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Gross Point Blank

Even a training seminar can be an adventure

I recently trekked to Sea-Tac to participate in a training seminar weekend for a club presidency position I'm soon to assume.

Outside of the training, the trip was, of course, an adventure. I don't think I'd have life any other way.

First of all, the Doubletree hotel is gigantic and painful to traverse when coping with tendonitis. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when the gal at the front desk tried to show me a map to my room.

Yes. A map. To my room. She didn't use fancy words like north or south, but it doesn't matter. When it's dull grey outside and there's no sunshine, I can't determine east from west.

Then, as is the way in big cities, before I could even open my mouth to ask if we could run through it one more time, she stared directly over my shoulder and asked the man behind me if she could help him.

I was dismissed.

I finally found my room, but kept losing it throughout the weekend.

On Friday night and Saturday morning, I kept getting lost every time I went outside to smoke. That's because it wasn't until lunchtime Saturday that I finally noticed the big signs pointing the way to the lobby. I laughed at myself.

I'm the friendly type, so I met a few people I grew crazy about.

I regularly ate my meals with an older gentleman who was pretty cool. He confessed he wanted to write romance novels, so we sat there at dinner one night making up an entire story. He got the crazy idea that because I write, I must be able to write books. Ha! I can't, but we had fun telling tales.

I actually met a seasoned pressman from Alaska who once ran a linotype. He asked me what the biggest story is that I've ever worked on. For some reason, I replied that a small community near the town I work was the first in the nation to discover mad cow disease. He beat me: he recalls the day they were an hour away from presstime and President Kennedy was shot.

Then there was a gal from Oregon that I shared a room with. She preferred late mornings and I prefer early bedtime, so we tended to catch each other coming and going. When she came into the room late Saturday night, she asked, "Don't you party at all?"

With the training during the day, and the countless, pointless miles traversed around the Doubletree compound while I was lost, I was pooped. But, the interesting people I met on this adventure more than made up for it.

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