Today I offer some photos of the San Antonio adventure. I roomed again with my friend Mary Senger and we went here, there and everywhere (what is that they say about good girls and bad girls…hmmm…good girls go to heaven and bad girls go everywhere).
And I do mean everywhere…in addition to visiting the Alamo and all the other well-known San Antonio draws, Mary and I went to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. This marks our second annual visit to a Ripley’s Museum during this conference. Mary just loves the freak show. As for me, I’ve dated enough interesting characters to probably have my own freak show museum…but I must say Ripley had a greater gift for finding the really unusual than I do (actually, the unusual I have come in contact with seem to find me or perhaps they are drawn to me…hmmm…greater reflection on this front as to what I am doing to draw them is probably necessary). Next year the conference is in Las Vegas – which, with or without a Ripley’s Museum, should allow Mary and me plenty of freak show opportunities.
But back to the photos – I will share today a photo montage (of sorts) of the trip. I arrived at the hotel and found this lovely greeting on my bed courtesy of Mary. It is true, she is very thoughtful.
Mary and I dressed up as hippie chicks for Halloween and then we went about getting into mischief with two of our friends – Pete and Shari. We went to a few bars and then finally ended up at Durty Nelly’s which was just a hop, skip and a jump from where we were staying. Which was a decided blessing as the nearby river is a bigger peril for a particularly clumsy girl in really high heels after an evening of drinking. The last thing I needed was to be a wet, drowning hippie chick – it definitely would have ruined the whole peace and love vibe I was carrying with me as part of my costumed persona.
The following day the conference started in earnest and it didn’t take long to hook up with our gal pals Val and Dorothy for a photo. We made the rounds that day – visiting with old friends and colleagues and going to sessions. Then it was off to the opening of the exhibitor hall and free drinks…we did a lot of catching up and were amongst the last to head out. Then it was off for dinner and more drinks with more friends. The party just went on and on and on.
The next day, we took a lunch break at the nearby mall and took a slew of photos coming and going. My favorite is the photo of me at the Dance Hall which was being renovated by Guido Brothers Construction – I just found the combo too delicious to ignore.
Then there is the photo of Pete and me in a breezeway at the mall. We call Pete our UBF (Universal Boyfriend) because he serves as an all-purpose escort for all us girls and keeps us safe. He is a sweetheart of a man.
The evening found us at mixer at Pat O’Brien’s, having dinner at Rio Rio and winding up the night at a karaoke bar. That was one wild night! There is one thing that is never lacking at this conference, regardless of its location, and that is plenty of alcoholic beverages and folks wanting to visit with you into the wee morning hours. So Tuesday eve became the evening of many drinks and two large pitchers of slushy margaritas. I also seem to recall eating tortilla chips at Rio Rio as though I was never going to have an opportunity to have another in my lifetime (thank goodness we closed the place down and they closed the kitchen or I would likely still be there in a tortilla chip coma – the access to authentic Mexican food was just so intoxicating).
At the mixer at Pat O’Brien’s I ran into four of the ten NDSU emergency management students attending the conference – Justin, John, Chuck (of Shut the Chuck Up infamy) and Kevin. I heard many positive things about our students at the conference which always makes me happy and incredibly proud. I know they are great, but I have to say that when I hear that belief confirmed by others I stand a little taller and puff out my chest a bit more (can you tell in the photo?). I love my students!
Even though there were many drinks preceding our visit to the karaoke bar I didn’t sing (there is no amount of alcohol that could lead me to believe that my singing skills are viable)…I merely supported my peeps who had the skills to karaoke ( I am, after all, a smart girl). I have to tell you there were many folks who had no business singing in public that were belting it out. Thankfully the whole bar jumped in on those tunes to help drown out the offender with the microphone.
The final day after conference activities wrapped up Mary and I toured the area around our hotel to include, as I mentioned above, Ripley’s museum – because Mary loves the freak show. It was a fitting end to a crazy trip and the icing on the cake for me was the one-armed paper hanger that was at the museum (which I have often said I am busier than). I wonder if that is why Mary likes me…could it be that I am a part of a fascinating freak show? Some days I think I am my friends…believe it or not!
Day four hundred and eighty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da