WHEW! Posting all those pictures sure was exhausting! That's my excuse for not posting in over a week. But really the excuse is that I've been out of town (as usual!). And, of course, when I got back, catching up with things I couldn't do because I was out of town.
March 18 was SNG's and my 10th anniversary so we took a weekend trip to Wilmington. We had a hotel room on Wrightsville beach with a balcony overlooking the Atlantic. The weather was a little crappy. Saturday was cold, windy, and a little bit rainy, but we were determined to have fun, so we just did all the things we wanted to do only we did them in the cold, windy, rainy weather. Except I didn't get to use my new swimsuit. Bummer.
We ate at terrific seafood places all weekend. One place, called Bridge Minder's, was good enough that we went twice! We also found a funky place for breakfast called Middle of the Island. It's a little diner that was mostly full of locals as far as we could tell. On Saturday we rented a couple of beach cruisers for the day (see SNG's picture below this post). They were single-speed bikes with coaster brakes. Scary! But fun. Way fun. Sunday the weather was gorgeous (but still cold & windy). We walked on the beach and watched the surfers. Then we drove home.
And I packed for Milwaukee. And left Monday morning. And was there until Friday night.
Actually, Milwaukee (hereafter referred to as MKE) wasn't too bad. The hotel I stayed in was average, but it was attached to a (second-rate) mall downtown, so I was able to do some lécher vitrines. The restaurants within walking distance of the hotel were of the highest calibur: Applebee's was the crowning glory, but there was also Mo's Irish Pub and a burrito place. And of course, we cannot forget to mention the decadent food court at the mall. Only at the mall food court can you find Bourbon Street Chicken, a dish so exclusive that even I, who grew up in New Orleans and spend many evenings during those formative teenage years on Bourbon street, had never heard of it until about 5 years ago, when I first saw it in Boston, MA. Only fast-food chinese food chefs know the secret to this gourmet delicacy. And then there is Sbarro, the pinnacle of Italian culinary mastery. BIG slices of pizza. Shaker jars of powdered parmesan cheese-food product. It's genius, I tell you.
Sadly, I was only able to experience these restaurants on the first day I was in town. After that, the client for whom I was teaching had planned lunch and dinner dates for me with students every day. Now I have to say, this is something I wish every onsite customer would do. Normally, I teach classes full of students who may or may not want to be there. If it's an on-site class, it is usually arranged by someone who is not actually taking the class. I show up, I teach all day, I go back to my hotel, I eat alone, I go to sleep, get up, shampoo, rinse, repeat.
But this class was arranged by a director who asked all his managers to send their statisticians for 3 weeks of training (I was week 3) and he sat in on the whole thing. One of his motives for having the onsite class was the opportunity to have a captive instructor-- someone who is devoted to that one company for the entire time. This opens opportunities for one-on-one discussions that you can't really have in public training courses. So I think he arranged all the lunch and dinner dates for 2 reasons-- 1, to help me feel welcome and 2, to get a little free consulting for his statisticians. Which is just fine with me! I love having company, I love talking shop, and I really liked these students. They were really friendly and seemed to genuinely want to be in class. And they know some really good places to eat in MKE (only accessible by car).
It's those kind of classes that remind me why I like my job.
The trip home and last weekend are topics for a new post- this one is getting really long.
If I leave you with a cliffhanger, maybe you'll all come back and anxiously await the next post! While you're waiting, why not leave me a comment? I love comments. They are evidence that I'm not just talking to thin air.