My original plan was to leave to fly back to Kansas City on Sunday morning so I'd have most of the afternoon and evening open to rest up. I got word on Friday night that my morning flight was canceled due to the tropical storm, so I went online and booked a Sunday afternoon flight instead.
I actually thought that one might happen, but I got the cancellation call on Sunday right after breakfast. When I checked the website there were no Sunday flights available at all. I tried to rebook online but the site must have been overwhelmed because it wasn't going through. I ended up calling and sitting on hold for at least 30 minutes before I finally rebooked my flight for 1:05 p.m. on Monday.
So that left me wandering around the hotel aimlessly for a bit. I met up with a group of bloggers and had a second breakfast (I got the hotel restaurant to make me my Shakeology shake). In the process, I learned that staying another night at the conference hotel would cost me $225 because they weren't extending the conference rate of $119 unless you'd booked in advance.
I love it when other people do my research for me, and I happened to run into someone who had planned all along to move to another hotel for the next couple of days. I took her recommendation of a $99 a night Best Western in Arlington, Virginia, and made a reservation there. It cost me a $30 cab ride to get there, but it was still a substantial savings over staying where I was.
After I said my goodbyes, I made my way to the new hotel and started reaching out to my nearby blogger buddies to see if anyone wanted to get together. Sarah and Laurie were kind enough to make plans with me to meet at an Irish-themed pub about half a mile from my hotel. I walked up to meet them in the late afternoon.
We chatted about sports, hair-metal bands, work and other important stuff over beers and deliciously evil pub food.
After we left the pub, I stopped by a nearby sandwich shop to grab some dinner for later, then walked back to my hotel.
I was tempted to go swimming in the lovely pool, but tiredness got the best of me and I ended up staying in my room reading all evening. (I love the Kindle app on my iPad!)
After ten full hours of sleep, I awoke refreshed and ready for my travel day, even if it did involve re-wearing certain garments from earlier in the trip.
I think the lesson here is that it's never a bad idea to build an extra vacation day into a conference trip. Thanks to the sleep I got on Sunday and Monday nights, I'm not spending this week in an exhausted haze the way I did after BlogHer. So the storm actually did me a favor, albeit a rather expensive favor.