Now - let me just preface this with the fact that I don't like a lot of noise, visual stimuli and heat etc., since it tends to make the migraines rear their nasty little heads. So Vegas isn't the best place in the world for me.
Friday - woke up with one of the headaches trying to start, but waited until we got on the plane to take a pill. The TSA folks are just a pain and I didn't want to get pulled over and not be functional. We got to Vegas and holy hannah - it was HOT! Got to our hotel ( quick aside, why does a Marriott that is across from the Convention Center not have an Airport Shuttle??) Nice hotel, a regular old Marriott - I don't like surprises unless it's a nice B&B, and from what I heard about the Sahara - I'm glad we picked it! Picked up the official stuff, and then decided to grab dinner. I had believed that there would be more than one bus to the infamous Penthouse party - but no. After we ate at the Sahara Buffet - not worth it, but one has to try the oldtimey stuff - we waited for the bus, but when it didn't show - went back to the hotel and crashed (the timezone thing..)
Next morning, it was easy to see those that had been at the party... some bleeding eyeballs! I was scared, nervous and worried about the panel, but didn't need to be. Melinda had great questions and made us feel right at home. There was one commentor who asked the same question of our panel and the one before it - wanted a large umbrella "agency??" for veterans so they aren't forgotten. hmmm... think we have one of those - it's called the VA and is about as cludgy and hard to navigate as you could want. (son and dil are both navigating it... appeals etc.) besides, the guy didn't understand that we take care of folks OUR way - look at Chuck Z needing voice recognition software and look at it now - Valour IT was born.
The uniform milbloggers were there so I got to meet some of the folks I read a lot, and finally met one of the co authors I invited to join ParentsZone! Meeting Some Soldiers Mom (who won the parents blog milbloggie YAY) made me nervous too, but she made me very much at ease and it was a pleasure swapping stories of some of the wierd and wonderful things our active duty kids have done.
The Army lunch - well I don't like being told that - or have it strongly suggested that- I make the blogs (mine and PZ) into a recruiting tool. That's a slippery slope I won't be heading down. This blog - because it's mine and I get to say what I want, get to show what life is really like in a military family in our situation. And PZ because it's for information, good and bad and all of the stuff in between. I'm not a recruiter and I won't lie, fudge or conceal anything. I'm NOT saying all recruiters do, so jump off that high horse right now. I'm saying I've heard and seen some real slime who are recruiters - one recruited our kid. We told him the truth and he decided to join up anyway.
Saturday night was wonderful. Dinner at a good Italian Restaurant (I'm told it's a chain, but it's good food!) and it was one of those evenings that we all hope for. Good company (SemperFi Wife with Col. Semper Fi Wife, HF6, Toad and Mrs. Toad and DH and myself) good food - we ordered "Family Style" and it was quiet enough to actually talk to each other. Andi - we missed you! and AFW - answer the phone next time!
Sunday DH and I walked around the Venetian, Bellagio and Caesar's - ooh the shops! Did some looking, no buying... and we did hit the slots - each of us stuck a buck in the quarter slots, walked out with 3.50 profit. OH - if you are in Vegas and want a decent breakfast, the Imperial Palace coffee shop - second floor... great pancakes! Of course, migrained again, but it backed off after drugs and some nap on the plane. Flew home, got home incredibly late - crashed. and got up early for work Monday...walking zombie!
I am glad I went, glad DH met more of my imaginary friends, and very excited that PZ got so much good recognition - lots of folks telling me it's needed and we are all hoping we can make it as useful as possible. (and fun too, we need FUN!)