December 23, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Uncategorized

I remember being in a doctor’s office when I was five years old and my doctor telling me that I wouldn’t have to get another shot until I was 15 years old – specifically the infamous tetanus shot. Well, I counted down the years until I turned 15, scared for my impending shot….but then I got smart and just decided not to mention that I needed it altogether. 15 came and went and I managed to avoid that horrendous shot for a total of 22 years! Sure, other shots came and went (wisdom teeth…oh and that small little back surgery I had), but overall I managed to avoid just about any shot (blood tests – who needs ‘em?).

Last Thursday night I was in a holiday decorating frenzy, running in and out of the closet to fetch decorations. And then something terrible happened (OK, not that terrible, but the implications to me were terrible) – I stepped on one of those carpet staple things! It didn’t hurt a bit, but drew the slightest bit of blood. Panic set in immediately. I dialed up the first doctor I could think of and was given the bad news – I should get the shot. At this moment I became a big supporter of the “second opinion” philosophy. I then called up Ben, whose Dad is a doctor, and sure enough he reported pretty much the same thing – that while the chances were slim that I would get tetanus, I would be a fool not to get the long overdue vaccination. Ahhh – I was hoping that there would be some excuse not to!!!!

Very lucky for me, Bob (Ben’s dad) said that he could indeed give me the shot. While the thought of a shot was horrifying, being able to do it in the comfort of someone’s home and with people I love and trust made it seem slightly more digestible. Trust me though, I weighed heavily whether I would rather get a shot or tetanus and the shot won by a very, very slim margin.

Saturday night I headed over to the Scribner house. I loaded up on booze and anxiety pills and was feeling pretty good. Bob told me it was time, and that he was just going to clean my arm…and before I even knew he was going to do it, it was done!!! People – usually I cry and possibly run when I have to get a shot! This time, I did it! No tears! I am mighty proud of myself.

Now I’ve just got to get over the fact that my left arm is twice the size of my right and crazy sore. Oh well – at least I got my shot! Now I am free to step on rusty nails with reckless abandon for the next 10 years!!!

Aside from confronting the biggest of my fears, I’ve actually been having a really great time at home. Seeing my friends and family has been so heart warming. Last weekend I even had the chance to meet up with my new email buddy, Heather. Yes, we met online, but that sounds bad – it wasn’t a 90’s-style chat room encounter, but rather it was via a somewhat professional social network because she was making plans to move to Madrid. She and I have bonded over our shared love of Spain, wine and especially chocolate – need I say more? She currently lives in LA, so Jacob and I met her half way in San Luis Obispo. There we had lunch, visited the beach and even did some wine tasting! It was a lovely day (despite my nervousness about the impending shot). I am hoping she will make it out to Madrid very soon!

I will be here for a few more days…time sure is flying. It sure is good to be home. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

December 13, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Travels in Europe, Trips to the US

Wow it’s been an exhausting couple of weeks. Two weeks ago I headed off to Bucharest again to visit eRepublik’s other office. I was there for three busy and productive days. I then headed back to Madrid to finish off my preparations for a big event in Paris.

For the last couple of months I’ve been doing tons of planning for this show called LeWeb in Paris. It’s Europe’s biggest Internet event and eRepublik was to have a booth there. As a result, all of the planning was in my hands. Events are not unfamiliar territory for me – big Internet events on the other hand are.

I headed off to Paris last Monday nervous as h, e, double hockey sticks. My first stop in Paris was the event location to make sure that our booth vendors had indeed shown up to build our booth. Sure enough two very friendly Germans were there and ready to go, telling me to return in five hours. With that taken care of I decided to go to my hotel (which is a story I won’t go into detail about – let’s just say I slept in my daytime clothes and switched hotels the second night). My hotel room wasn’t ready though and was in the middle of no where, so I decided to take a quick jaunt downtown to find a Starbucks (and get some Internet connection) and enjoy the city. On my trip I was able to make a quick stop at the Notre Dame. To my surprise, it was free to enter, so I figured why not! For some reason, I don’t think I had gone inside the last time I was in Paris, so it was a special treat to do so this time.

Later that day I returned to the event location to discover our beautiful booth nearly complete and ready to go. After that, another team member of mine and I decided to head to the Champs-Elysees to pick up something for the booth, but also to enjoy more of the city. My goodness is Paris beautiful during Christmas time! The Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees were lit up like nothing I’ve ever seen before – it was stunning. The Tower was all blue, and the trees of the Champs-Elysees were covered in lights. A yummy dinner, and a crepe with nutella later, and I was one happy camper (until I returned to my hotel, but again, not worth discussing…I am such a hotel-phobe).

The next day was the big day. I headed to the event, managed to get the computers set up (two to register people and three to run on the screens with video), and set out all of the necessary handouts. We were ready to go. Over the course of the next two days we received so many compliments regarding how our booth was the very best at the conference and also how clever our little giveaways were (eRepublik passports with LeWeb visas in them). We had a packed booth pretty much the entire time. The event truly couldn’t have gone better. Everything just turned out perfectly. I even did a couple of interviews for different bloggers. It was all very fun and exciting. But SOOO exhausting. I returned to Madrid late Wednesday night and have pretty much been in a coma since.

Now it’s time to travel to my third country for the third Monday in a row – but this will be the best trip of all! I am so excited to go home to the US and celebrate Christmas American-style! I hope to see everyone while I am home!