Our son, Petya, works in an office that’s fascinating. For some reason this year, they offered their annual Conference as a complimentary perk… to his mother! That would be moi. And the 3-day conference is just under $1,000, so it’s quite a savings and it’s in my field.
Now comes the time to check into planes, trains or automobile, along with booking a Hotel. The conference offers reduced rates at an historic hotel where the conference is being held, however, parking alone is another $50 per day. Internet is extra. Meals, other than a big banquet, are extra. I’ve heard that the meeting-room-side continental breakfast disappears in the blink of an eye.
This could turn into one expensive free conference.
I checked into alternative digs. Zippo. It’s an expensive city, one that I know well and one where I generally stay outside of the center when possible. However, for such a short conference, only three days, which has seminars from early in the morning till late at night, and which would necessitate costly taxi rides back and forth, it might be worth it to reside in the same hotel.
Nevertheless , I check just to make sure there are not any budget hotels in the environs. Nope. HomeAway? Flipkey? VRBO? Sites offering a studio apartment with parking and Wi/Fi?
Then I see it: Houseboat.
Houseboat. Providing all the comforts of home. But on the water. After all, this is a port city. Hmmm….
Free parking at the marina comes with the boat. Yet, it gives me pause when the blurb mentions being rocked to sleep. Plus, I wonder about any humidity coming off of the water and destroying my hair for an otherwise-professional conference. Or, hoisting myself and my bag onto the boat-! What if I miss and I’m all by myself?
Getting a little giddy here.
Then my eyes light upon a yacht. Not a huge one, but I would put it in the mini-yacht category. Two bedrooms. Nice. Not a lot of room for suitcases, but still. I consider that the tallish yacht could possibly bob like a cork in the water, lacking the stability of the boxy houseboat. And the postage-size bathroom. And the expensive cab rides to another part of town for the conference.
Back to the historic hotel. It’s about then that I’m chatting with his office and confirming my conference participation. They inquire about whether I’ll be driving or flying. I mention driving after being a million-mile flyer for many years, I like the freedom it delivers and I still mistakenly believe that I might find affordable parking somewhere in the environs or even just outside of the city….
It’s then that they tell me how valuable an assistant my son is and how he had mentioned that he also would love to attend the conference. I say that he is certainly welcome to come along with me and stay in my hotel room and hey, while we’re both there, I can pitch in and help, as well. It’s the least I can do.
That’s when the realization dawns, this is no freebee: I’m his transportation and accommodations solution! They can get him to the conference at no expense, lol, and then just pay him to work there rather than at the home office.
I consider whether they might want us to shlep their books and other products, as well, in our car….
The more we consider, it would probably be cheaper and definitely faster to fly. Not as scenic, but this looks like that might be the way to go for this dynamic duo taking the city by storm.
It’s going to be one interesting conference, any way you slice it!
This post first appeared on Destinations, Dreams And Dogs - International Adventure With A Fast-track Family (& Dogs) Of Old World Values, Adopting The Russian-Italian-American Good Life On The Go…!, please read the originial post: here