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Written at 10:30pm last night.

The following isn’t about any meetings, lectures, or vendor talks, it’s just a recount of my l-o-n-g trip to Washington. If you’re a fan of Twitter, I kept that updated most of the time…

city bus stop

The day started with a 7:20am walk to the Amtrak pickup point in Winston-Salem. I thought it’d be nice, since this is the last trip within train distance that I’ll take while living so nearby, and wanted to take advantage of it. We were shuttled to the High Point train station and picked up the north bound train there.

The train was PACKED…. every seat taken. I was hoping for a window seat with an outlet, but was assigned to an aisle seat. Even my Mac’s battery didn’t last the whole trip. I was seated next to the loveliest older gentleman who shared stories and advice for me (as a young person and a newlywed).

I got into DC at 6:30–an hour and a half late–and too late to register or take the shuttle to my residence hall at GMU. So, I figured out the DC Metro, transferred in the right place, and then figured out the Fairfax bus system and got to the GMU campus. Public transit is more complicated here than a lot of places, but the system doesn’t take too long to learn.

The GMU campus is under a lot of construction, but it is pretty. Luckily, I ran into a fellow UNCG student, and she was able to point me in the direction of check in. I finally ate something around 9:00pm.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this type of travel for everyone, but for folks who like to travel by their bootstraps, don’t mind a little bit of adventure, enjoy figuring out public transportation, and can have nice conversations with strangers, it can be fun! I’m hoping that by staying in this unusual location I’ll get to meet other library staff early in their careers. I guess I’ll find out at 6:30am, when the shuttle leaves GMU for the convention center. Hopefully I’ll have time to check in before my 8:00 LITA Interest Group (co)chair meeting!

Update: All is well. The big lesson I learned this morning is get to the bus EARLY. Some folks were left behind when the bus was filled. Now I’m checked in, online, and sitting outside of my first meeting. It’ll be all ALA (and no more stories about travel) from here on out. Expect a post about LITA in a little while!

Update 2: So it appears this is a tricky conference for people in general! After reading about Susan and Mary’s far flung accommodations and Lynn, Bill, and Sarah’s flight, I’m beginning to think there’s just something about this particular conference…