Other Arrangements

(continued from 6/12, “Proceed to the Proceedings”)

The Society had made arrangements with two hotels close to the Summit 2011 conference venue, Sacramento Convention Center. But the conference rate was still about $200/night, all things considered. I really couldn’t justify that kind of hotel bill, but what other choice was there? I checked with several people who I knew were going, to see if we could share a room. Nothing fell into place.

So I asked some other colleagues if they had found a cheaper hotel. It would have to be a location within walking distance of the convention center.

One replied, “I’m not staying at any of the conference hotels, because I can’t justify the expense as an independent contractor. I’m staying at one two miles away.” Two miles!? OK, now I’m ashamed that I even considered paying $200 a night. If she can’t justify it when self-employed but working, I surely can’t. My version of self-employment seems to be just another term for unemployment. I should at least look for something cheaper that’s hopefully closer than two pedestrian miles.

Google Maps are a wonderful thing. When I zoomed in close on the convention center, I spotted The Sterling Hotel about two blocks away. A click took me to their website, which featured pictures of a “place to experience Sacramento’s beauty and charm where 1890s architecture and 21st century modern luxury intertwine. With 16 uniquely styled rooms …” The Sterling offered a bed-and-breakfast arrangement, starting at $139/night. That right there would save me $40 a day before taxes.

When I checked availability for the conference dates, I found a room listed at a “weekend” rate of $117. Even better! I’m so glad I decided to look! The conference hotels didn’t include any kind of breakfast. With the evening receptions, lunchtime meeting snacks (hopefully?), and the hotel’s breakfast, I might be able to get by without spending anything on food. I figured if it wasn’t paid for, I didn’t need to eat it. And I seriously doubted that I would starve.

Before their booking system could challenge my definition of “weekend”, I booked three nights at the weekend rate. However they chose to classify Sunday through Tuesday was fine with me. Maybe in California the week-end is at the first of the next week?

I cancelled the first hotel reservation. Other conference attendees had found lodging that was cheaper still than the Sterling, but I was pleased at this find. It had to be better than a big hotel where you could hear people in the hall, down the hall, and next door. The Sterling also boasted a jacuzzi tub in every room. I was getting by with paying almost nothing for airfare and food. A little bit of luxury would be a welcome treat at the end of each tiring day. 

(to be continued)

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