Colorado was amazing. Cold and snowy (just like Kansas), but so much fun.
The conference was so good. (Colorado Council International Reading Association.)
My favorite backseat travel buddies...
When you're this cozy in a van for 7-8 hours... it's good to like the people you're riding with. Dave and Jody were the best backseat buddies.
The whole way to Denver we were covered in blankets, wishing we had extra socks... our feet frozen solid. On the way home... we had the air on for awhile. Only in Kansas.
They mixed up a couple rooms, so Jody and I had one bed, but it was huge. If she hadn't been talking/yelling/scolding children in her sleep, I never would have known she was there. ("It is 10 after 10! Emma... I need to you stop doing that. That is really gross.") I forgot to get a picture, but we could see mountains outside our window. Our bed was so comfy and cozy (and clean!)
Thursday night we were in our pjs... cozy in bed with a stack of magazines... watching Grey's Anatomy... painting our nails... with no children and no responsibilities. It. was. awesome. If I had been able to take a shower and have my laptop, it would have been the perfect evening. (No free internet. Boo. And no hot water. Seriously. Luckily they had the boilers fixed by Friday morning.)
We were pretty bummed when we realized we had a morning session at 7:30. Our first sessions were at 9:15 and we were thinking we would get to sleep in every day. Having to set our alarm for 6:30 was disappointing, but at least we each didn't have 3 children to get ready each day. (And the morning speakers were all 3 fabulous.)
All but 3 of my sessions were really, really good. We came home with so many ideas to use in our classrooms. I LOVE that! Two of my sessions were okay. One was pretty unbelievable. I learned some classroom management techniques to NEVER use. Sadly, that wasn't the point of the presentation. ("You get right in their face and count. And you really have to be right in their face.") Yep. Seriously. But we'll focus on the good stuff. Fun, creative, great ideas that I am going to start using on Monday!
I walked into a bathroom one day and had a little moment of panic. But these smart convention people knew there would be more women at a teacher's conference. So they changed some of the restroom signs. Pretty clever, huh?
I caught a glimpse of Curious George strolling through the atrium one day...
We came home with a ton of new books to add to our "Must Read" lists. Several were only appropriate for older kids, but I want to read them! (Not these books... these wall hangings were just happy and fun.)
Going out to eat... no looking at a kid's menu... no worrying about how people at my table were behaving... no cutting up food or feeding someone... so, so nice. (Although the $7 margarita was a little ridiculous. Delicious, but way too pricey.) This appetizer at a local pub had me a bit freaked out, though...
But Derrick really liked them! He said they tasted just like Jimmy Dean sausage. I just took his word for it.
I love trips like this. There were 14 of us that went. We had 8 in our van and there were 6 in the other. (We really can do math and divide equally, but it just worked out that way.) Two of the teachers in our van I had never met or spoken to before. Three of them I knew, but not very well. Dave and Jody and I probably know each other a little too well. :) But I love that by the second night, we were passing our bowls around the table at Noodles and co. (yum!) and letting people try sips of our drinks.
We laughed. (a lot)
We walked. (and some of us fell on the ice... Dave)
We told stories. (and laughed even more)
We discussed. (we are all teachers, after all)
We had so. much. fun.