Monday, November 11, 2013

Seattle Day 1

Sorry about the delayed posting of my fabulous Seattle trip, but just as soon as I got back, I was off again. More on that later. . .

I was fortunate enough to visit Seattle with the incredible opportunity of attending the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Connecting Teachers to Teachers conference. Roughly 200 teachers from all across the United States came together to discuss what teachers need in order to help further their students. It is not very often that we're asked how we can be helped and we did not waste the chance to speak up! What made it all even better was having a fellow Mooresville teacher, the inspiring April, along on this adventure with me:-)

A quick background on this trip. . . we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. In fact, when our principals (April teaches at the high school) asked us if we'd be interested in going they only asked if we wanted to go to Washington. None of us knew that it was in Seattle until we were sent information on our hotel! Not that we were complaining. I mean how often do you get to fly across the country to Seattle on someone else's tab?? We also had no earthly idea what this trip would entail. All we knew was our flight and hotel information. Can you imagine the anxiety this prompted in two Type-A teachers?!?

Our flight was scheduled for late Monday morning, which meant a nice little sleep-in for someone used to a 4:15am alarm. I puttered around the house for a bit before heading toward the airport. I was about halfway there when I realized I had forgotten my jacket. Did you catch the part about going to Seattle?? Other than that the pre-flight was pretty painless. The flight itself was a six hour direct flight, oof. Thank heavens I took David's advice and requested an aisle seat! 

When we landed we hurried to get our baggage and meet our driver (yes, our driver!). While we were there we met another teacher, Levi, who had brought along his wife for the trip. We grabbed our luggage and headed toward downtown and our awesome hotel. 

Once we arrived we had about an hour and a half before we had to be downstairs to catch the bus to go to the Foundation for supper and hopefully more details. I knew I couldn't waste the opportunity to explore so I was off! This East Coast girl quickly grabbed Starbucks we were in the Motherland after all!) and hit up a few stores in search of a jacket. H&M came to the rescue and I got an adorable gray peacoat on sale! 

And it was in a red cup to boot!

I quickly hurried back to the hotel and we all headed to the Foundation for cocktail hour. That's right, folks, cocktail hour. As a teacher I never thought I'd be able to say I was on a "business trip", but cocktail hour with local brews too?? I was in hog heaven! We visited and made quick connections with a few other Southern birds. They finally gave us an itinerary which settled our anxious minds. They also gifted us with business cards. Yep, business cards. The goal was to have us make connections with fellow teachers and build a new community. 

Did I mention how thankful I am for this incredible opportunity??

Around this time that East Coast time started to hit us hard and caught the first bus back to the hotel. We needed a good night's sleep if we were going to be on our A-game for the next day!

Goodnight, Seattle.

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