Washington DC

I am in Washington DC (well, Georgetown) for most of the week at a training conference for my job. The conference is very good so far, very good indeed, and is providing lots of actionable ideas and opportunities for collaborative thinking about how we do what we do. It’s a great chance to network with colleagues from other institutions, too.

There are so many ideas to take back from this conference – including an impromptu review of our website that revealed lots of opportunities, and a planned review of our marketing collateral that will foster great changes – that it will be difficult to prioritize them, but I’ll attempt to get them into a workable list.

One of the really nice side-benefits of this trip is that I get to see my friends Raymond and Jonathan, both of whom I cooked with at Jean-Robert at Pigall’s, and both of whom now live and work in DC (well, Arlington). So, last night after the conference activities, I cabbed it over to the apartment they just moved into together. They moved in that afternoon, so it was a little sparse. But the beer was cold and there was plenty of it, and the patio on the 17th floor offered a great view of the town on a beautiful night.

It was really nice to catch up with Jonathan and Raymond… Both are great guys that I really like. I hadn’t seen them in some time, so there was lots to talk about, both to catch them up on the Cincinnati food scene and to learn about the DC food scene. Both of them have landed great restaurant jobs in town, and I look forward to dining at Raymond’s restaurant on Tuesday evening. I will dine at Jonathan’s place on Wednesday, and am excited about that, too.

Our evening ended early enough that I was able to make it to my conference just… a… little… late this morning, but I’m feeling back in the swing now.

After the day’s conference events, I got a nice tour of the DC metro area (thanks, fellow-conference-goer Nicole!) as we journeyed out together (she brought her car) to find a Best Buy to purchase cables that we’d each left at home. On our route, we stopped at Ben’s Chili Bowl (made very popular by President Obama’s visit) and enjoyed a “Half-Smoke” (sort of a cheese coney with a mett instead of a hot dog), some cheesy fries, and a grape slushy. Nicole grew up around the DC area, so took me on a whirlwind tour (as only a DC-driver can do!) around the monuments and other attractions, culminating in a climb up the famous Exorcist stairs. The tour was great fun.

I’m calling it an early night tonight since tomorrow and Wednesday nights will likely be epic. Hanging in the hotel room, organizing my notes, reading PERDIDO STREET STATION (excellent so far), and just taking it easy.

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