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5 Weeks until ILCA 2012! {How do I get there and where do I stay?}

Written by Amber McCann, IBCLC

Now that we’ve all registered for the 2012 ILCA Conference and are ready to PARTY, it is time to figure out how we’re going to actually get ourselves and suitcases there and make arrangements for where we’re going to stay.

Kuster & Wildhaber Photography via Flick

One of the things that most excites me about the conference is sharing moments with IBCLCs from all over the globe.  I imagine everyone gathering together and “traveling by map”, just like in last summer’s movie about the Muppets.  In reality, we will come by car, by truck, by airplane, by train and even by pumpkin-turned-into-regal-coach, just like the Disney princesses who will be our neighbors for the week!

For those arriving by plane, you will touch down at the Orlando International Airport.  From there, you will need to arrange transportation to our conference hotel, the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.  As the hotel does not provide shuttle transportation, here are some options:

  • Car Rental companies can be found in Terminal A and Terminal B on the Ground Transportation level of the airport.  Avis is offering ILCA members a special rate by calling 1-800-331-1600 and using our Worldwide Discount Number (WDN) B159234.  You can also make a reservation on their website.  Please remember, if you are renting a car, there is a daily parking fee at the hotel ($18/day for self-serve, $24/day for valet).
  • Taxis can be found on both the A and B sides of the Main Terminal on the Ground Transportation level and will charge approximately $50 (one way) to get you to the hotel.  Taxis can carry up to 9 passengers for the same rate so keep your eyes peeled for others sporting ILCA lapel pins and ask if you can share a ride!
  • Shuttle Companies provide transportation from the same A and B sides of the Main Terminal as the taxis.  These services offer both one-way and round-trip pricing per person.  Click here for a coupon for Mears Shuttle Service from ($26 round-trip) but RESERVATION IS REQUIRED!

Used with permission by JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

I will freely admit that I’m kind of in love with staying in hotels.  I’m perfectly happy in my own home, where sleep typically involves sharing my space with the pointy elbow of my 8 year old or with its lack of covers, stolen by a sleepy husband.  But…I love to walk into the open {clean} space of a new hotel room and spread my arms out wide while tossing myself onto the bed {that I don’t have to share}.  I like walking the halls, riding the elevators, exploring all the spaces.  When I first saw photos of the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes,  I about fell over with glee.

Used with permission by JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

Hopefully, you’ve already made your reservation and, if not, there is still time (the deadline is June 26).  You can do so by calling 1-800-266-9432 (be sure to tell them that you are participating in the 2012 ILCA Conference) or by using their online reservation system.  This will entitle you to a special US$165 single/double room discounted rate, which is valid July 22 through August 1, 2012.

The discounted room rate includes:

  • High-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access (50% discount for ILCA conference attendees)
  • Work desk with lamp
  • 32″ flat-screen HD LCD Television
  • Weekday newspaper delivery
  • Complimentary in-room coffee and tea
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Hairdryer
  • In-room laptop compatible safe
  • ILCA Attendees will receive a 15% discount at the Ritz Carlton Spa on any services booked. (I’ll be sharing more info about the spa in an upcoming post!)

As I’m coming to the conference by myself, I was interested in sharing a room with another IBCLC.  Fortunately, I was able to connect with another ILCA volunteer and I’m looking forward to getting to know her.  I work in private practice and she with WIC so I’m sure we’ll spend our time exploring a bit about how the other supports breastfeeding mothers.  If you are interested in finding someone with whom to share a room, check out the Conference Related Items in the ILCA Forums.

And, finally, if there is one thing I have heard that I MUST NOT MISS, it is the “Lazy River” at the hotel.  I will be sharing more details in an upcoming post but apparently it is THE PLACE TO BE! Check out this video for just a little taste…I’m relaxed already!


Join me again for next week’s conference post when we’ll be talking about all the great activities you can choose and fun to do outside of the conference!

Amber McCann, IBCLC is a  board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside if Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog.  She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same.  In addition to her work here, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including The Leaky Boob and Best for Babes and served on the Communications Team for GOLD Conference . When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV. 


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