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What I Learned on My Summer (Working) Vacation

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Okay, that sounds like a Grade 7 homework assignment, but bear with me. I promise to make this a bit more interesting. (Or at least I'll try.) Here are 7 things I learned during my weekend trip to Washington for the DONA International Conference.

1. There is probably no limit to what I will pay for a certain brand of coffee. Like $4.40 USD for a Venti Bold. Highway robbery, but I paid.

2. You should read the shopping restrictions before you leave Canada, not after you've shopped. A moment of indiscretion with two leather purses (one in my favorite shade of green-yellow, one in the red that matches my SUV) pushed me over the top. I thought there was a 72 hour shopping value that fell between what you could spend in 48 hrs. and 7 days, but no such luck.

3. Not all border officials are green meanies. I had very nice, friendly people in both directions. They didn't even make me pay any duty for my over-shopping faux pas. They simply thanked me for my honesty. (That totally restored my faith in humanity, the universe, etc., after my recent run of bad luck -- proof that I was destined to buy those purses.)

4. Doulas are the most nurturing people on the planet. I felt like I was hanging out with a group of friends all weekend long. I had a blast! I also took some really informative workshops on making your birth plan work in the real world, the latest types of epidurals, factors that are driving rising c-section rates, and intimate partner violence during pregnancy.

5. Birth makes an amazing subject for a play. I had the opportunity to see Birth: The Play performed while I was in Washington. The play was both powerful and funny. (Think The Vagina Monologues, but with a birth experience thrown in!) If you have the chance to take in a performance, I highly recommend that you go. It was one of the highlights of my weekend.

6. This is the best "sleep music" I have ever come across in my life! I bought it while I was away because I needed something to drown out all the background noise at the hotel. I never got past the second track any night when I was listening to it. Travelers/insomniacs of the world, take note!

7. A quiet hotel room in another country is a great place to work. There are no distractions (unless you want to watch really bad TV). And there's an endless supply of coffee in the hotel lobby (well, as long as you can keep coming up with the $4.40 USD to keep financing your habit).

| posted by Ann D @ 10:35 AM