You might recall that I was in Washington D.C. for the Blog Paws conference. The timing couldn’t have been better. I got there the day after they had their largest earthquake in 100 years and I left on the day Hurricane Irene barreled through. Surprisingly, the conference was still a big success.
I learned a ton of useful stuff, like did you know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and not Solar Eclipse Onlookers? Who knows, maybe it stands for both. Honestly, I sometimes thought that Capycoppy knew more about what was going on than I did, he went to all of my sessions and was so cocky that he didn’t even take notes!
A few of the sessions were cancelled because of the hurricane. The one I most wanted to see, about how to quit your job and become a full time blogger, was one of the unfortunate ones. Drat! Now I’ll have to work for another year until the next Blog Paws.
A lot of people left the conference early which is why there weren’t many left for the hurricane photo at the top of this post, but a few of us stuck it out until the end. My flight was schedule for 8 am Monday morning, virtually the exact moment the hurricane was supposed to be its most intense in the DC area.
Luckily I had brought a couple of Caplin Rous jigsaw puzzles and several of us started working on one. In this photo you can see (from right to left) Stacy Winnick of Dobby’s Day, Celeste Lindell of Average Jane, Becky Wilson of Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue, BZTAT, the famous artist, and Becky’s husband whose name eludes me. (It might be time for me to confess that I have a great deal of trouble recognizing people or remembering their names. It is a near miracle that I got four names out of five.)
The great thing about a jigsaw puzzle is that it gives everyone something to do, it is a shared effort and you can still talk and (obvious from the photo) drink while working on it. We had a wide ranging conversation that clustered around pets, hurricanes, blogs, technology, and airline flights.
Possibly a 672 piece puzzle was not the right choice for a night of hurricane watching when I had to get up at around 5 am to catch my hypothetical plane. The thing about a jigsaw puzzle is that it is very difficult to stop once you’re started. There’s always just one more piece. Unlike board games and the like, one or two people can leave the puzzling for a while and come back to take up generally where they left off. That’s good and bad since when you come back it just sucks you back int.
At about 1 am, we finished the puzzle. I’d like to say the wind was howling outside while sirens wailed in the distance, but all seemed quite.
Capycoppy and Super Gari woke when Stacy and I got back to the room but they slept right through most of the hurricane. There wasn’t even any loud thunder. Or maybe the hotel was sound proofed.
Angela Mitchell of Guinea Pig Today came to pick me up. You might remember that Angela designed our great “3 capybaras walked into a bar…” tshirt and also the ROUS Foundation logo. She only started the Guinea Pig Today blog after the conference so it isn’t fleshed out completely yet. I’ll bet this is her first link from another blog. Y’all need to go over there and check it out and embarrass her into writing more content.
Angela had a more authentic hurricane experience than I did. She was awakened by a branch falling onto her house. The drive to the airport was completely traffic and obstruction free. We did see a couple of fallen branches and leaves littered the road but that was the extent of it.
The airport was virtually empty so there was no one to see Angela posed with three plushies…but I think she would have done it anyway.
I was lucky I booked my flight on Delta, although even some Delta flights were cancelled. Who would have thought that the 8 am flight would go through to Atlanta but the 10 am flight to Atlanta would be cancelled?
Many of you will remember my friend Sheldon. Well, he has a new addition to his snow globe collection. The plushies were impressed by the variety available. These are just the ones featuring President Obama, there was a whole other section for the White House, Congress, the Washington Monument, etc.
This is what Hurricane Irene looked like at sunrise at the airport. Not much. I know now that it was a serious storm in other parts of the East Coast but it seems to have been pretty mild in D.C. You’ll notice that Capycoppy has on a little raincoat. We got that at Blog Paws as swag from PetsMart. I think it is for a teeny, tiny dog but maybe it’s for a cat. It just fit Capycoppy. Super Gari is wearing a lai that someone at the conference gave us. I think it is really a hair scrunchy.
This is Hurricane Irene from the air. It really made for some beautiful and unusual clouds. Naturally none of these clouds followed me to Texas where it never rains.
The Atlanta airport has some great African art tucked away between the main terminal and terminal A. I had some extra time so I took the plushies there and photographed them with some of my favorite pieces. American cities are typically sadly devoid of art and yet almost all airports have at least some. But why is this beautiful collection buried in such a dismal and infrequented location?