Hi! I’ve been away! It’s been awhile! I am sorry.

Holy Bat Museum!

I spent the last week in Louisville, KY for a conference. I have to admit that I LOVE traveling for work. At least, the traveling I have done for this job, which is the extent of my traveling-for-work experience. The only conference I go to lasts almost a week long, and the last two years, it’s been in a neat city that I never would have visited otherwise. Last year it was Minneapolis, and this year it was Louisville. Last year I ended up having dinner with a friend of the family who convinced me to start this blog, and thus was born I Heard Tell. I also toured the Walker Art Center’s Sculpture garden, home of Spoonbridge and Cherry:

Spoony spoon spoon

And visited the Mall of America. There were a total of FOUR “Lids” stores in the Mall of America. That’s right, four of the same chain of baseball hat stores in one mall. It boggled the mind. In response, I bought a Mall of America shotglass.

Conference also means a week of high-class hotel living. This year my room had two beds in it! On the first night I started out in one bed, and then hopped into the other in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. I awoke in the morning confused, but somehow smug. This room also had two sinks, but no closet or fridge.

Which leads to the downside. Hotel living is not perfect. I don’t love eating out for every meal, because I miss planning my own meals, cooking, and having a refrigerator. There is something bizarrely rustic about buying a bottle of cranberry juice and keeping it cold by storing it on a frigid air conditioning vent. And by rustic, I probably mean wasteful. You’re kind of roughing it, but not really, but you’re still not really comfortable.

You do get to expense your meals, which is exciting, although it still makes me feel guilty, because I work for a small nonprofit. Although last week one of my dinners consisted of cookies and pretzels, so I don’t think the lifestyle to which I am accustomed was really a serious drain on my company’s bank account.

During the one-week trip I suffered a fever and sinus infection. (Another thing I love about hotels is that you can pick up the phone in the dead of night and someone on the other end will tell you where you can buy Tylenol at 2am. ) I also endured a harrowing late-night illness after dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack (perhaps I should have known that I was tempting fate by ordering the crab-stuffed shrimp; in any event I’m glad I didn’t also buy a t-shirt from there because I now have enough memories from Joe’s Crab Shack).

Despite all this, I had a fun time in Louisville. It seems like a city that’s working hard to attract tourism. There were all sorts of cool museums that my convention-booth hours did not permit me to visit– although I did get a chance to peer into the windows of the bat factory at the Louisville Slugger Museum. I think I gained about as much insight and entertainment by doing that as I would have by actually going on the tour, because they’re bats.