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Thread: Hello, DC!

  1. #16
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    @dorayme and @backpack, you are wonderful! Thank you so much for all the travel advice - this is exactly what I needed to know. Comments and answers to your questions:

    I placed an emergency order last night for a Brain Cell and a CQPC. (Katy is the bomb! A point already proven in the Suddenly SALAD thread. And why does the word "SALAD" have to be in all uppercase? It that to frighten the unwary? Suddenlyyyyyy...SALAD! BAM! But I digress.) I have a feeling that the CQPC is going to be a piece I buy in every color because they are so crazy useful. But I started with one because delayed gratification is good for me. My kids are teaching me patience but not quickly enough, LOL.

    I am leaving Sunday night and coming back Tuesday night. It's just me (*sniff*), no hubby or kids. I have an Aeronaut, Tri-Star, Western Flyer, and Empire Builder at my disposal, plus a Synapse and Co-Pilot. I think the Aeronaut will be overkill for such a short trip. The Western Flyer would have been my choice, but I need to bring a laptop. (What kind of lame training center doesn't have computers for us to use?) So I'm looking at the Tri-Star with my laptop tucked snuggly into a Brain Cell in the middle compartment. I'll use my packing cubes of various shapes and sizes, and I think I'll have plenty of room to keep everything I bring and go home with in the Tri-Star.

    The laptop thing really freaked me out for a bit. If I carry my laptop around here, I use a backpack with a built-in laptop compartment. I didn't even own a sleeve that fit my work computer. I think a Brain Cell clipped into the Tri-Star is going to be super awesome: very secure and very practical.

    My personal grooming habits are streamlined, but I don't typically like the hotel soaps so I will be bringing my own. I have an assortment of Go Tubes, which I was introduced to on this forum, so I'll just pack a wee bit of my usual shampoo, body wash, and lotion in them. I like the Burt's Bees products so I might splurge a little and buy a travel pack. I will also bring a Travel Tray to hold my little stuff. Thank goodness for that accessory. I'm the sort who has to check the room 3 times before leaving, just to make sure I haven't left anything behind.

    It's going to feel so weird and LIGHT to pack for just myself. Maybe I should bring some diapers and a packet of wipes anyway, just in case someone else's kid has a potty emergency, LOL.

    2 copies of my paperwork: check.

    Thanks for all the links, @backpack! I love the maps. The Crystal City Wikipedia page was really interesting. I almost hope it is rainy while I am there so that I have an excuse to explore the underground pathways. I have a funny mental image of arriving at Reagan National Airport at night, then spending the next two days exclusively inside and underground, then emerging mole-like, with blinking eyes, on Tuesday evening when I go back to the airport to catch my flight home.
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  2. #17
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    A picture of the beautiful red head family, including the doggie, would be more than welcome. You are all so cute!
    Alas, the poor doggie passed away a few weeks ago. She was about 14 and had cancer. The boys still still look for her and ask "Daw? Daw?" It breaks my heart.

    This is one of my favorite recent pictures of Kindle. I took him to the yarn store (for only like 10 minutes, and we even shared a cupcake while we were there!), and my attention was diverted from him for only a moment during checkout. When I turned around, he was here:

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    Poor little guy! He looks like I kept him out shopping for hours and hours.

    This is Oscar, looking very serious.

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    And two shots of Dad with the boys. They really enjoyed "helping" Daddy put the new table together, especially since he gave them real tools to hold (and whack the table with) during the endeavor.

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    Ready to walk to school:

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    I hope that wasn't too much cute for one day. I had trouble choosing just "a" picture.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  3. #18
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry your dog has died. {{{hugs}}}
    As always Janine, the boys are melting my heart. I love seeing pictures of them! Get used to Kindle's reaction. Both of my boys are allergic to shopping unless it's the LEGO store, whereas Zuri was born with a debit card in one hand and a shopping bag in the other. That girl begs to just go grocery shopping, it's insane!

    I'm excited about your trip vicariously, I can't wait to hear all about it. I think the TS/BC combo will be a great choice, and I'm like you, I need to bring my own toiletries. Have you decided on a companion bag? Since you will have a BC in tow, maybe bring a companion bag as your PLO? Co-Pilot will go nicely into a conference? And as has been bought up works also as as a EDC bag. (knitting fits inside too!)

    As far as traveling solo without the litttles and hubster. It gets easier. The first time I left my kidlets behind I was so homesick for them it was painful. Now, I still miss them, but I welcome opportunities to get away by myself. ;-} Take a few pictures right before you leave to bring along. Maybe record them on your smart phone for a few moments. And make sure to time your calls home when they are awake vs. during nap time. The trip will come and go before you know it.
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  4. #19
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    Sorry for the doggy loss Janine, much hugs.

    The more pictures of "your men", the better,
    Oscar and Kindle are just darlings, thank you for shaing the lovely pictures so we, forum fans, can see how much they have grown into their own sweet beings.

    Their ride just look awsome!


    Back to the trip.

    Forget the crabs cakes, the harvest isn't good in the east coast and they ship crabs from elsewhere but still charge local crab prices.


    However, try to book an evening cruise on the Potomac, the views are breathtaking.
    You can only do it on Monday night after the first day of training so I am not sure you will be up to it.

    Put it on your list of things to do with your hubby and one long weekend/vacation off season, drop the babies at the grand parents and get there for resting, cruising and bikeseeing.

    The way traveling is this days, you get jetlag in the same time zone because of all the lines, waiting and rules.


    Definitely have fun in the area, then you might not have time because your "free" time has already been planned.

    Don't fret about it, the training place might have gotten great deals on good eats and other fun stuff.

  5. #20
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    @backpack, that stroller is amazing! I highly recommend the BOB brand! Ours isn't even a new one; it's a 2007 that has seen much use from its previous owners. It still pushes as well as a new one, though, and the boys love it. And thank you for the kind comments about my family.

    I'll ask my coworker if she's interested in the evening cruise. That sounds lovely, and maybe a nice way to unwind after a hard day learning stuff. The point about crab cakes has been noted!

    @dorayme, I'm glad it gets easier. It's healthy to spend some time apart and I don't want to stress about it. As for a companion bag, I'm torn between using a PCSB and carrying my current PLO (an Overland Equipment Placer). I'll wait to see how my clothes and the new Brain Cell fit in the Tri-Star before I pick, I think. And I reserve the right to change my mind any time until I leave the house on Sunday, LOL!

    Good idea to take some photos before I go!
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  6. #21
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    I do the same thing as bchaplin.

    Also, definitely wear pants on the plane (yoga pants or something with some give will be most comfortable). Word is out that if you wear a skirt, you will get a secondary search, apparently because you could be hiding something between your legs. And now they do the grope-your-privates kind of hand search. For all that certain parties complain that people dress like slobs on airplanes, security makes it difficult to dress nicely.

    I haven't flown in about a year, but also heard that lately the TSA is being very specific about everyone having their liquid toiletries in a clear quart ziploc baggie with no writing on it. If you want some karma points, bring a couple extra for those around you who don't have one.

  7. #22
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    Hi Janine,

    You've already gotten quite a lot of info from backpack. I'll just add a few comments based on having made a couple of trips for review panels where I stayed in other hotels near National Airport (sorry, I lived in DC in the period before it was rebranded as "Reagan"). First, your hotel is really close to the airport -- as in, you could walk to the airport in a pinch, if you had to for your departure. That makes it really easy if you're flying out in the morning or evening, because the shuttles from the hotels can avoid the rush hour traffic and have almost direct access to the airport access ramps (not quite), and probably run every 15 minutes then. However, I've only ever left during the morning, because connections to Hawaii mean that I'd have to overnight somewhere if coming back from a full day's meeting.

    There seems to be a higher fraction of people with carry-ons flying out of National than most other U.S. airports I've flown out of, so if you're able to board early, that can be a help. Even though your carryon will fit easily into the overhead or under the seat, there are lots of people with more problematic baggage. I think I watched my Tri-Star get shifted about 3 times by people who were optimistically trying to find more room in the overhead bins for their belongings during my last trip from DC. You know -- the fact that this bag has a small footprint and could be stood upright and still fit into the bin, plus the easy pull handles meant that it was easy to move around. And hope springeth eternal for finding more space for overstuffed bags, it seems.

    There are a lot of restaurants along 23rd (see backpack's linked map), and that was pretty close to my Hotel (Hilton), but not as close to yours, although it's still within easy walking distance. One of the restaurants I like along 23rd St. is Urban Thai, which also has a vegetarian-friendly menu.
    Your hotel is pretty close to the Crystal City metro stop, so if you're not up to the cruise that backpack suggested another possibility might be to go into somewhere like Georgetown for dinner, which would also give you a view of the city in the evening, after your workshop sessions. There's no Metro stop directly in Georgetown, which is centered around Wisconsin Ave. and M St., but you could take the Metro to Roslyn, VA, and then take the $1 Circulator Bus that runs till midnight, or else walk over the Key Bridge into DC and Georgetown. I was hoping that maverick would weigh in on this thread with some other suggestions, but backpack and dorayme gave lots of good advice.

    Hope you have a great trip,

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 10-16-2012 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Fixed link HTML code for DC Circulator buses

  8. #23
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, @moriond, what a great post. Thank you so much for the words of wisdom.
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  9. #24
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Hi everyone! I'm here in DC now!

    Packing list information: I ended up not bringing my Tri-Star after all, and it's my laptop's fault. I'm going to return my Brain Cell. While I marvel at the protection it provides, it isn't a standalone bag for a woman person - even one who carries a minimal amount of stuff in her purse like me. I really needed to go with something like a Cadet. I ended up bringing my Timbuk2 HAL pack, which has a padded laptop compartment. I packed all my clothes in two Packing Cube Shoulder Bags. I packed my laptop power cord, mouse, and phone charger in a Snake Charmer (it was serious overkill but I was jonesing for a reason to use my hitherto unused Snake Charmer). My toiletries are in a Clear Quarter Packing Cube; wet stuff in a ziplock on one side, dry stuff on the other, as suggested in this thread. I brought my Co-Pilot as my personal item. It had the CQPC, my purse items, and a few Dyneema Organizer Pouches in it. It was a very effective setup for the trip here. On the flight, I stowed the pack overhead and kept the Co-Pilot with me for easy access to my gummy bears and water bottle. In the airports, I was able to carry all my own stuff hands-free.

    And now I finally get the Smart Alec! The HAL is just a big buckety top-loader. It has an organizer section in front, but I just had a steno notebook in there which I could have easily put it in my Co-Pilot instead. I could have packed my loot in a Smart Alec instead and been just as happy (well, a little more happy, especially if it was an Aubergine/Wasabi one).

    I people-watched during the whole trip but didn't spot any Tom Bihn bags besides my own. *sigh*

    Thanks for all the good advice, friends! I look forward to doing a little exploring tomorrow!

    Janine
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  10. #25
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    I have three words for you, my friends:

    Cupcake. Happy. Hour.

    Suddenly I LIKE THIS TRAINING CLASS.
    dorayme likes this.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  11. #26
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    I have three words for you, my friends:

    Cupcake. Happy. Hour.

    Suddenly I LIKE THIS TRAINING CLASS.
    Did you go to DC Cupcakes!???
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy View Post
    Did you go to DC Cupcakes!???
    I was going to suggest this In my earlier post with directions on how to get to Georgetown. They're at 33rd & M Street, and open until 9 p.m. Here are the links:


    moriond

  13. #28
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Curbside Cupcakes! It's a big pink truck filled with cupcakes and it drives to you! Oh my google!
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  14. #29
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    I never fly into Reagan Airport. Landing and takeoffs are rather "scary". The airport was designed for the 1930-40 props, not the current jets. When you land, you feel like you are inches away from the river since the plane has to land right on the edge of the runway so not to skid in the water at the end of the runaway. Then they have to put the engines in reverse overdrive to slow the plane down. I always look for nuts and bolt on the runaway due to the terrible shaking.

    On takeoff, due to noise abatement, the planes have to follow the river; which means a 45 degree angle turn. A couple of valium will help during takeoffs.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  15. #30
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Lessons learned from my trip to DC:

    1. Watch the weather in your destination carefully in the days before you travel. I packed exactly the right clothing and I was ridiculously proud of myself for that accomplishment.

    2. I packed a light toiletry bag, but I needed even less than I brought. I think I fell prey to the fear of sitting in my seat and needing a tissue right then. Maybe next time I will categories my personal care items as "will definitely use daily" and "emergencies" and try to minimize the "emergency" pile.

    3. I brought too much Dyneema! I didn't use my TSS or TT! I loved having them with me, though, just because they are beautiful. :-)

    4. The PCSB is even more awesome than the awesomest awesome thing ever. I love mine.

    5. I would have liked a TSA-friendly laptop solution for the comfort of keeping all my personal possessions attached and handy. Not like I could have left my laptop behind; I would have noticed immediately that my backpack was suddenly light and comfortable.

    6. I just might prefer a true backpack to my WF or TS for airline travel. Obviously, I need to take many more trips to explore the features of all my bags and thus map out the precise times when each would be ideal.

    7. This forum has many excellent people who generously share advice about food, lodgings, shopping, and getting around one's destination city. I love you guys!!!!!

    Janine
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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