Well, I'm freshly returned from my first ever dental convention. Having grown up in a medically-minded family where my nurse parents would take off on trips to mysterious "conventions" and return with pens, tote bags and foam stress balls in the shape of red blood cells, all boldly emblazoned with drug company logos, this was a bit like a trip into true adulthood for me. I returned with pens, tote bags, etc., to distribute among Mitch and the kitties (the kitties get the bags, and in exchange, we get hours of entertainment watching them play with the bags).
This mysterious convention was in Vancouver, BC, a city I fell increasingly in love with as the fog lifted and the skyline and mountains were gradually, teasingly, exposed. I've eaten more good food in the last 48 hours than I have in the past six months, and my magnificent bosses put us up in a swanky hotel on the seventh floor, from which I could look out over a small courtyard and watch fat flurries of snow fall and fall and fall and melt upon touching the ground.
It was a lovely trip, short and precisely what I needed--a few days outside my Bellingham bubble, a chance to be in the minority as I asked for the restroom and was told that I may find the washroom just down the hall and to the left. A bit of time in a distant country where crossing the border takes under a minute, as opposed to the trip home where we waited and waited and waited and were made to present small volumes of identification before being allowed back into our own country.