Now that I’ve been home for a day and a half, I’ve had some time to regroup and catch up on sleep (I crashed for a few more hours this evening), but I still need a couple more days to recover.
When all was said and done, Nashville was great. I didn’t learn as much as I was expecting to (didn’t have to do much router configuration), but I got to know the guys I work with a lot better, had a lot of fun, and felt like I had accomplished something at the end of the week. It was an exhausting trip, but it’s nice to come home at night too tired to do anything but sleep, knowing that it’s because you put in a good solid 14 hours of work. After a week on conference schedule, though, real life seems pretty mundane.
As I told the guys a few days ago, I think I could do this once a month, if I didn’t have to drive. I guess our equipment is usually delivered by someone from the company we rent it from, but it didn’t work out this time for whatever reason, so Bryan and I drove a 16-foot rental truck back and forth. The ride down was uneventful - after about 13 hours of driving, we stopped for the night outside Nashville at the same place as Obie Trice, and finished the drive in the morning.
The drive home just plain sucked. We were figuring on leaving Nashville at about 5 on Thursday, and I thought we had to be back in Arlington at 4 on Friday to drop off equipment and return the truck. We figured we’d stop for a little sleep somewhere around midnight and we’d be fine, but we didn’t get out of there until 7 and needed to be back by 1, so we just drove through the night. It was a quiet trip because we alternated driving and sleeping, so there wasn’t much chance for conversation. We pulled in at the office at about 8:30, unloaded all of our stuff, and a couple of the guys took off to return the equipment and truck (Bryan had to go because he’s the one that rented the truck, but they sent me home to get some sleep). And then, of course, I slept forever.
At this point, I’ve got no clean clothes and sore feet. I must have walked 15 miles, all indoors, every day. The Gaylord Opryland is just plain enormous - compare the satellite view to the same zoom level at RIT. The big, round, glass-topped thing in the middle is the Delta Atrium. I overheard some guy saying it’s the biggest hotel in America that isn’t attached to a casino (I don’t have anything to back that up, but it sounds pretty good to me).
It was a lot of fun and a lot of work (and I got to go to Cooters), and I’m looking forward to the next one. For now, I want to veg in front of the TV, and then get back to sleeping.