Today I flew to Miami, Florida. And, boy, my arms are tired. BA-DA- CHING! Sorry. I use humor to deflect attention from my awkward discomfiture. Let me start again. Today I flew to Miami, Florida. That may seem to be no great feat for others, but for this country mouse, it's kind of a big deal. I'm here for a teacher leadership conference and so I have a quiet, chilled-to-a-frosty-65 degrees hotel room all to myself. Tomorrow I will be learning and growing as a person and educator and the day after that I'll also be co-presenting at a session. So it's a bit of a working vacay. The picture you see is the view from the window of my room at the Hyatt Regency Downtown and it is quite lovely - in a very urban sprawl kind of way. What is not revealed in this picture is what happened BEFORE I was safely ensconced in my room. I thought I was going to have to stay in the Miami International Airport until my flight leaves on Friday evening. I was not waiting on a baggage claim. I was not caught up in conversation with a long-lost relative. I was not sampling all the culinary delights that create a microcosm of world cuisine within airport terminals. I was not detained by security or being frisked for unbagged and untagged toiletries. I simply did not have a clue how to find my way out of the airport terminal. I just kept walking. And walking. And walking. Oh, yes! There were signs and arrows. So. Many. Arrows. Pointing up, down, sideways, and at awkward angles that seemed to point the way to nowhere in particular. I kept seeing signs -teasing, enticing, seducing -"Terminal/Exit," so I kept heading toward those. Only to be disappointed. And increasingly more nervous. Is it actually possible to never find the Terminal/Exit? I know Tom Hanks made a movie one time about a man who ended up living in a terminal for a few days. But even HE eventually found his way out. I joined a school of passengers disembarking from a plane and swam with them for a while and ended up on an air train. It was reminiscent of the Disney monorail and we were, indeed, packed in there like sardines and I was reaching over and around at least five different people holding onto the pole with my pinky finger as it lurched and sped to who knows where; all the time praying that I would not fall down because it would most certainly cause the most mortifying domino effect known to mankind. Plus, I really needed to potty. Thankfully, I maintained my balance and exited into an identical space to that which I had just left. So I started walking again following the lure and promise of "Terminal/Exit." You may be asking yourself why I didn't just ask someone how to get out of there. Well, at first, it was because I had convinced myself this was a spectacular adventure and I was spunky enough to enjoy the not knowing and the discovery of a new experience. That was before I'd walked four miles only to walk four more back to where I'd first started in hopes I'd just missed the "Terminal/Exit" sign that would, in fact, allow me to exit the terminal. But I finally found someone who had a Miami International Airport uniform on and asked where I could find the exit to get to my hotel. We spoke two different languages. Literally - not metaphorically. He smiled and shrugged and I did, too, and we separated as friends. At this point, I had steeled my nerves for the very real possibility of sleeping in a custodial storage closet for the next two nights when I saw the ladies' room. At least I could take care of this one thing before allowing the siren's song of the "Terminal/Exit" signs to drive me mad. I took my time in the ladies' room - washing my hands thoroughly, drying them to within chafing status, powdering my nose, refreshing my lipstick, combing through my hair. Taking a deep breath I step out of the ladies' room and into the current of people. And there it was - the Terminal Exit. I don't know what happened while I was in the ladies' room, but it felt a little like I'd stepped into the Twilight Zone and then into a parallel universe where signs really did lead you to where they told you they were leading. Anyway, I contacted The Uber (story for another day) and was soon dropped off at the door of this amazing hotel where I met up with colleagues and other conference attendees. Friday I'll be heading home via Miami International Airport. Cue Twilight Zone theme music.