That was then.
Today, I am staring at the calendar trying to manipulate the calendar to no avail. Until I married a doctor, I never realized they travel so much. Advisory Meetings, Department Conference, Society Conference, Regional Conference, Board Meetings... it's really too much. Yet, here we are trying to find time on the calendar to celebrate one of our kid's birthdays as a family during the month of September.
I'm pretty certain I'll be celebrating with the kids and my extended family. While we party, Doc H will be conferencing.
Early on, I found accompanying Doc H to conferences exciting. Impressive hotels and resorts. Luxury, 1000 thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets. Spa worthy, marble bathrooms. Rooms with a view. Spa services. Maid service. Room Service. Heaven on earth, right?
Should be and is for the first few years until the absurdity of such extravagances is able to penetrate through the skull, into your mind and your more logical senses.
The bottle of water you use to make the "free" pot of coffee: $15
The in-room rom-com movie you watch during the conference: $19.99
Continental Breakfast Room Service for one: 45 freaking dollars! If you're going to slap me at least toast my buns, please!
Spa services: At least $150 plus your right nipple.
In room wi-fi: $29.99 per day (and you know this gal needs her wi-fi!)
Breathing: FREE! At least for now. I'm under no false pretenses. I'm sure they'll find a way to charge for this before I finish writing this post. The same goes with peeing.
The term "Medical Conference" must be the equivalent of a wet dream for hotel and resort directors. I would not find it shocking, should it ever be revealed, the resorts and hotels raise prices across the board the precise moment the doctors and their wives (or husbands) begin pulling up to the valet.
Inevitably, hanging out alone all day in a hotel (no matter how beautiful) becomes boring. Or worse, you start to spin into a whoa-is-me depression as you meander through the hotel or resort alone. As hand-in-hand couples pass by, you become increasingly aware of your solitary state and strolling as half of a whole can plummet even the toughest to the brink of a maudlin state.
Therefore, I have become particularly selective in my Doc Wife travels. I have created trip criteria...
Destination and time of year- You won't find me in Milwaukee in January.
Length of trip- Must be longer than 2 nights. (I hate flying. I find flying with only a one day break torturous.)
Ratio of conference time vs. free time- Must be no more than 50% (Sleeping hours excluded)
Kid management and schedule- No need to explain, right?
There are a few variables which may make me forgo the aforementioned criteria.
Any tropical destination may warrant a quick trip.Ditto any water front room.Luxury Suite over luxury room? Anytime, any day.
Likewise, there are a few trips I will never accompany Doc H on. Specifically, you will never find me in South or Central America for a round of human trials in an effort to appease the FDA. Even if the trip is over a week or two in duration, I will not travel. Such lengthy airline travel requires margaritas, Zoloft, an Ambien (possibly even two), and a luggage cart for Doc H to cart my unconscious self across third world airport terminals to our connecting flights.
Now, there's a pretty sight.