Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend in Denver- SCN 2013

This past weekend, my husband, Joe, and I traveled to Denver for the Speaking Consulting Network (SCN) conference. My husbands company was a sponsor, and I went with him to help him out with his booth.
While I love traveling to different places, I admit I hate the stress of the airport. It doesn't help that Joe and I have totally different traveling styles. I blame it on the fact that we grew up near two very different airports. I grew up near the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, which is humongous. My mother always taught me that you need to be at the airport at least 2 hours early, just in case. Generally, this would leave us with a long wait time before the plane took off after we got through security, but I always preferred it that way. I had the option of sitting down at a restaurant, going shopping, or just waiting at the terminal and relaxing, knowing my flight wasn't going to leave without me. Joe, on the other hand, grew up near the Kansas City airport, which is pretty small. You can almost always check in and get through security within a short period of time. Since there is no restaurant options (besides some food stands) or shopping options after getting through security, getting there two hours early will leave you with nothing to do. You can eat outside of security, but, honestly, that stresses me out. I like to have that part behind me before I can relax, because you never know when that will take you a long time.

There is currently a debate in Kansas City about getting a bigger terminal. I'm all for it. Most seem to be against it. I guess it's hard to change what you are used to.

Considering all that, the fact that we were still at our home 2 hours before our flight last Friday concerned me. Joe, of course, was unconcerned. When the security line was exceptionally long that morning, I'll admit, I was somewhat freaking out, even with the voices of reason around me (i.e. the other people in line) saying we were all on the same flight and they weren't going to leave without us. And low and behold, even though we got through security right when they were boarding, the flight didn't leave without us. I really need to get used to this small airport thing. 

I'll admit, when I was looking out the window of the plane and only seeing plains (like the word play?), I found myself inadvertently quoting the movie "Dumb and Dumber". "I thought the Rocky Mountains would be a little rockier than this". Having only traveled to Denver from the North, on a weekend trip while I was taking a summer Geology class in the Black Hills during College, I never realized how flat part of Colorado is. When the mountains were finally in sight, however, I was very excited. I love this part of the country.

Once we touched down, we met up with my father. My mother, who is a retired dentist, is in the process of becoming a professional speaker. She has been a spokesperson for years, but now is getting more involved in speaking that doesn't necessarily pertain to dentistry. Last year, my mother helped Joe with his booth at this conference, which caters mostly to speakers and dental consultants, but this year she decided to be a participant in the conference. Therefore, she and my dad were in Denver with us. 
Friday night, we kicked off the conference with a networking cocktail party. Along with cocktails (obviously) there were many hors d'oeuvres and desserts provided, including these yummy macarons. That reminded me that I still need to try and make these.
After the cocktail party, my cousin, Jason, who lives in Denver, came out to meet us for Dinner. Since he lives so far away, we don't get to visit him that often, so it was great to see him!
Saturday morning the conference went into full swing. The sponsors were put in the same room as the conference participants, so we were able to listen to the key note speakers. When the speakers were finished, there would be breaks when the conference participants would have to chance to talk to us at the booth. My initial expectation of the weekend was that Joe would talk to people about the business, and I would hand stuff out and smile at people. However, since we were getting so many people coming up to us at different times, I realized I should probably tell them a few things. Luckily, I knew enough about Joe's company to keep them interested, and then told them they should talk to my husband. Hopefully I did a good job for him.
It was so much fun seeing my handsome hubby in action. One woman even said his company was the most exciting thing at the conference! He is so good at what he does, and I am so proud of him. 
My dad and cousin spent the day in Estes park (where my mom and dad went on their honeymoon). I'm glad Jason went with him because, knowing my dad, he probably would have roamed the Mountains himself. 

Sunday morning at breakfast, preparing for another day (or at least half day) of the conference, we were lucky enough to get a lesson on fashion... from my father. Showing off his new shirt, he introduced us to another future trend. At least according to him. He insists that his current shirt is even better than the Hawaiian shirts he wears almost everyday because when he does the hula the American flag looks like it is waving. 
Also on the list of future trends according to my dad: Hawaiian shirts, crocs, sneakers with Velcro straps, calf high socks, and shirts with presidents on them. He claims that he is on "the tip of the fashion spear", and that one day all of these will be big.  Who need the Parsons School of Fashion when you have Jim Harms.
After lunch, my mom took over our booth, and Joe and I started to prepare for our flight back to Kansas City. We were originally going to take a shuttle back to the airport, but since Joe had never been to Colorado, and we had no opportunity to really see anything besides the inside of our hotel, my father offered to take us on the "scenic route" back to the airport. The scenic route being driving through Estes park, driving back, and then finally going to the airport.  It was a gorgeous drive, and I'm glad Joe got to see at least a little bit of the Rockies. 
Joe and my dad sat in the front, while I took pictures from the back with my iphone. I think they turned out pretty good considering they were taken from a moving vehicle (besides the last one, obviously). 

In the end, while we had a lot of fun in Colorado, it is great to be home. 

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1 comment:

  1. Uncle Jim cracks me up!! I love the waving flag shirt!! ;)


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