I can’t get a complete inventory because counting makes me itchy, but based on what I HAVE counted and can see, I have over 70 mosquito bites. It sucks, and is not at all embellished for the internet: I am gross all over. I have ten bites on my left kneecap alone, and the back of my legs is an utter horror show. My arms are a nightmare. I look pox-ridden.
But! I had an excellent time in Orlando! My coworkers are completely awesome, and far less scary than my anxiety predicted. There were 20 of us down for the week, and instead of hotels, we stayed in two 10-bedroom resort homes in a fancy gated complex that were super fance: each room had its own ensuite (I lucked out and randomly picked a room with a soaker tub), the living rooms had nice squishy leather couches, each dang house had a pool and hot tub out back, the kitchens had ample counter/table space for laptoppin’, etc. Apparently, this is how people do Florida. I could get used to it (maybe without the mosquitoes though).
Also, I was never without Diet Coke or ice cubes, for which I am absurdly grateful. I don’t require alcohol or specific food stuffs or special treatment, but DAMN if I don’t appreciate being accommodated. I was delightfully caffeinated all week long! I am easy to please.
There are very few good things to be said about a total disregard for the environment, but I had forgotten how glorious a shower with epic water pressure is. I tried to keep my showering short (not in part because the water was stank with swamp), but daaaang. Every morning it was like sandblasting the previous evening’s bad decisions off my person. Loved it (but still feel bad).
I ended my trip with a minor catastrophe in the air: I lost my passport. I remembered having it at the gate when my boarding pass was scanned, and then .. nothing. I emptied out the bags I was carrying, tore apart my seat, disturbed every person in a three seat radius, but nothing: my passport had simply vanished. The flight attendants called the airport with their fancy airplane phones and had the ground crew check the gate and walkway, but there was no sign of it. I tried to remain calm (and did a pretty good job of not losing my shit [no pun intended]), but I knew I was facing a difficult time at YVR customs .. oh and also I leave for Japan in a week and can’t do that without a passport. Fuck. And who the hell loses important documents along a 10′ walk in a straight line? Me, apparently.
After I had disturbed people as much as I could, I resigned myself to staying on the plane until everyone had left so I could check the other seats. The flight landed, people stood and gathered their things, and then the best goddamn thing happened: the woman sitting behind me spotted my passport in the overhead bin above my head. HOLY SHIT WHAT A FUCKING RELIEF. I didn’t think to check the bin above me during my search because my carry-on bag wasn’t in there – I had placed it in the bin across from me, and checked that thoroughly. As near as I can figure, when I got on the plane I hoisted my bag into the bin then set my passport and boarding pass above my seat – in the bin – to arrange myself and stash my tote bag. In my haste to sit down and get out of people’s way, I utterly forgot that I had put my documents down above my head. It was fortunate that the lady was taller than I, because I’d have never been able to see into the overhead bin and would have missed it entirely during my search. Stressful as fuck, but it ended better than I could have hoped AND I didn’t have to beg Canadian Border Patrol to let me in. Score!
All in all, a great week (passport stress and bites aside). I had some great conversations about work and music and video games and Japanese sex acts, finally met most of my coworkers in the flesh, successfully escaped Mars, and wasn’t eaten by an alligator. A++++++, would #cycleweek again.
Oh, and I have fully embraced the fact that I am a Ravenclaw through and through, and own the robe to prove it.