Thanks to a seed company, my husband, Chris, and I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Chicago. I freely admit Chicago is not my town, but when someone else offers to pick up the tab, well that's a no brainer! Off we go!
But I still have nightmares about the last time we were in Chicago. A few years ago, I thought taking the kids to Chicago for a few days over spring break to see the museums and experience a large city was a good idea. I was wrong.
During that trip, we learned the hard way that Chris can find his way out of a 200-acre cornfield in early August but needs a compass to find his way around a city. We also learned it is called a canal in the city, not a creek, and yes you may have to cross it more than once, especially when you are lost.
Also, if you give my kids the choice of getting up at 6 a.m. on vacation to drive to the middle of Iowa to look at a tractor, or they can stay in the city and sleep longer, they will move at the speed of light to get the heck out of Dodge, errr, Chicago.
I had just a couple of "to-dos" on this second adventure to Chicago – meet up with some Twitter people, spend a few kid-free days, and of course, attend a few meetings!
But taking a farmer to the city for the second time isn't any easier.
A farmer always looks in any ballroom, oversized lobby or convention center and immediately calculates exactly how many bales of straw or how many bushels of corn that area will hold.
Paying $4.50 for three strips of bacon will make even his wife ask where the rest of the package is because for that amount, she could have fried a whole package and fed the family. The farmer will find it amusing. The waiter, however, will not.
Turns out, company reps don't really find farmer humor funny, either.
And it doesn't matter how many times or how hard you try, your farm business card does not work to open your hotel room door like the plastic credit card key they give you.
You think I would learn but $10 says the next time somebody offers me a free trip I will sign up – even farmers' wives like "free stuff"!