Convention Is Lovely, People Are Fabulous, Ideas Are Buzzing

So far, ICFA is going very well, though also very hectic, and I should remember that the conference really does start on Wednesday, and I should try to get in Wednesday if at all possible next time. Getting in midday Thursday, I’d missed a bunch of things I’d like to have attended. Ah well — next time.

Some ICFA favorites remain the same — the warm, humid air (it’s average 85F this weekend, which is one of the warmest ICFAs I’ve been to, perfect for swimming daily), the lush greenery, the bang bang shrimp (a local specialty that all the restaurants seem to carry, which I can’t resist even though they are so unhealthy — ah well, once in a while).

Some things are different — the hotel has definitely had a bit of a facelift, I think; I don’t remember these circular mirrors, for example. I am cranky about one change — the coffeeshop in the lobby no longer serves food, which means that unless you take the time to walk a mile somewhere else (and I don’t mind walking, but I am very time-crunched), you end up spending a ridiculous amount for food in the hotel restaurant.

I am fine with getting a breakfast sandwich in the coffeeshop for $5, and tipping on top of that. My hotel restaurant breakfast today (which I got takeout so I could work in my room over breakfast) wound up being $30, which is a pretty serious increase.

It was also more food than I could eat, so half of it is in the fridge, but I don’t have a microwave, and I’m not sure I can stomach a cold poached egg with cold potatoes for breakfast tomorrow. Bah. (I’d also like more menu options generally for people with smaller appetites; I am getting really tired of American super-size portions.)

It really bugs me when hotels stiff you on this kind of thing. Put a microwave in the rooms, or at least in the hallway by the ice dispenser. Have some affordable food options available, along with your higher-end ones. I don’t mind buying a restaurant meal once a day, but I didn’t actually budget for three of them.

Maybe I can squeeze in a trip to a local grocery store to stock up, since I’m here ’til Tuesday on writing retreat. Even if I have to pay for Lyft both ways, it might be worth it.

Okay, letting it go. Overall, convention is lovely, people are fabulous, ideas are buzzing. Eating shouldn’t be stressful, though!

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