A week ago, Anne Elisabeth and I packed our bags and took a wacky midnight jaunt to Cleveland for the 2006 American Copy Editors Society national conference.
It was my second conference, and I'd forgotten how much fun I had at the 2003 Chicago event. Cleveland is not Chicago - not by a long shot - but I did have advantages this time: 1) I knew other people at the conference, and 2) I stayed in the conference hotel instead of at my friend Amanda's apartment in Evanston, an hour El ride away. (Kyle did not have this second advantage; he stayed with his parents in suburban Plainsville. This meant he was generally unable to join us on our post-conference drinking bouts. Poor kid.)
The hotel is lovely - and designed exclusively for business travelers. Everything is inordinately expensive, and I'm pretty sure that's because they're expecting you to pass the cost on to your (supposedly) fabulously wealthy employer. You even have to pay for Internet priveleges! Who does that?
Because of a screw-up in our reservations, AE and I had to share a bed. To apologize for this development, the hotel put us on the club level, where we had access to free food (at certain hours) at the Club Lounge. V. useful for breakfast; not so helpful at other times, honestly. I think I would have preferred being on the fifth floor and being able to walk down to the conference rooms, rather than having to wait 20 minutes for the elevator every morning, noon and evening. (The elevators were undergoing some sort of modernization, or so the card on the wall near the elevator buttons said. When I saw that the card was framed, I wondered how long the renovations would actually take.)
I wish there were some time built into the ACES schedule for exploring the city, because I've never gotten to spend a lot of time in Cleveland, and I'd like to see more of it. Since we were busy with, you know, actual conference stuff from 9:30 in the morning to 9 at night, our jaunts were confined to the hotel-adjacent Tower City Center mall and a sprinkling of nearby bars.
One of those nearby places was Fat Fish Blue, the location of the post-conference party. After a few hours of $9 drinks and loud "blues" where the lead singer kept exhorting his audience to scream, AE and I concluded that we weren't all that broken up about the demise of the Cincinnati location. (What we really need, I say, is a Winking Lizard.)
Kyle and I still haven't gone back to Howl at the Moon (which has a very special OSU story behind it), and I still need to eat at Mallorca and tour the Great Lakes brewery. So I guess I'll be heading back to Cleveland sometime soon. Which is good; I've been told it rocks.
To read about the actual ACES conference, check out my copy-editing blog over the next few days.