Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work Conference in San Francisco

I just returned this morning from a three day conference about Phonathons in San Francisco. I flew out Saturday mid-afternoon and arrived in San Francisco Saturday night exhausted due to jet lag. That being said, my two flights with Continental (apparently now United since they merged) went well. I was easily able to navigate the BART from SFO to the hotel where the conference was occurring and where I was staying. My room was quite pleasant.

I was on the 25th floor, so I had an amazing view! I was literally across the street from the historic, Sir Francis Drake Hotel, where Mom, Greg, and I stayed during my first trip to San Francisco in high school.

The conference got underway on Sunday and was stellar. It was great to meet other people working in specifically the same area of expertise as me. These people are geeks about the same thing I am. I also got to meet on of my Phonathon idols, a Phonathon consultant who keeps a blog and to whom I refer as Phonathon Blog Guy. (His real name is Jason.) Meeting him was a huge thrill! However, I now realize I am only one of several groupies -- who knew that keeping a Phonathon blog and writing a Phonathon book could attract the attention of some many ladies?

While I was in the conference all day Sunday through Tuesday, I still managed to have some fun in the evenings. Sunday, I joined my boss, Maria, who also attending the conference, and spent the evening where her, her husband, and her brother in law. We visited the Castro. I then returned to Union Square where I was staying for a solo dinner at Lori's Diner and the opportunity to call Seth. I did some minor shopping in the area and headed back for a not to late night.

Monday evening, Maria and I joined up with one of our former stellar Phonathon callers, Ramsay, who is interning with Pearson in San Francisco for a few weeks this summer. She brought us to the neighborhood where she's staying via Muni and took us to a great Vietnamese restaurant. I had their famous five spice chicken with garlic and butter noodles. It was quite pleasing.

Tuesday night was my last night in town. I had a 10:40 p.m. overnight flight, which allowed me some time in the city before having to head to the airport. Maria and her husband joined me as I made a trip to Samovar, where Seth and I had an amazing tea and culinary experience last year. I had a wonderful green oolong there called bao zhong oolong. It was very light tasting a pleasantly grassy. I also had an English tea service to go with. It included a small mushroom quiche, a scone with clotted cream and jam, and some fresh fruit.

Thus fortified, I was able to head to the airport and navigate two overnight flights home, in which I relaxed but could not sleep a wink due to lack of comfort which overcame my tiredness. Needless to say, I am glad to be back in Amherst.

I had a wonderful time in San Francisco both in terms of gaining skills for work and in terms of having fun. Right now, what I need most though is a good night's sleep!

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