Tuesday, May 28, 2013

AutismOne Conference 2013

I spent last week getting myself situated for school this summer. That means I am officially signed up for two online classes this summer. Then in the fall I start a full load. Brain don't fail me now!

I spent the first part of the week getting my house situated for me to be gone for 2 nights and 3 days at the AutismOne Conference at the end of the week. This was the first year I knew about a grant that gives attendee's money to attend the conference and I took advantage of it. Though next year I plan on figuring it out better. Oy. I hate hotels. More on the conference in a bit.

On Monday the oldest received a reading award at school!! She had to work very hard to improve with a tutor with reading.

On Tuesday I finalized my classes for summer and fall along with my financial aid.

Wednesday I went to Weigh In at Weight Watchers since I wouldn't be home this weekend to attend my regular meeting. I was down 3lbs! Woot! Finally the right direction.

Thursday I left to attend the conference. There was so many great speeches but it's hard to pinpoint what was my favorite part  of it was.

On Friday we sat in on a speech by four members of Congress. Rep. Dan Burton, Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Bill Posey and Rep. Dave Weldon MD. I have pictures of this, but we weren't suppose to take pictures of this talk because of security (like a cop was ready to pounce someone for getting reallyclose to Issa) and some other stuff and the pics are not great.  Although this was a great part of the weekend I have almost no faith in congress to actually get shit done anymore. That pretty much sums up my feelings on that.

Then we skipped out of that place and headed to a new favorite place for lunch!

I finally made it to Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill in Rosemont. The food is typical bar food ( no issues there!) and the prices were good considering the conference center location.  I paid $14 for a crappy ass panini at the hotel restaurant the day before but I paid $10.99 for a bacon cheeseburger that was cooked exactly the way I wanted it.  Four dollars for a Miller Lite (12ozs)  compared to $6 the day (bottle!)  before at the hotel bar. The service was pretty good and really friendly. Since it's all females in tank tops and shorts I was kinda of worried about that. Sometimes we've been to Hooters and the girls are just so not nice to you because they think you won't be good tippers and they are mentally prepared for guys, kwim?

The place itself is HUGE! Two floors and a big stage area. We were told when we went back on Saturday (snort) that it is the largest of the restaurants and this one is owned by a corporation whereas some of the restaurants with his name are franchised.  My oldest is upset that I went to his restaurant without her and I told her I would make a special trip up there in the summer when her sister goes to school full day just for me and her to hang out. She is really going to have to twist my arm to go again!

Late Friday afternoon/early evening my friend Jurgita and I attended the speech by Robert F Kennedy Jr. That speech was so wonderful that I can't even begin to describe it all.  That's horrible isn't it? I can't put into words what I heard or felt besides just using the word: wonderful!

I stayed at a hotel that was about a mile away from the primary hotel to save money. I even walked back to my hotel both nights. Haha. I averaged about 5 miles on Thurs, Fri and 4 miles on Saturday just from walking the conference.  In the end I got screwed by something at the hotel I did stay at and I still have to have them fix my bill! Hence me hating hotels now.

Saturday was the final day I was staying up there. I have never been there for the keynote speaker address by Jenny McCarthy so this was a first. It was worth it! Say what you will about her, but damn it she is living my life (except with great makeup, a skinny bod and a lot more money). Her special guests this year for the panel were: Miss Montana Alexis Wineman and Real Housewives of New Jersey Jacqueline and Chris Laurita. I knew who Alexis was and I had a vague idea of the RHONJ couple. I do not watch those shows but through magazines and friends I knew they had a child with Autism.

It was a really great panel. To hear Alexis speak about growing up and how she stims today was really refreshing.  She gave me great hope for Avery. The Laurita's were really down to earth and when I spoke to them later and got a picture with them (don't have it yet it!)  she seemed very relaxed and soft spoken but you can tell that they will do anything to help their son.

Me and Miss Montana Alexis Wineman. 

Til next year AutismOne!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful conference
    Love your picture - you and miss Montana both look great
    Always interesting to hear about Jenny Mcarthy - she rubs me the wrong way though she did raise a lot of awareness