Monday, March 25, 2013

Yankee Doodle Dandy

I was in New Jersey all last week for work observing the pilot of a course I wrote. (The course I've mentioned in passing numerous times in the past month due to some crazy deadlines.) It went really well, the clients were exceptionally nice, and it was great to see "my baby" come to life after working so hard on it.

This was my first trip to New Jersey outside of flying into Newark airport ages ago. I took the train to and from Philadelphia, my first time to that city outside of flying into Philadelphia airport ages ago. The Acela takes just 90 minutes to get from the pseudo North of D.C. to the North North of Philly and NJ. (The fact that this amazingly historic city is so close, and that I've lived so close too it for more than 5 years and never visited, really is shameful. Absolutely shameful. Expect me to visit again for fun if the weather ever gets warm again.)

It was a long week full of long days. Eight hours of class filled with note taking and rearranging and decision making, followed by a quick dinner or crash on the bed, then an hour to two hour debrief with the facilitators, then a half hour of working out, and then a night of restless sleep. I'd brought movies, a loaded Kindle, and tons of blogging ideas because I was afraid of getting bored in the hotel room. Ha, no such luck. But again, it was more than worth it to see my work come to fruition. And to have it so appreciated and respected by a room full of trainers.

It was also interesting to be in a new place with a new client. Even if they were all Yankees. Here are some notes I took on that aspect throughout the week:
  • The train station in Philly is gorgeous:
  • I don't like Northern accents. At all.
  • Apparently eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's day is a thing people do.
  • No one mentioned basketball or brackets unless I brought them up.
  • Cab drivers in Philly are no better with directions and GPS than the cab drivers in D.C.
  • But cabs in Philly have a glass partition separating driver and passenger, credit card machines, and little informational TVs.
  • You don't have to pay to get in to New Jersey, but you have to pay to get out. (Cab driver added an additional $5 to my fare to cover the toll for when he drove back to the city. This toll was confirmed when I went back to the city on Thursday.)
  • The Hampton Inn cleans their duvet covers with each guest.
  • We had the option of a cupcake OR a cannoli at lunch. I, of course, took the cannoli. (And left the gun.)
  • I ate more meat than I will in a month at the Brazilian steakhouse we went to for a group dinner.
  • After long days full of people, this introvert took great pleasure in walking around Target for an hour.
  • Creamer and yogurt is packed at sea level and when it gets to Denver it bursts/explodes a bit when you open. (This was learned from some Denver-based participants.)
  • There are geese everywhere and thus geese poop everywhere.
  • This is the view from one of tallest buildings in Philadelphia:

And that's it for now. This week has the potential to be crazy as well as I make post-pilot changes. But at least I got a chance to relax this weekend as I partook in a whole lot of nothing.

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