The 40th Annual National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks, aka the NCACC, hereinafter referred to as LawyerCon 2013, took place August 5-9 at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle, Washington.
Before embarking on this epic adventure I only knew 5 things about Seattle. 1. It rains there a lot; 2. It’s the birthplace of Grunge; 3. Coffee is very popular there; 4. The popular landmark is the Space Needle; 5. “Fraiser” took place there.
I’m not a fan of constant rain, Grunge is so ’90s, I love coffee but we have plenty of delicious coffee right here in Missouri, I’m not a fan of heights and I lost interest in “Frasier” when Niles started dating Daphnie.
So I did what I always do when confronted with spending a week in a new place: I typed in the address of the Renaissance Hotel into the Internet Comic Shop Locator. I got back 3 hits! Three comic book shops within walking distance of the hotel. This was a LawyerCon record. Who knew Seattle was so hip? This might be a good trip after all.
DAY ONE: TRAVEL DAY
As everyone knows by now, I hate travel days. They are the hands-down worst part of vacation. They are exhausting, soul-destroying and something usually goes wrong. We decided to fly this year, which creates all kinds of discomfort for me, but the good news was there was a direct flight so I would only have to deal with the horrible, terrible, pain of descent twice.
We had no trouble navigating the near-empty St. Louis Airport. The flight left relatively on time. We did not crash. The pain on descent was tolerable. We find our luggage easily and grab a cab downtown. So far, so good.
We get to the hotel lobby and there is a line. Unusual but not a big deal. Andrew and I take the luggage over to some big, comfy couches while Laurie waits in line. And waits. Eventually she gets to the front desk. Lots of talking and looking at computer screen. Not a lot of movement.
“They have us scheduled for a room with a king-size bed, instead of two double beds. The place is full.”
“That is not acceptable.”
“They’re working on it.”
Eventually they find us a room but it needs to be cleaned. We leave our luggage and agree to go for a walk. I prefer at least 10 minutes to collapse on the bed when I get somewhere before going for a walk but what can you do?
We decide to walk to the waterfront and here is where I learned my first new fact about Seattle. THE STREETS ARE STEEP. No one told me this. I knew the streets of San Fransisco were supposed to be steep, but not Seattle. And the street our hotel was on, Madison, was the worst. I was confident one or all of us would stumble and fall and roll all the way down to the Pacific.
We made our way to Pike’s Market, which is a very famous market and I’m sure it would be interesting if you were into that kind of thing and not dealing with a crushing horde of people. It was so crowded we didn’t stick around for long, but we did find Golden Age Collectables (more on that later).
We returned to the hotel and there was another line. wait wait wait. Get to the front desk. wait wait wait wait wait wait wait. God I hate travel days. wait wait wait wait wait. They eventually give us a room.
It was a nice room with a nice bed and a TV that had 3 HBOs. I got in my requisite 10 minutes on the bed and then we went to an Italian joint nearby for dinner. Lar and I had pizza and Andrew had spaghetti. Based on the day’s events, Lar wanted the whole carafe of wine, not the usual half. Lar likes to drink her wine slowly so it was clear that if I wanted to get back to that bed before midnight I would have to step up my drinking. When we finished I had a buzz like I have not had in many a day.
Fortunately, the walk back was all downhill.