Brian and Susan

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PNCB October 4, 2008

Filed under: Play — Susan @ 3:13 pm

Since Brian posted about his non-trip (hopefully trip to be) I thought I would share about the trip I took in August. Shortly after I graduated I began volunteering for the pediatric nursing certification board as an external item writer. I was thrilled to learn that I was invited to attend a workshop on writing test questions – and I was even more thrilled to learn that it would be paid for! I am definitely a big nerd in that I really like to study, especially when it is on my  own terms and timeline, so writing test questions in my spare time is actually a lot of fun. It also keeps me on my toes on topics in primary care.


I headed off for Reston, VA for the conference with nervous excitement about traveling alone. I was to  navigate 3 airports going to and from the conference. The first part of the trip was a breeze. I had a non-stop flight to Washington D.C. then caught a shuttle to the hotel we stayed in (very nice btw). The hotel was in the middle of a large shopping area in a nice town about 10 minutes away from the Dulles airport. I had brought several books and was really excited about watching cable but was very disappointed to find that apparently the hotel signed up for all-sports tv – no food network, tlc, MTV, vH1, bravo – nada. Nonetheless I had plenty of reading material, so after grabbing some dinner I sat down to enjoy a good book. Then the power went out.

Not just a little power outage, but a full city block. I went out in the hallway to see if anyone else knew what was going on and heard the maids yelling in another language, then the fire alarm started sounding and an intercom said to exit the building, so I took that as my cue to head downstairs. On the way down I befriended another visitor of the hotel who happened to be in the navy. We went outside into the plaza outside the hotel and waited for about 2 hours with other people in the area for the lights to come back on. Several rumors swirled about the cause of the outage, but the true reason remains a mystery. All I know is that it’s hard not to be a little freaked out when the power goes out in the whole city you’re in all alone that happens to be just a few miles from the nation’s capitol. Thank goodness my freak-out threshold has been raised over time or I would have been a mess. I actually had a decent time talking with the guy I met  and some of the other people waiting outside. And it turned out that the guy I met was a Christian which was cool.

The workshop was really great. I had another small freak out moment when one of my flights for home was severely delayed and I thought I’d be spending the night in an airport in New Jersey, but once again God totally helped me out and I got a direct flight to Nashville, and got home 4 hours earlier than I thought I would. Overall a great experience.  An added bonus, I got to fly in a tiny propeller plane!


2 Responses to “PNCB”

  1. Rob Beaird Says:

    That’s a trip you will never forget! I thought you handled that weird experience really well, being by yourself and all. It sure has been a great benefit having a medical expert in the family, even though I can’t pronounce, much less understand the looooong names you can rattle off!


  2. karen Says:

    Very cool experience Susan. Except for the blackout of course!

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