It all started last Wednesday after work. I got off early so that I could finish some last minute packing as Vinh was finishing up his work day. We zoomed off on our way to San Diego at 4:30PM with pitstops for Sonic for dinner & gas.
Sonic & road trip commences!
We arrived at the Wyndham hotel just 10 minutes shy of midnight & checked in. We got settled in & promptly fell asleep.
Our hotel room
My kidlets :)
Thursday was my first day of conference & it started out as a gloomy one *pouts* Vinh dropped me off at the SD convention center where I checked in & got everything before heading to my first AOTA session ever, yay!
Welcome to AOTA 2013!
Clearing up slightly
I ran into my classmate Sarah D. & I had lunch with her & her co-workers before separating again for our sessions.
Enjoying the sunshine finally!
After all the sessions, it was finally time to head over to the keynote address by none other than Aron Ralston, subject of 127 Hours! I have to say that it was the most inspirational & empowering keynote I have ever heard.
What was even better than his keynote? Meeting Aron Ralston in person! This was definitely the highlight of my first day of conference, yay! He even autographed his book for me :)
After meeting Aron, I walked around the grand opening of the exhibition hall before being picked up by Vinh to go to dinner. We had a lovely view of the sunset for dinner. Then we headed back to the hotel where I freshened up & promptly konked out from sleep deprivation :P
San Diego sunset
On Friday, I skipped my first session so that I could spend some time with the hubs. We had brunch at Cafe 21, my favorite food place during our stay!
Brunch @ Cafe 21
We headed back to our hotel to park & then walked along the harbor. We walked around to look at the USS Midway before boarding the Hornblower cruise. The cruise was kind of a bore, but it was nice being out on the water. We only ended up doing half our tour since we didn't want me to be late for my session.
On the harbor
Out on the Hornblower
After a few sessions, I headed over to hear the Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture by Glen Gillen about returning back to normalcy...aka returning back to the roots of occupational therapy where clients are doing, not therapists doing. I totally agreed with his lecture & have been keeping it in mind during work :P
Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture by Glen Gillen
After the lecture, Vinh & I bolted over to Phil's BBQ where we waited at least an hour before getting to eat this famous BBQ! We got piggy stickers since we were newbies to Phil's. The food was absolutely delish, but my goodness were the portions absolutely huge, lol!
Pup statue watching the silverware & to go boxes
On Saturday, it was my last day attending conference. I attended my last few sessions (where I ran into Diana), visited the exhibition hall one last time to get freebies & said goodbye to the second largest AOTA conference.
Goodbye AOTA 2013!
In-between my sessions, Vinh & I had lunch again at Cafe 21 & then we explored a tiny portion of Balboa Park.
Lunch @ Cafe 21
Spanish Village Art Center @ Balboa Park
After leaving conference, Vinh & I went in search of the beach across the big bridge to Coronado. However we failed & quickly turned around as we were getting a wee bit too close to the border, lol.
Crossing over to Coronado
Glorietta Bay Park
We ended up walking down along the harbor again to have dinner at the Fish Market. We ran into the famous kiss statue as well as a Bob Hope statue. We headed back to the hotel room after dinner to finish packing up for our roadtrip back home in the morning.
Bob Hope performing for our troops
Loot from AOTA 2013
On Sunday, we left around 7:45AM for home...with many stops, which included checking out the outer perimeter of Blizzard...
Such a proud geek :P
...finding the Backstreet Boys star on the Hollywood walk of fame & being harassed by costumed people...
BSB fangirl for life!
Damn characters harassing us!
...enjoying Enjoy Cupcakes with Brenda & meeting little Alexis (who is oh so adorable & likes me, yay!) in Los Olivos...
We totally missed this sign, haha
Delish flight of mini cupcakes, nomz!
...before finally reaching home just 10 minutes shy of 7PM. We had quite the adventure needless to say. I gotta say that I have learned so much & have left the conference more competent, inspired & empowered to be a better occupational therapist! Thank you AOTA 2013 for reinvigorating the spark in me & my fellow occupational therapists :)