Tuesday, September 25, 2007

North Carolina and my conference

So, I've had tons of people ask me about my trip to North Carolina and that's when I realized I hadn't written about it. Well....

I arrived in one piece with all my luggage. YAY! Spent the afternoon driving around Raleigh and Chapel Hill. If you didn't know, I had went to NC 3 years ago and fell in love with it. I'm still in love with the area. There's something about it that just makes me want to move. No, I'm not packing up and leaving, but I do feel something special when I'm there. I'll tell you more about that later. So, it was a nice afternoon of checking out where things were and what I wanted to do later.

I headed towards my hotel in Chapel Hill and then spent the rest of the night sleeping. I was really tired and the bed was so comfortable! I knew that I had a busy day on Thursday and would need my rest. I was so excited about my tour of DECI in Durham! I know I wrote about them before, so I won't explain what/who they are again. I managed to find my way to Durham and to their facility and only missed one turn! Tim met me at the door and we headed to lunch. I had a great time discussing just about everything with Tim. He's beyond the sweetest guy I've ever met and he's turned into a really great friend. We joke about drinking beers and fishing with our kids. I keep trying to get him up here because the fishing is so much better in MI. HAHA!

After lunch Tim took me to Lynn who gave me the tour. We hit it off really well as we both have the same feelings about special needs/handicapped people in the workplace. DECI was amazing and they are doing some great things there. I was really impressed. I would *LOVE* to work for a facility like theirs. I learned a lot and am grateful to Lynn and Tim for giving me part of their busy day. Thanks guys!

Um, so you're wondering what I did with the rest of my Thursday? No? Too bad...I'm going to tell you. I went and got another tattoo. Well, not a whole new one, but I added to one that I have (see photo below). I wanted to add Julia's Chinese name to my current tattoo that has Cam and Anna's names. So, that's what I did. Along with a ladybug and 2 little orange flowers (orange is Julia's favorite color!) The girl who did the tattoo was so cool and I really enjoyed working with her. Lacie was a riot and sure wish she was closer!!

Friday and Saturday were spent at my conference. My presentation was later on Friday and I had a good time attending sessions and meeting people. The conference was really geared towards adults and people who had lost their hearing later in life. I met some pretty impressive women with hearing loss who would make excellent role models for Anna and Julia, but they live in NC! Oh well. I have their contact info and are more than willing to help me out. :-) My presentation went well. There were about 300 attendees to the conference and I had about 15. Pretty good numbers in my Professional Conference Goer opinion.

I mentioned my obsession with North Carolina. It's more about the feelings I get from the people when I'm there. Everyone from the lady that waited on me at Belk's to the people I met at the conference, and everyone in between. It was beyond friendly. I don't think people here in MI are so nice. Could be because MI has the highest unemployment rate and the most people moving out of state? NC has the most people moving into their state. I can see why. Just based on my experiences with public, it was so inviting and welcoming. I had a great time and I can't wait to go back. Oh yeah...the weather there doesn't hurt either. It was beautiful and so warm. Oh yeah...the smell of the pines was intoxicating! I loved that too. :-)

So that was my trip in a nutshell. Just a shame that NC is so far away....


Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

So glad you had a such a great trip! I really admire you for what you do!

Melissa and Wayne said...

Back at'cha Tonni...I admire what you do!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update I've been wondering how it went! Sounds like you had a great time and took back as much as you gave!