Food or Sleep?

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09 Jun Food or Sleep?

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I’ve just returned from back-to-back conferences.

Conference #One had decent coffee (with organic milk), fabulous croissants at breakfast, and a wide variety of flavourful food at the dinner buffet. And the desserts? I actually had a chocolate treat that was so rich I could barely finish it. While the catering impressed me, the conference facilities were a let down with unreliable internet access and dodgy lodgings. The bed sagged, the carpet was as spotty as the WiFi and the air conditioning sounded like a plane flying overhead in a holding pattern. The good food went a long way to balance the bad sleep.

When I arrived at Conference #Two, I heaved a sigh of relief. The bed lulled me to sleep and the feather pillows were so comfy, I was tempted to steal them. While the jacuzzi called it was hard to leave the balcony with its view of Niagara Falls. But my joy lasted only until breakfast. Battery acid coffee, bran muffins that tasted like wood chips, and eggs I wouldn’t eat on a dare. I had one decent lunch but my good night’s sleep was tempered by lousy food.

Ideally, I’d have had good food and comfortable accommodations simultaneously. but that wasn’t in the convention cards. If you’d asked me last week I’d have said food was more important, but now I’m not so sure. Have you ever had this kind of situation? If so, how did you feel about it? What did you remember most — the good or the bad?

Photo © jazz is nothing. Published under a Creative Commons License.

No Comments
  • cheryl
    Posted at 10:03h, 09 June Reply

    I so rarely sleep well at conferences that the food, to me, holds more sway. Then again, I've been to meetings where the food has been terrible. I figure there must be some conference karmic payback, right? You're due for something much better the next time you travel.

  • April
    Posted at 10:21h, 09 June Reply

    I would usually say that bad food is the worst. It ruins so much of your day. However, poor sleep ruins everything! I've gone to conferences where the food was inedible and stomach-churpling. Ew. For those, I sneak out and feed myself. And I keep a croissant in my bag (hey, who doesn't travel with back-up pastry?!) Good sleep and good room service can make up for a day of cardboard muffins or slimy, dense wrap sandwiches.

  • Katerina
    Posted at 11:36h, 09 June Reply

    I usually remember that good, the mediocre in lodgings or food is easily forgotten.

    I think I would choose food, but after a few nights of bad sleep, I'm not so sure.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:34h, 09 June Reply

    I can deal with bad food, but I absolutely cannot function without quality sleep. A lousy bed, icky room or loud a/c ruins everything for me … and nothing makes me crankier than lost sleep. I'll opt for the cushy room over lavish food any day.

    In either case, the best part is coming home … where, hopefully, you can have the best of both!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:34h, 09 June Reply

    I can deal with bad food, but I absolutely cannot function without quality sleep. A lousy bed, icky room or loud a/c ruins everything for me … and nothing makes me crankier than lost sleep. I'll opt for the cushy room over lavish food any day.

    In either case, the best part is coming home … where, hopefully, you can have the best of both!

  • Dallas from Bitchin' Lifestyle
    Posted at 17:39h, 09 June Reply

    First of all, very random, but "dodgy lodgings" would be an awesome band name.

    Secondly, I think good food can redeem an otherwise bad stay. Once, while travelling in Scotland, I got stranded at this awful hostel in the middle of nowhere. The thing that saved me was the warm and cozy meal of comfort food I prepared in the kitchen using groceries from the general store. It made me feel better in an otherwise bad situation.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 23:09h, 09 June Reply

    Cheryl, the irony is that for conference #1 I predicted horrible food and adequate accommodations. Perhaps I jinxed myself?

    April, after this weekend I'm more appreciative of my sleep. I think next time I'll focus on the lodging and bring back up pastries — great idea!

    Katerina, I thought food would have won out but I was wrong. Strongest memory is of the wallpaper that peeled off the wall forming a disconcerting headboard over the bed. ICK.

    Diva, you're so right. The best part was coming home!

    Dallas, what a great experience. I also find that I can my ability to cope with bad lodgings increases with distance from my home. I expect great lodging 100K from my house, but 5000 Ks? I'll sleep in beds I wouldn't set my suitcase on at home. Weird, eh?

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