While my time spent in the Arizona heat was edifying, it also provided time for laughs. There have been several blog posts highlighting the 2015 conference (http://blog.asha.org/2015/07/14/schools-2015-was-a-sizzler/) (http://speechpeeps.com/2015/07/asha-schools-and-a-little-present.html) so I thought I would share the comedic side.
I arrived in Phoenix around noon on Thursday July 9th. I should have known that an adventure was in the making when my first task in AZ was to have Delta replace my battered, bent and broken suitcase. My poor bag got a swift kick from someone! I met my friend and Leadership Development Program pal, Carly and we set off in search of Alice Cooper's Coopertown. It was 104°. When I left NH it was in the low 70s. I had a window seat on my flight to AZ and in an attempt to not disturb the passengers next to me with a trip to the lav, I refrained from drinking any water. What a dope! So in order to rehydrate I had 2 ice cold brews and some salty chips. What a bigger dope, but I'm no cry baby, so I forged onward. We met another friend, Jen and made our way out to dinner. As we walked down the street I found myself involuntarily saying, "It burns." Jen and Carly both replied, "But there's a breeze." A BREEZE? Really? It felt like a blow dryer! We made our way to the restaurant where like Gollum I began shrinking into myself and after looking at the roadmap that was my eyes and accepting my jet lag, asked my girls to take me home. I was in bed by 7:30 AZ time!
Friday was spent doing what good SLPs at conferences do; plenary sessions, subject sessions, poster sessions, exhibits, and shopping. The real treat for me, though was meeting, live and in person, some amazing SLP friends that I only knew from our vast online community.
|Toobaloo treat from PediaStaff. I tried to call Heidi |
with it, but my call didn't go through! Hmmm?
It was Friday night and The Three Amigos were ready for a night on the town. We had seen a sign for nice burger joint and decided to have dinner. Naturally, we wanted to proudly highlight our chosen vocation, so we donned our new "Speech Nerds" tees. It never occurred to us that outside of our hotel or the convention center we might also look a little silly!
Undaunted, we made our way down the streets of Phoenix. We found ourselves moderately lost and were approached by a man and his pedal cab. Not that we were doing any curbside diagnosing, but he spoke with his teeth clenched together. That in itself made us a little nervous, but he also offered us a ride for free. We hesitated, momentarily, and then climbed aboard. It turns out there was a simple explanation for his speech; his jaw was wired shut from a cycling accident. Phew! He took us to our destination...the Tilted Kilt. Who knew a Scottish version of Hooters existed? Upon entering I found myself exclaiming, "IS THIS A _____BAR?" We were told by a patron, that, "No this is a family establishment." Hah! That place harshed our mellow and we left shortly thereafter. Imagine my surprise when on the streets I heard a hale and hearty, "ANNIE!" It was my dear friend Erik Raj to the rescue. We spent the evening dancing and listening to some fabulous live music. Still moderately dehydrated and exhausted and with aching, happy dancing feet we left only to have to walk back to our hotel. But wait! What did my tired eyes spy? Greg our pedal cab guy and he was only a block away. My knight in shining armor. And yes, he offered us a free ride! I did ask him though, why he didn't warn us about the Tilted Kilt and if he's ever been there? His response reaffirmed the adage, "never judge a book by it's cover." He said very simply, "I refuse to patronize a place that subjectifies women." Good answer Greg!
I write this because on Sunday afternoon Jen discovered she had lost her sunglasses. We returned to the virtually empty convention center in search of a lost and found. We were directed by staff to this elevator and told to take it down to the security office. Okaaaaay? We rode the unlocked and easily accessible elevator down and found ourselves in the basement! After wandering around fairly lost (again) we were discovered and escorted by security to the exit. No sunglasses. We did see some nice vases and plates, though!
I took the red eye (#theredeyeisthedevil) back to NH and was met by my wonderful husband at 9:30 a.m. Monday morning having only fifteen minutes of sleep with edema laden legs and feet. It was good to get home, but I missed the fun and friends and I can hardly wait for next year! I will be sporting compression stockings this time :)