Monday the flight to the SEALS Conference was at 10:15 a.m. For some reason, I had it in my mind that I had a lot longer to get ready and I left in the afternoon, so I had to call Claudia very early in the morning leaving a message at the Pilates studio that I wouldn’t be able to make it because I was still scrambling to get ready for the flight to SEALS. I got to the airport on time. There were no hang ups except that once I got there the flight from Northwest Arkansas to Dallaswo was delayed because of a maintenance log issue. Once we got that, I arrived in Dallas late, but the flight to Palm Beach was also late and it was delayed because of a maintenance issue by an hour and a half. So as is typical if you follow the blog, I tend to run into flight delays pretty regularly and in fact I think there was a New York Times article recently that said that the airlines are not doing very well on that issue generally, so it’s not surprising that I would encounter so many delays. Anyway, when I arrived at The Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, actually technically it calls itself The Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton but it’s located in Manalapan, Florida. It’s a beautiful hotel and one of the cool things about it is that it’s high tech. I know that sounds like a strange thing to say about a hotel, but let me explain. First of all, if you sit at the desk to work there are plenty of plugs for road warriors with laptops, cell phone chargers, and all that, so they anticipated that. It’s adequately lighted, which is also a problem a lot of times in hotels, you’re trying to work and there’s just not enough light. If you notice, most hotels do not have overhead lights in the rooms, but this one had so many lights scattered throughout the room that it was easy to get work done. The other thing is that it has a, for lack of a better word, control console which is by the side of the bed. From there you can control the temperature of the room (heat and air), you can control all the lights in the room individually or together, you can turn on the radio; it’s really a cool thing. In addition to it being high tech, it’s just a pleasant hotel, very clean with excellent service. Apparently the summer is the slow season down here and the rates are also pretty reasonable, so if you’re looking for a summer vacation that’s not too much money in a nice hotel. The only issue is that it has a very limited dining menu, probably because it’s off season, but when you’re at a conference and you’re stuck and you don’t have much time or there’s not many places to walk to, the fact that you come back to such a limited menu every day is a little bit irritating, but it’s fine and the food is fine, so I digress.

Anyway, I arrived Monday and checked into my room and then attended a reception sponsored by West Virginia College of Law. It was a very, very nice reception with really nice hors d’oeuvres and an open bar and I know now, I have come to appreciate since being in the deanship, how expensive those things are and it was just so well done and so nice. There were things like crab claws, sate and little mini cheeseburgers. It was very delicious and ritzy, and a classy event. Thanks very much to Dean Joyce McConnell and her law school for hosting such a lovely reception.

After the reception, I was wandering the lobby trying to figure out what to do about dinner and I ran into Mitch Crusto of Loyola University – New Orleans who I mentioned last year was at SEALS and we had dinner with he and a number of other deans attending the meeting, so he and his wife Lisa invited me to dinner. It turns out that he had plans to have dinner with Adjoa Aiyetoro from Little Rock and Charlton Copeland from Miami Law School, and Charlton’s friend met us there, Gera Peoples. We walked from the hotel and had dinner at Thaikyo. What was interesting, it wasn’t a very long walk maybe 2 or 3 blocks, but within that 2-3 blocks we saw the police pull over 2 or 3 cars which was amazing and that’s when I learned that Palm Beach is considered a speed trap. It was really weird to walk to dinner until the light of police cars and especially a group of law professors. Anyway, when we got to Thaikyo (which is a very clever name), it had a combination of thai food and sushi. Charlton and I had the curried duck, Mitch had a whole fish in ginger sauce, his wife had the red curried shrimp, and Adjoa had the ginger vegetable. I was surprised, and I should have known this having eaten thai food enough, that the duck would come with pineapple. I just don’t like meat with sweet stuff too much, but it was OK. They all finished with green tea ice cream, but I was just too full. The service was great and we lingered long and finally I looked up and noticed that everyone had left and they were waiting for us to leave so we paid our bill and walked back to The Ritz-Carlton where we sat in the lobby and debated politics, quite vigorously I might add, for people who are not going to make much of a difference in terms of the outcome. It was pretty fun and it was fun to meet Charlton and Gera. Afterwards, we said our goodnights and all departed to our room. That was a very full first day.<–>