Next Sunday I’m heading to a government IT conference in Cambridge, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. I was looking at the web site of the event hotel–the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina–which in some ways sounds pretty sweet: its own 18,000 square-foot spa, attached marina, multi-level indoor and outdoor pool, etc. However, I also discovered that they charge $7.50 per fifteen-minute period to access the Internet in their business center. The last few hotels at which I’ve stayed included free business center use and high-speed Internet access; the Roger Williams in New York, where Jeff and I stayed over Valentine’s weekend, additionally had wireless access points on each floor. At a minimum $200/night for the room (though that’s the non-conference, non-government rate), I think it’s absolutely obscene for the hotel to charge an additional $30/hour for PC and Internet access. And given that I don’t golf (though with the name T[h]om Watson, I’ve heard all the jokes) and couldn’t afford the green fees anyway, and that the onsite spa is likely to be very expensive (though maybe I’ll treat myself at least to a massage)–I don’t actually know, since they don’t provide any information about what’s included, what’s not, and what the various services cost–I guess I’ll be spending my non-conference time vegging in-front of the TV rather than at the keyboard. Sigh. At least there are walking trails and a wildlife refuge on the grounds; I wonder if they’ll even try to collect a fee for those. Although, given that they also offer kennels for the hunting dogs of their guests, I’m not sure that I’ll want to be outside near the waterfront, refuge or not.
My boss had suggested that I take Jeff along and that we make a mini-vacation out of it, given the location and amenities, and since the room and mileage (I’m driving) wouldn’t cost any more for two as for one. Unfortunately, Jeff’s already planned to take the latter half of next week off to visit his folks in California, so he can’t go with me. So I’ll be away Sunday morning through Tuesday evening, and then he’ll be away Wednesday evening through the following Sunday.
Dorchester County, though, does sound both interesting and charming. It was on the route of the Underground Railroad and, in fact, Harriet Tubman lived in Cambridge (as did Annie Oakley, who apparently had the roofline of her home altered so she could step outside her second-story windows and shoot waterfowl over the bay). Nearby there’s also the unique-sounding Neild Museum, devoted to agricultural history of the region, and its colonial-style Herb Garden.