I mentioned last week that Stacie and I went on vacation to see some friends and attend the Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage conference. We left from Maryland for Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday after picking up our Nissan Sentra rental. You can see my review of the Sentra here.
We visited my best friend from high school/college in Raleigh, NC, Wednesday through Friday. We toured the Duke University chapel and gardens, but I forgot to go see Bill Cowher’s new home in Raleigh (Go Steelers!). Apparently it’s just a few miles from my friend’s house, but worth many, many times more.
Bodies, the Exhibition
While in Raleigh, we hopped over to Durham to tour the Bodies exhibit. Stacie gave her review of the bodies exhibit over at Building Nutrition. From a non-medical viewpoint, I’m very glad I went to the exhibit, even though I was very worried the bodies would be gross or displayed as a “freak show”. They were neither gross, nor shown with disrespect. If you’re in the DC area, you can see this show in Rosslyn, VA (Arlington).
Family Life Weekend to Remember Conference
Last year, we attended the Weekend to Remember conference in Hunt Valley, MD (north of Baltimore). We loved the conference so much that we purchased a gift certificate for my wife’s parents for $158 (a savings of $80 off the regular price). Unfortunately, her parents were unwilling to go to the conference (they need it though), and the certificate expires this August. We could have let it expire and lose $158, but we decided to use it, even though it meant we would spend even more money.
I decided to roll the conference and the trip to see my friends into a single weekend. We signed up for the conference in Greensboro, NC (they’re held across the US, many times per year), and arrived for the opening sessions on Friday.
Oddly enough, when we were heading to the mall for lunch on Saturday during the lunch break, we both said to each other that we weren’t really into the conference this time. I then asked “Why don’t we just buy the conference audio CDs and head home?“. At this conference, they were selling a 16 CD set of past conferences (one for each session) for $50 per set (normally $70). Stacie was up for it.
We skipped lunch and went back to the hotel to check out early and buy the CDs before the next session began. I called up the front desk of the Sheraton and asked to check out early. The lady explained to me they had to charge us 50% of the next night’s rate. I checked the letter and sure enough the policy was in the footnote. I asked to speak to the manager.
I explained to the manager that, um, well, “our pool pump has virtually exploded at home and we needed to go fix it”. It was a bit of a fib, but not far from the truth since the pump had some major leaks before we left, and I barely patched it so it was just limping along. The manager let us go without the charge.
We hopped back in the car and headed home to Maryland. Once in Fairfax, VA, we stopped at my friend’s restaurant, Saravana Palace, and had an excellent meal before heading home to relax. We’re glad we got home a day early because that pool pump really needed some help.
Cost of the Trip
I’ll follow up this post with another to outline how much this trip cost us in gas, food, lodging, car rental (the Sentra) and more.