Friday, July 20, 2007

Elaine's Elations

Friday, July 20, 2007

Good morning!

Well, as I promised yesterday, I’m going to tell you about my Thursday.

I woke up with the hotel phone ringing at 7:30 AM. It was a good way to start the day. (I wonder why the phone is always such a better alarm than an alarm clock?)

I really had no plans – I had hoped to go volunteer at the registration booth again and I wanted to help Edna set up the Alumnae Rooms. It turns out that I didn’t do either of those things!!

It seems that now I am not only in the “roommate coordinator” business, but also in the “help people with banquet tickets and cruise tickets” business. Too funny. It seems that I’ve found my niche. For some reason it is very easy for me to remember who needs what and find who has what – I helped 2 people sell their cruise tickets because they couldn’t use them. (One of these people was a LLL Leader from Kansas whose flight was canceled and rescheduled for Friday. It’s a shame that she couldn’t be here for the cruise, but at least she got some of her money back!)

To start the day, around 8:30 AM my good friend Mary and her daughter got in from Cleveland and called our room. Mary had brought me a box of instant oatmeal so that my daughter would have her standard breakfast here at the hotel. Of course, I hadn’t gotten dressed yet and was still in my jammies! We chatted for a while – I wasn’t worried about the time because Rachel didn’t have to be at work until 12:30 PM today. All of a sudden, I realized that the time had flown by and it was after 10:00 AM! Aaargh!

People started hopping in the showers (we are lucky enough to have a room with 2 double beds and 2 bathrooms). Mary and I continued to chat for a bit. Then my roommate (and co-Leader and friend) left to go to breakfast. I realized that I was supposed to be finished showering and dressing by the time Rachel got out of the shower, so Mary had to scoot. I scurried around, getting all the junk together that I seemed to need to carry around (notebook, conference bag, Spicy Scarf – story to follow, camera). I hit the shower (and, no, I didn’t make it before Rachel was finished), got dressed and went to make my DD her breakfast. I had planned to use the hot water from the coffee maker to make the instant oatmeal. It was hot, all right, but it smelled like coffee! There was no way I’d make oatmeal for her with that! So off we went down to the local restaurant.

Right about now, I bet you’re thinking that we went to eat breakfast, but you’d be wrong! I had taken a Styrofoam cup (the size needed for making the oatmeal) and asked for some boiling hot water. I explained what had happened and they were very nice and gave me water without any hesitation. Yea! We went down to Registration and Rachel proceeded to make her own breakfast and eat it. The reason we did all this down at Registration was because it was not after 12:OO PM!! Where did the morning go??

While I was in the registration area, many of my friends seemed to magically appear! I belong to an e-mail list called “Spice of La Leche Life” or SOLLL. It is a list of approximately 36 members, all who have children roughly the same ages. We’ve become very good friends over the years (I believe I joined back in 1997) and a good portion (well, not really – a good portion would have been ALL!) of us are at this conference.

One of our SOLLL (Spicey Sisters) is from the Southern California/Nevada Area. They are having a huge fundraiser and are promoting a LLLI book “The Revolutionaries Wore Pearls” by selling real, freshwater pearl necklaces for only $20!!! These necklaces are such high quality it isn’t even funny! I love pearls. I’d say that these are probably worth at least $50 to $80 for each necklace. (I got five as Christmas presents for my sisters-in-law. They’re going to think I hit the lottery, being able to give them all high quality pearl necklaces like these!) I tell you, if you want to take advantage of this fundraiser just contact someone from the SC/NE Area. You won’t regret it! In the picture of me on the cruise, you can see a fine specimen of these pearls! I bought another strand and gave it to my daughter so you can see hers in the picture of her, too.

While I was schmoozing with my SOLLL friends, a few people found me to ask about the banquet tickets my roommate had for sale. I took care of getting the right tickets to the right people. Then some people came up to me and asked about cruise tickets. Did the same thing for them. All the while, visiting, meeting new friends, chatting, and getting many, many hugs from wonderful people! What an exhilarating morning! Oops … I did it again. I kept saying, “Good morning!” when it was already afternoon!!

I then wandered back up to my room with a friend to allow her use of my computer. I checked the quilt square boxes to see how the quilt swap fabric drop-off was coming along. (OH! This is a whole ‘nuther topic! About 70 of us are exchanging 10”X10” fabric squares with either a blue or gold theme. Many of us actually get some of them made into quilts! Our sorting party is scheduled for tomorrow night – here in my hotel room!)

I ran some more errands and then headed back to my room to change for the cruise. The Alumnae Association set this up for us. It was to cruise around the lake on the Spirit of Chicago ship. The ship left the pier at 7:00PM. There were 2 levels devoted to La Leche League. There were entertainers singing and dancing, and a DJ who worked the crowd trying to announce where everyone was from. We had a lovely dinner with an excellent dessert! It was incredibly fun to go out on the bow of the ship. I can’t believe how windy it was!! I had to hold my dress down for fear that I would start para-sailing without any safety tether!! It was so fun – gentle swells made it even more interesting because we had to be very careful of our footing. After a while, we all got cold, so we went back inside (it was time for dessert, anyway.)

After dessert was more entertainment and dancing. As the sunset, the Chicago skyline became even more dramatic. The Ferris wheel and the carousel on the Navy Pier were lit up and seemed to jump out at us through the night. When it was time to leave, we had the option to buy a picture that was taken as we entered the ship (touristy stuff, I know, but I so rarely do it that I went ahead and got suckered in!) We walked off of the pier to the street corner to hail a taxicab. It took about 10 minutes before one came along and we were in the wind the entire time. Poor Colleen – she was cold! I rather enjoyed the temperature and the “breeze.”

The taxi ride back to the hotel was uneventful. We went straight up to our room and started getting ready for bed. I did make one phone call to a lady who wanted my roommate’s last 2 banquet tickets. She came to our room and picked them up and we all proceeded to hop into bed (or type this blog, depending on which person we’re talking about.) ;0)

Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day. I’m going to the Art Institute of Chicago to see a special viewing of Mother & Nursing Baby art. The are showing us paper art from their archives. What a special treat. This, too, has been arranged by someone in the Alumnae Association. I think I’ll dream about this trip tonight.

Good night, all!

LLLove, Elaine

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