For the THIRD year in a row I ran into HR buddies on my flight to the conference. We didn’t get to sit next to each other, but a brief conversation at luggage claim helped set up plans to meet for dinner later, maybe, possibly, (we agreed naps were the priority after the early morning flight).
I got checked in, then immediately forgot about taking a nap and went downtown. I got on one of those big giant tour buses to see a few sights without putting heavy mileage on my soon to be aching feet (thanks SHRM16 Step Challenge). As this is my 4th visit to DC, I wasnt’ too worried about missing things.
Even so, I quickly discovered that a bus tour at the peak of tourism season is really just an expensive way to experience the traffic of whatever city you are visiting. I took in most of the monuments at “bus tour length”, which is to say that I saw everything briefly and from a distance. Meh.
I also had signed up for the “night tour”, but scrapped that in favor of walking the mall on foot. It was almost sunset, so I figured it wouldn’t be as hot. As I walked I found a bike share station and rode around on that for a while. It was glorious, but I was terrible at it. I guess it truly is possible to forget how to ride a bike.
I don’t know how to say this, but it is incredibly apparent that DC has a homelessness problem. I’m not saying they have a “get em’ off the street problem”, I’m saying there is poverty, desperation, and mental illness visible in almost every corner of the downtown area. It is unavoidable when you are walking around, and it is sad.
I’ll likely write more about this later.
I met my HR buddies for dinner at Cuba Libre later that evening, where we swapped HR, SAHRMA and SHRM Leadership stories and ideas. We had a great time, and I ate baby octopi. Yep, all eight wriggly tiny tentacles, of three chewy tiny octopi.
I managed to get back to the hotel fairly early, in spite of the DC Metro’s best efforts to thwart me. Saturday night trains are slow and unreliable it seems, so I used Uber to get back instead. Something tells me Uber and I are going to be fast friends by the time this conference is over!