Don't I look excited to be heading to a College Board AP European History training in Cincinnati? (I'm supposed to take over teaching that class next year once the current teacher retires.) I was sort of excited, actually, but I was dreading the 3 1/2 hour drive there.
Imagine how happy I was to have car trouble on the way up there? Yep, that's right. An hour into the trip, my battery light kept flickering on and off. As I was afraid, the mechanic diagnosed my car as needing a new alternator. Of course, they didn't have the part in stock and didn't have time to do it right then. They originally quoted me $600 to repair it (!!), but he managed to do the repair for an actual price of $352 (winning!) I was really pleased to learn that when I picked up my car on Thursday afternoon.
So the sweet manager/owner at Big O Tires in Elizabethtown took me up to Enterprise a few blocks away so that I could rent a vehicle and be on my way. It was only a $40 rental, and I liked the little Nissan they selected for me.
Here's an unsafe window shot of downtown Cincy as I approached it Wednesday afternoon. I know, I know - shame on me.
I wasn't sure if I'd have to tell the hotel my license plate number or not, so I snapped a quick shot of it in the parking garage before check-in.
Likewise, I'm terrible about remembering where I park, especially in an unfamiliar car. I snapped a parking garage pic too.
Is it just me, or does the hallway at the Marriott Kingsgate at University of Cincinnati have a hallway that bears a striking resemblance to this year's American Horror Story Hotel? I was a little freaked out by it, honestly.
My room was very nice, but I do admit to inspecting it for bedbugs (none found) and for vampire zombies who might have been sewn into the mattress (clear on that too). After checking in, I did head out to a nearby shopping area where I found a great TJ Maxx and Target. I finished a bit of Christmas shopping and enjoyed a light dinner at Jason's Deli. (Oh, and I witnessed a kind of scary road rage incident in terrible downtown traffic, but thankfully no one was hurt.) While I'd originally planned to trek out to Ikea about a half hour away from my hotel, I was honestly too tired and a bit leery of taking my rental car that far. Let's be real: the universe didn't seem to really be on my side this week, so I didn't want to risk trekking into the unknown when it wasn't necessary. After returning to the hotel, I chatted with the fella a bit and watched some tv while surfing the internet. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep with all the AHS comparisons, but the softest pillows on the planet sent me into dreamland quickly. Like, seriously, I need to call them and try to figure out where they buy their pillows.
There was a great mirror in my room where I snapped this pic the following morning at 6:00 am my time. Dang, losing that hour was painful. I only had gotten about 6 hours of sleep, and that's just not enough for this princess. I was feeling the lack of sleep all day long...
The meeting itself was informative, AND the presenter did a lovely job. We were given both breakfast and lunch in a buffet style arrangement, and the food was a bit on the gourmet side which I really appreciated. It didn't seem like the hotel/presenters cut any corners in taking care of us. I stocked up on juice and hot tea and soft drinks to try to make it through the day despite my fatigue. The other attendees were pleasant but not overly friendly, so I was able to enjoy a bit of quiet time when we had our meals. Again, I was good with that. Sometimes, I just need a break from talking to people, you know? I learned a lot about teaching this class, and I realized I will have a lot of preparation to do this summer to be ready for it. It's a class I've never taught before, so the first year is likely to be a bit stressful and demanding, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.
Unfortunately, the Christmas decorations were just average at the hotel, but I did snap a pic of this Christmas tree in our meeting hallway in case I wanted to use it in my December Daily album.
And here's yet another unsafe car photo of the sunset as I left Cincy and headed back to Elizabethtown to turn in my rental car and pick up my newly repaired Bug. I made it back to BG by 6:00 pm Thursday night and was so tired that I went to bed, literally asleep, by 8:30 pm. If I hadn't had car trouble, I would've had much more fun. That's just the way life goes sometimes though; I'm learning to just roll with the punches when possible.
**I'm taking the day off from blogging tomorrow and hopefully working on my December Daily album. I'd like to share more pages with you next week; this week was just too hectic to get anything creative done. Catch you again on Monday morning; have a lovely weekend!