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Miami Conference and Edmonton Wedding

For the first year in ages, work had money in the budget for Continuing Education. Exciting stuff. This meant I got to go to Miami for a conference, and bring my family along with me.

We left on May 29th, at an insanely early hour. I didn't tell Alex where we were going (airplane) because she would have freaked out. When we went to get on the plane, she didn't realize we were boarding until about 5 feet from actually stepping onto it... then she turned around and ran away screaming. Of course we were the last people on, and seated at the rear, so we had to drag her screaming past all the other passengers and got these looks... just great. She settled down though, and eventually began to enjoy the experience. She has a vivid memory of the flight attendant bringing her some apple juice. Apparently that helped.

I'll have to post about the entire flight, because it has turned into such an event that Alex constantly requests me to tell it to her as a bedtime story. I'll have to post the story that I tell her, another time.

We ended up renting a car because we didn't want to deal with the whole carseat issue (we were able to just rent carseats from the rental agency). I'm pretty sure we won't be doing that again... while we budgeted correctly for the car rental itself, as well as the cost of keeping the car at the hotel ($28/day), we didn't appreciate that it was valet parking, meaning we'd have to tip everytime we got or returned our car. We didn't appreciate that parking ANYWHERE in Miami, at any time, was insanely expensive (a couple of hours was easily $10-$20. Finally, we didn't anticipate the crazy amounts of tax added on to everything. And I thought WE were badly taxed! Needless to say, we'll probably rethink the whole car rental deal.

We got there late on Friday (May 29th) and didn't do anything that day.

Saturday, we just hung out at the hotel, and took full advantage of the swimming pool. The kids really liked the hotel room since it had floor to ceiling windows. Stephen especially appreciated that he could sit by the window and look out/down. All that swimming exhausted the kidlets, and they slept extremely well.

Sunday morning, we went down to the Bayside Marketplace. Good experience, if insanely hot and humid. Should have brought more water for the kids, and chalked that up to lesson learned for the rest of the week. Bought some new bras at Victoria's Secret, which I've been dying to check out since there isn't one here. I have to say I'm disappointed and I don't think it's all they're cracked up to be. The rest of my afternoon was spent at the conference.

Monday was all day conference for me. Jason took the kids to the zoo.

Tuesday was all day conference for me. Jason took the kids to Parrot Island.

Wednesday was conference for the morning, and in the afternoon we took the kids to the Seaquarium. We managed to see most of the shows, and that was also a good time.

The whole work conference was a great experience... I picked up a lot of fantastic ideas and learned a lot. I really think they got their money's worth in sending us. I'll have to make a separate post just about that.

We left early Thursday morning, and the travel went well, except that Jason's travel agent had told him that children under 2 don't need tickets (since they sit in laps), but apparently they do need tickets when they're flying internationally. So we couldn't do our fast check-in, we had to stand in line and buy Stephen a ticket, which turned out to cost us nothing (apparently it's usually a small percentage of the adult fare... like 10%?). Thank God we were early... we could easily have missed our flights.

We got back late Thursday evening, picked up supper and then washed and repacked for Friday morning, where we drove to Edmonton for stuporstar's wedding. I figured I'd post the pics after the bride has approved them, so we're just waiting on her now ;)

I got to meet my longtime friend phaedie, her boyfriend Dan, and missioncontrol - someone I'd heard about but to whom I had never been introduced. Seriously a fantastic experience. The wedding was lovely, the bride was radiant, and everything was the way it was supposed to be :)

I feel a little bit awesome and evil at the same time that internet friends were the only ones who managed to make Marissa cry that day (in happiness of course!) >:)

That about sums up my Miami and Edmonton vacation... more posts to come!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm not exactly clear why she was afaid of the airplane... but I'm happy to say that it passed.

Now she's just afraid of the clouds :P (turbulence!)
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
glad you had a good time!

Very glad you were able to get out of your house (even if it was only for work).

Good to hear that you're doing well. <3!
Jul. 18th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
Hope you're doing well too my friend <3
Jul. 6th, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
Glad you got some vacation time, even if it was work related. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself.

I have been really down about Rissa's wedding. I didn't even know about it, and I have a ton of free travel time logged that I could have easily attended. I would have slept on a park bench if neccessary to finally put my arms around you guys.

Oh, well...I guess it was really just a girl thing. heh.

Jul. 18th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
That seriously sucks :( It would have been awesome to see you :(
Jul. 6th, 2009 09:33 am (UTC)
This stupid thing...keeps making my comments annonymous.

So, once again...

I am glad to hear you had a good time and got some vacation in, even if it was for work. Glad things were pretty smooth for you!

I have been pretty down about Rissa's wedding. I didn't even know about it, and could have easily come up to be there. I have a ton of free travel time logged, and I would have gladly slept on a park bench to get my arms around you guys for even one second.

Oh, well. I guess it was a girl thing.

Jul. 18th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
That seriously sucks :( It would have been awesome to see you :(

Don't be down about it though, I suspect there were issues with the guest list.

How is your health? How are you doing?
Jul. 22nd, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Rissa replied to your comment, but it didn't thread.
Jul. 22nd, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Hey - I wish I could have invited everyone to the wedding but do to expenses - I invited those that I knew were close and might be able to come.

I can't believe you and Phaedie did come - it was so amazing but time was way too short to visit with anyone *sigh*

I love you guys
Jul. 22nd, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
Aww <3

That's how I found it at my wedding too... there was only about enough time to spend 5 minutes with each person. Not enough to really visit :/
Jul. 22nd, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)
Don't think I'm mad or anything, just disappointed. I am a big boy, and I'll survive it!

Thanks for being a friend all these years, I am truly, deeply, with all my heart ecstatic for you. I hope you find your marriage to be like paradise every single day, but if ever you should need my ear...always know I am here. Never be afraid to ask!

I wish you all the love and peace you are due.

Much lub.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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