A half-asleep Belle drove me to the airport at 4:30 a.m. I was finally going to Blogher, the grand kahuna of blogging conferences, and I wanted to be in San Diego bright and early because I had a lot to learn. But after the toddler attempted suicide the night before, I’d cracked open a bottle of wine, and the after-effects combined with the insane hour rendered me incoherent.
As soon as I got through airport border control, I bought a bottle of water, which cost me THREE DOLLARS, and then I drank half of it and left it on the first airplane. When I got to
hell the Atlanta airport, my flight to San Diego was delayed by an hour, and I’d left my book at home, so I went to look for something to read and a water fountain.
People looked at me like I’d lost my mind when I asked if there were any used bookstores or libraries in the airport. I finally settled for a newsstand where I paid FIFTEEN DOLLARS for a paperback book. But no one looked at me strangely when I asked where the airport bar was. I didn’t ask how much the bloody Mary was—I just handed over my American Express.
In San Diego, the shuttle driver tried to kill me when he made up his mind to run a yellow light and then changed it halfway through and slammed on breaks. I was headed for the windshield when the guy sitting next to me grabbed my foot and saved the little Beans from becoming orphans.
The San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Room 509
The first thing I did when I arrived was to check for bedbugs. There weren’t any. The second thing I did was to unpack my luggage. Neatly.
Laverne and Shirley, who were sharing my room, arrived shortly thereafter. They were bubbly and adorable. The two mommies were in their 20s, they both had 2-year-old boys, and they had both found that matrimony was overrated, at least with their former spouses. Five minutes after they arrived, the room turned into a disaster zone.
I’ve never seen so much unorganized shit in one place in all my life.
The expo, the conference, the people
While L&S were off doing whatever 20-something-moms do when they’re on vacation from two-year-olds, I went to explore the expo.
In a word—overwhelming.
Fortunately, Shell, from MommySavers befriended me, and together we discovered great brands, enjoyed food, loaded up on great swag and had our picture taken with the Pine Sol lady Diane Amos. The sponsors were amazing. Quaker was there giving out boxes of Oatmeal Squares cereal. Arm & Hammer toothpaste, my favorite (and I’m not just saying that), was giving out toothpaste AND Whitening Booster. Hillshire Farm had a bistro set up with everything from sausage biscuits to wraps to hearty sandwiches. Tropicana was passing out lemonade. Dove chocolate had decadent ice cream (go to their website—they’re giving away a vacation to Hawaii). McDonalds had yummy tropical smoothies. Sesame Street was there with toys for little Beans; Ella’s Kitchen, with organic baby and toddler food (the smoothies I took home got the Moose Seal of Approval); and YoCrunch, with yogurt.
Fortunately, after all of the food, swag, people and travel, Tempurpedic was there with a luxurious bed. I took off my shoes and made myself comfortable. I almost didn’t get up, and by the time I did, there was a line of weary bloggers waiting for my spot. Before I left, I entered their contest for a chance to win two Tempur Cloud pillows, one to keep and one to give away, and since I was one of the winners, you should check back here soon for more details.
The conference passed by in a blur. Everywhere I turned I was talking to someone new. I met Megan from Velveteen Mind. I had lunch with Kiki and Emily of I Can Haz Cheezburger. And I talked botox with beauty queen Christina (check out her blog—she’s got great beauty tips). The sessions were insightful, the food was great, the conversation was thought-provoking and the people were beautiful. There were parties, false eyelashes, manicures and massages.
Saturday, Room 509
But I missed my little Beans. On Skype, Jax told me about going fishing, and then Moose appeared. He was naked and he was standing in Papa’s desk chair, so that I was having a conversation with his peanut.
At night L&S hit the party circuit, and I drank wine, read my $15 book and went to bed. About 2 a.m. my phone started beeping. The texts started rolling in, but they were all in some kind of code, and I don’t even understand English at 2 a.m., much less code.
Laverne: Where are you
Laverne: Men are being jerks help
Laverne: Name a place dude I tested for you
Laverne: We left stigatee
Laverne: I’m so sorry!!!
By this time, I was fully awake, so I poured myself some more wine and read some more of my book.
Laverne never went to bed. We both had 0-dark-30 flights and were sharing a cab to the airport. For someone who had spent the night partying, she moved with unexpected alacrity. She had all of her shit packed before I did and tapped her foot for 15 minutes while I finished packing. She was ready to see her baby.
At the airport, a big mean woman with bad hair ordered me to have a body scan. I decided I wanted to see the little Beans more than I wanted to ask who pee-peed in her Corn Flakes, so I didn’t say anything. Then on the plane I sat next to a smelly terrorist.
I held my nose and read my book.
Twelve hours later I opened the front door of Maison Bean. Dirty clothes were scattered all over the house. Matchbox cars and Thomas trains littered the floor. The trash was overflowing…. It was almost like being in room 509 again.
Rooster was shaking like a leaf, and Hyacinth, who had discovered a feast under the highchair, was fast asleep and snoring. Jax was doing science experiments, and Moose was running around naked. Mimi had checked herself into the funny farm, and Papa was in the sangria.
By midnight, order was restored. The laundry was done, the floors vacuumed, the toys put away, and I had retrieved Mimi from the psych ward. I was ready to get in bed with my book. I had 50 pages to go.
The book was nowhere to be found. Probably still on the airplane. Shit.
I turned to get in bed and discovered I wasn’t alone. Winnie-the-Pooh and Funny Bunny had snuck in while I wasn’t looking.
It was good to be home.