Now that I have returned from Blog World Expo 2008, have had some time to catch up and process the experience, I thought I’d write a detailed personal recap, to share how the trip went and, also, to document it for myself, in the future. This is a super long, highly detailed post. Emphasis on personal and long. You have been warned. :)
I was due to fly out late Thursday morning, on September 18. Only thing… my entire family was coming down with a nasty stomach bug. So, while I attempted to sleep, the sounds of them being sick woke me up and kept me up all night and I ended up receiving around four hours of sleep, or so. Not only that, but it felt like I was coming down with it because, an hour before I was to leave, I was sick. Lovely.
The main thing I thought of was how much planning had gone into this trip. I wasn’t just attending the conference, I wouldn’t just be out of a substantial amount of money. I had two panels and a book signing and I had other people that had worked for me to be there and were relying on me to be there. If there was any way I could go, I was going to go.
I basically told myself it was nerves, not an actual illness like the rest of my house (some might call this denial, heh), and pushed myself to get ready and go, make the hour and a half car ride and get to the airport, nauseous much of the time. Worse yet, I had a horrendous flight path. Norfolk, VA to Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA to Las Vegas, NV. About 10 hours in all, from start to finish. I gritted my teeth and made it. The last one and a half plane rides were not bad as I started to feel better.
From the airport, the cab driver seriously – seriously ripped me off. I had no basis of what the proper fare was as I had forgotten to look into that. We’re talking double the regular fare rip off.
I got to the hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton, around 6 PM local time and met with my friends Brandon Eley and Chrispian Burks, for dinner. I hung out with Brandon and Chris for the vast majority of the conference. We had planned to head to a meet up hosted by my pal (and fellow panelist) Jason Falls, but we were dead tired – I was half falling asleep at dinner. So, that is where my first night in Vegas ended – in bed before 9 PM. But, I fell asleep the moment I hit the pillow and slept 8 hours straight – this turned out to be the only good night of sleep I’d get while at the conference.