(Sorry about the delay. I was running through 4 AA batteries for every few pictures uploaded on my dial-up, so I waited to continue until we got an adapter to plug the camera into the outlet!)
Wyl was so excited when we got in the room (right after we checked in about 3:30). He took out all of his Pokemon and other stuffed animals, set them up in various locations and positions, grabbed his briefcase (the briefcase those of you who were there shall note was the one that was lost 3, 4, 5 times. :~) THANK YOU to those who helped us find it. Repeatedly.), got one of his notebooks with a good cover, the scissors and proceeded to cut out door-handle signs out of the cardboard cover (like the "Do Not Disturb" signs that were there when we arrived) and made "Do Disturb" and "Pokemon Party" signs to hang on our doorknob. :~) As he was finishing up that, we heard some folks coming in! (We had been the very first ones in Weatherford) The boys took off and met Faith, Easy, Malila and Zola a few minutes before they got to our door and Dave and I met them as well. Faith must have spent *hours* that week, pushing Storm, Wyl, Scott, Zola and Easy (and who knows what other kids in our hall! LOL) up and down the hall on the luggage cart! *Thanks*, Faith-my kids loved it! They also loved movie watching with you!
It was so cool-every time I walked to the front or came back into the hall from points further out, there were more people to meet! In the dining area, in the kitchen, in the halls-it was awesome for a sanguine extrovert like myself :~) Unfortunately, I don't remember names well, so I probably embarrassed myself many times, asking (and re-asking) people's names I'd already met. I'm sorry!
So, our trip to Olive Garden (jeeze, Cameron-I was worried the whole trip that I was going to get a speeding ticket!) gave me the first indication of what I was in for the "week" of the conference. After I got settled in and quit worrying if we were spending too much money on dinner, I got to chat with folks near me, and look around a bit. In the room we had off to the side for ourselves, it really felt like a big, Italian *family* dinner!
After we got back to the room and settled in, it was my night "out". I wandered over to the BRC (big, main building where the gaming room and chow was-for those who don't know). I wandered a bit and was kind of taking it all in when Wyl raced over to me and asked for the keys to the van. He had packed plastic and (mostly) foam swords, knives, helmets, shields, a plate mail or two and other odd bits and pieces and he brought them out for an im-promptu "ad-venture" funshop! Wow - at home, Wyl (and Storm to a lesser degree) is the only kid who can play such "involved" adventure and for so long! It was awe-some for me to see him find a huge bunch of kids that could play right along with him at his pace!! So, so cool.
The Adventure spread out to all corners of the BRC, included all ages, guys and gals and just seemed like so much fun. (Even people who were known for not hanging around with younger people were joining in ::big grin:: ) Nuances cropped up that I hadn't seen or heard of before. I watched for quite a while, chatting and getting to know folks here and there and finally after well over an hour, I realized I didn't have my camera! So, I ran back to the room and grabbed it.
Hide and seek mixed with battle mixed with tag. It was very cool. Some-where in the midst of the ob-serving, photo taking and chat-ting I managed to find a quiet moment to just *be*. I let the vibe sink in... it felt like I had come *home*. In-describ-able, but cool. ::grin ::
I got some time to sit and chat, but mostly wanted to just take it all in. I hope I didn't seem anti-social, and it really *is* pretty unusual for me to just sit and be quiet, but that's what I needed in the moment. :~)
It was a tiny bit intimi-dating to be the newbie in the hubbub of old friends reacquainting, but I knew I had a week to settle in and meet folks and find my own "ad-venture". :~D (Forgive the photo fuzzi-ness, if you will. I'm not sure if I had the camera on the wrong setting of I just didn't hold it steady enough...) It *did* feel nice and warm to be hugged hello by old acquaintances. It was cool to finally put faces to names of folks I had "been reading" for years.
Wed-nesday morning was a rush of folks coming and register-ing - I would have been over-whelmed if I'd have come Wed-nesday. I was SO glad I had come a day early to ac-climate myself.
The Adventure picked up right where it had left off the night before and actually, was a pretty steady item throug-hout the whole week. Most of the morning was just a sea of faces... I hope I didn't pass someone by that I knew! Then again, there are people that you just come together with, that feel so comfy... Scott and Wyl seemed to pick right up where they had left off 7 months before, as if they had called it quits for the night and met up again the next morning. Cool. We got to play with Scott a lot all week and really got to know him better. :~) Thanks, Scott, for the Link hat-Storm LOVES it! Oooh... I should take a pic of him in it tomorrow and put it in here... (His mouth is open because he's singing the Zelda theme music)
There was a scaven-ger hunt that was *so* fun!! We had a blast trying to find things, gather things and "fudge" things. One of my favor-ites was "Kelly Lovejoy's Badge", which Kelly *swore* she wouldn't give up to anyone and she'd even sleep with it under her pillow... ::very big grin:: There were only 2 teams that showed up with stuff and so we both won, since there were 3 prizes. We still haven't found a good day for flying our kite, yet, but we will...
The game room was cool. Not really what I'd imagined, but wonderful in it's reality. Rock Band was very popular and I'm glad 3 of us "roadied" our "equipment". :~D I wish I'd have had more time to play with other folks, but we're planning on taking it to UWWG, so maybe there. I'm in the process of setting up a home-schooler's Rock Band outing once or twice a month in downtown Akron, so hopefully, I'll get the chance.
I didn't get to all the funshops and talks I wanted to, but what I did was enough. Imagine that! I left on Monday feeling quite satisfied and content, not at all like I had missed out. Although, I do have to say, I was *really* looking forward to meeting Sandra and Dianna & Hayden. I guess that just means we need to make another road trip. Or two!! :~)
Oh, I almost forgot my trip to Lee Hall. Or should I say my *first* trip. I had no idea how steep that bugger was. I mean, you can easily see it is *up* there, but not how steep the incline is. I didn't notice the heat or the humidity that day until I was about half way up, hoping and begging the fates that my knee would hold out to the top. I slowed down after my initial pace and tortoise-like, made my way to the top, seemingly an inch at a time. I got to the top of the drive and looked up, up, up the stairs at the hall. Ohy. I made my way over to where there was a handrail, to help my knee as much as possible-even though there were folks sitting up at the top of that path. My knee really needed that handrail... So, I made it to the top without my knee giving out and as I stepped up the last stair, those folks sitting at the top (apparently having read my namebadge) *applauded* me and said, "You made it, De". I think that's what they said. My humiliation pretty much obliterated anything else in the next minute or so. I smiled and nodded and scooted off, my face would have turned red had it not already been so from the climb. I went indoors to sit and mope and pout about how *mean* those people had been to the fat person. Aren't unschoolers supposed to be better than that? I whined to myself. Completely embarrassed and figuratively licking my wounds, I sat on a love-seat kind of thing just inside the door. I looked for Dave to complain about the whole situation and when I went to get up, THEN my knee went out. LOL At least I had made it to the top. Well, after my knee rested, we got over the "emergency" of Wyl getting "separated" from us (he was at BRC and we had failed to let him know we were going up to Lee), getting snow cones for the boys and sharing popcorn, I headed out on the porch. Laura was just finishing that huge climb up to Lee and she paused and leaned on a pillar while she recovered and caught her breath. She said something about it being so hard and I noticed how hard she was breathing and it clicked. They weren't MOCKING me, it was truly a spectacular climb and they were likely encouraging and congratulating all the folks that made the climb!! Ohy... That's what I get for jumping to conclusions-and on a bad knee, yet. Guess I learned a little bit about how I feel about De that afternoon.
Dave had *his* night "out" that night and I crashed early with Storm. Breakfast comes mighty early to folks used to getting up after 10 AM....