Just as I did last week in Tampa, I will turn off my MacBook and just take in the final night of the Democratic convention this evening. Before I do that, though, let’s run through some numbers from my personal experiences:
10 — days altogether spent at the RNC and DNC conventions
8 — live radio interviews from Tampa and Charlotte
7 — most hours slept for the whole trip
6 — hours delayed at the Baltimore airport
5 — times saw the Daily Show filming (Bingo!)
4 — dollars spent to ride the Lynx Light Rail, which has an honors system
3 — people who were genuinely thrilled to meet someone from Sunlight
2 — stories told to get into parties
1 — Sunlight Foundation flickr page where you can check out photos from the conventions
The Coffee Report
The Google lounge at the Republican National Convention had — by far — the best coffee. Local baristas Buddy Brew Coffee offered free caffeine fixes everyday for those with convention credentials.
The PPL, where many bloggers were based in Charlotte, served cups of joe from local roaster Pure Intentions. It was also awesome, especially when paired with sweets from the cookie table.
On the low end? Whatever was served on the plane from Tampa and the unfortunate pot I made one day in my hotel room.
The Bar Report
When you receive the moniker “party crasher,” of course you will run into open bars nightly. Some were limited like the Acela Corridor party at the DNCC, with only three kinds of bottled beer and white or red wine. Others offered selections of higher quality, such as the Nuestra Noche party in Tampa, where the Distilled Spirits Council was a sponsor. Overall, a Democratic Governors Association late-night event in Charlotte offered the best open bar we encountered.
The Food Report
Other places wrote about it already, but the food in Tampa was pretty bad, especially if you were in the media center. So passed hors d’oeuvres quickly became meals. I had an OK veggie quiche at a morning panel presented by The Hill, while the flat bread mushroom pizza at the DGA event mentioned above was delicious. The fruit cup at the Time Warner Cable Arena was good, too. In both cities, the CNN Grill was a full-functioning restaurant. Meals and snacks were gratis, but the night we stopped by the food was cold and bland.
As a Sunlighter and political-junkie, attending both conventions was a great experience. Check out all of our coverage at SunlightFoundation.com/conventions2012.