Monday, though, I spent the day at the Special Libraries Association Conference in Philadelphia. Philly is close enough for a day trip and work generously offered to cover the cost of registering and get a van to take us there. (And, for the record, it wasn't a van - it was a party bus, complete with a hole in the floor for a stripper pole... but I digress.)
The day was filled with workshops and networking. I went to a few really interesting ones about visualizing science data, public opinion polls and using apps. The networking lunch was also interesting - I ended up sitting and chatting with a librarian from a law office in DC and a veteran journalist of CNN who is now working in a news library. There was also an expo in the conference hall where lots and lots of vendors had set up. I could have wandered around there for hours alone.
After the sessions for the day were done, I ran into some of my coworkers and we decided to grab some dinner. One of the people in the group was familiar with the area so he took us to Chinatown - only a few blocks over - to a restaurant he liked. The food was excellent and it was fun to see how fast the scenery of the city changes from block to block.
After dinner we split up - some to catch the train and the others to find our last event of the evening. Though I'm more used to New York, I really love Philly. It seems so small and walkable in comparison, and I love seeing the history at every turn. Right by the convention center we passed town hall. The cell phone picture doesn't do it justice. It's breath-taking.
Our last event of the day was a work-sponsored reception here:
A beautiful and historic art gallery. They had all sorts of great food and drinks for us - and these little chocolate things filled with chocolate mousse that were to die for. I spent the evening chatting with coworkers and taking in the art in the gallery before hopping the van/party bus back to the office.
It was a nearly 14 hour day and I was exhausted by the time I got home but it was also really interesting to see my job from a new perspective. Next year's conference is in Chicago - I wonder if they'll pay for me to go to that one too?