Alexandria or bust!

I believe I said a few months ago that I had registered for EFACON, which will be my first professional conference as an editor, and that this even will be held in Alexandria, Virginia (near Washington, DC). I believe that I also said I was going to stay with my mother each night and take the Metro subway to Alexandria every day of the conference.

The plans have changed.

I am now going to stay at the hotel where the conference will be held. I booked a room back in March.

“But Suzelle, you are semi-local to Alexandria. You are only two hours away. Why are you staying at the hotel?” you ask.

There is more than one reason.

First, I do not want to be limited in my networking. If I meet another editor whose work I really admire and whom I wish to talk with for a good long time, I do not want to have to tell them, “Oh, it’s ten o’clock. I need to leave to catch the Metro.” Who am I—Cinderella?

Second, speaking of the Metro, I do not want to ride it back to my mother’s area at night. That is way too dangerous for a woman traveling by herself. I hear about Metro incidents almost every day on the DC local news.

Third, I do not want to have to duck out of evening events so I can catch the Metro. I will be very resentful if I must.

Fourth—and this is embarrassing—I have never been to Alexandria and I want the total experience of being there. I want to go out to dinner with colleagues and explore the waterfront and other attractions with them in our free time. The reason this reason is embarrassing is that I was born and raised in the DC area and have never visited Alexandria. I have heard there is nothing like being a tourist in your native area, though, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this city. Besides, I have heard that Alexandria is a lot like Annapolis, Maryland—my “happy place,” along with Wildwood, New Jersey.

Have you ever played tourist in your native area? If so, where did you go and what was it like for you?

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