like a zombie. When my kinders were in class, I had to keep reminding myself they were babies and to keep my patience. Even my 3 year olds didn't help revitalize me like they tend to do.

Thankfully today wasn't one of my busier days, otherwise I don't know that I would've made it through. We might possibly have a snow day tomorrow - already have a minimum of a two-hour delay. I'd be so happy for a snow day right now ....


I have nearly 4k Swagbucks now. I'm considering getting the $25 AGC, although I think I may wait til March, or at least until I have enough to get the $25 AND the March $25. Will see.

I would have made my 14 day streak for February, but the hotel in ABQ's WiFi was TERRIBLE - couldn't even do normal surfing using it. Oh well.

So sleepy. Probably ought to hit the shower and then maybe watch an episode of Eureka (my latest Netflix addiction.) Speaking of tv ... I received my Person of Interest Season 1 DVDs. I might watch them tomorrow if we have a snow day. Smile

Oh, the co-worker who I barely tolerate .. this morning she sits across from me and says, "So, I hear you missed your flight. HA HA. I've NEVER (said in a haughty tone) missed a flight. I always get there at least two hours ahead of time." I felt like punching her in the face, but I thankfully restrained myself, and only said, "good for you."

12 Responses to “Expensive Free Trip”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    Wow, that was an adventure! I'm glad you're home safely, and I hope you have some time to rest up.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    Ugh, that co worker. I'm surprised she hasn't drowned yet with her nose tilted so far up into the air.

  3. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Quite the adventure Ms. Laura...how is that tooth doing? I am glad you got at least a little something out of the sessions and that you arrived back home safe and sound. Enjoy your dvds and that (fingers crossed)snow day..sounds like a much needed rest day ahead!

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks all. Yep, it was quite the adventure. LOL Lucky Robin. Big Grin Ray - my tooth seems to have finally quieted down. I think it was mostly sinus related, although just the sinus/allergy meds alone didn't do the trick. I'm due for a dental cleaning/checkup, so probably will make an appointment sometime soon and then can double check that a filling didn't come out or something like that.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    btw - the stuffed animals are for the library. My 4th graders and younger LOVE it when I let them choose a stuffed toy to read to/with. I have the feeling these new ones will be big hits.

  6. snafu Says:

    I hope you get a chance to rest up. Your description of conference disappointments, venue with no understanding of vegetarians in 2013, tooth ache, extra expenses for soda & aspirin, bailing out a colleague [who travels without the security of a credit card?], missing the return flight, hotel pick-up arrangements melt away, GPS failure and no bananas at K-Mart would add up to a lousy week in my book. It was very diplomatic to explain less experienced teacher would have benefited more.

  7. CB in the City Says:

    I had to chuckle. So much like conference experiences I have had!

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    What a trip!!

    To your last paragraph: Rolleyes I see a missed flight in her future (karma). LOL.

    {I've personally missed a flight. IT was an interesting experience. Was also traveling with a college school mate for a conference and he had bought tickets for the *wrong* date. He didn't realize until we checked in for our flgiht - I think it was the return flight that was wrong. In both cases were no big deal. I was surprised with my own experience because was the super cheapie tickets, and 100% our fault in both instances, but airlines were *very* accomodating. I am glad you didn't get stranded any longer! Big Grin ).

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    He, he. Smile

    At the airport there was actually a lady with her daughter and granddaughter who *had* bought her return tickets for a month later (March 19 instead of Feb 19) so your college friend is in good company. Smile
    Thanks. Smile

  10. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I forgot to tell about the train/bus!

    We took the train/bus from the airport to the hotel. On the t/b it clearly states that it is unlawful to listen to a music device without headphones. Guess what happened about two stops out from the airport? A couple got on - one of whom was listening to a music device quite loudly. The same one that had the music device was being quite foul mouthed to his girlfriend. There were maybe 20 people in the car at that time ... did anyone say a word? Nope. I think we were all afraid of getting shot or knifed to say anything. The music itself? Some of the nastiest rap lyrics I have ever had the displeasure to have to listen to.

    On the way from the hotel to the airport, the same b/t sounded several times like it was going to break down. At least we didn't have any loud music to contend with this time!

  11. MissAngel Says:

    With the co-worker--don't be surprised if you hear about her missing a flight somewhere. I know that whenever I've said something stupid like that (i.e. I don't ever lock my keys in the car), karma has bit me in the butt.

  12. Looking Forward Says:

    Wow - quite the adventure! It seems you made the best of the situation(s) and that's all you can do. Laugh and shake it off.
    @ your co-worker I'm *sure* she's done her share of mistakes that you've never done. So tit-for-tat.

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