It's CHEA time again! That would be Christian Home Educators Association. I'm off to the convention again this year in hopes of revitalizing, refreshing, renewing, re-whatevering.
OK, secretly I just can't wait to get into the marketplace and play with all the curriculum...and buy those crazy cool highlighters!
Truthfully, it's hard to leave the family behind but I really do enjoy the couple of days where I don't have to cook, clean or drive anywhere. This year Danielle and I are staying at the hotel adjacent to the convention center which means pretty much just walking out the door and into convention.
Last year's trip to CHEA began with a completely bizarre set of mishaps and weirdness which later evolved into many jokes that still stand today. We left for for Pasadena in the blazing heat and decided to wait to get lunch until we were close. After driving miles and miles down the main road past many, many eating establishments we unwisely selected a Carl's Jr. Entering the restaurant we were greeted with a blast of heat and several sweaty, grumpy-looking workers. Air-conditioning=Out of Service.
We each ordered a salad which was our second mistake, our first being the choice to stay and eat there at all. Immediately I noticed the salad was warm. And not just -warm because there is grilled chicken on it- warm, but nasty, sitting out of the fridge warm. I sent it back and watched them put it back into the fridge. Really! They intended to re-cool it and give it back to someone else...after I had opened it and felt the lettuce with my fingers. I received a cool salad and we sat down. Danielle pulled back the lid of her salad only to find there were no walnuts or cranberries on her 'Cranberry-Walnut salad'. Back to the counter. The worker opened the lid looked inside, dumped the salad in the trash and then gave her a new salad...along with a packet of berries and a packet of walnuts.
We stood there.
I'm still to this day trying to figure out why the first salad needed to be dumped if they were just going to give us packets.
On our merry way, we check in to the Hilton hotel realizing that we had picked the wrong hotel and were 1/2 mile away from the convention center. No fear, there is a free shuttle driver. Enter Phillip, our right hand man for the weekend. Needing to check in our bags we waited in the lobby while an amazon of a concierge looks down her nose at us. We wait for a bellhop but they were too busy for the likes of us. Maybe we smelled like hot salad. Finally a maintenance man offers to wheel our bags up since we were not permitted to do it ourselves.
He greets us by saying, 'HELLO GORGEOUS!' (This has since become our standard greeting to each other.) As we traipse through the parking garage and begin to head to the elevator he stops us and says, "I know a short cut!"
Lesson to my readers...when a maintenance man whom you have never met, greets you with compliments and then tells you he knows a short cut...run!
We didn't run.
No, we giggled insanely and decided to soldier on ...past the garbage cans that smelled of rotting bodies or some such macabreness. Past the road we just drove in on. Past the main doors. Into...the underbelly of the hotel. Through the laundry area which smelled like bleach. Past the behind-the-scenes hotel workers who looked at our maintenance guy with looks that said, "What the HECK are you doing bringing those insanely beautiful women down here?" (OK, I embellished that a wee bit.) Still in the steaming underbelly of Hotel Hilton we were paraded past the downstairs offices and to the maintenance elevators. At this point I whispered into Dan's ear,
"Should we be getting into a maintenace elevator alone with this guy?"
Common sense would tell you NOT to get into the elevator. But who says either of us have any common sense? We did.
We rode up in the elevator, not so silently, stifling our giggles as best we could.
"See, this is a good shortcut!" Maintenance dude said.
"No, Our way was shorter," Danielle replied.
"Next time you go your way and you can time it, " he retorted.
We shut up.
Finally we reached our floor. The elevator dinged and we waltzed off and into our room where our admirer stood expectantly waiting for a tip. We gave him some change (I think) and he smiled and said,
"This is why I work here, I get to help beautiful ladies."
I think I need a shower....again.
As my memory serves that is how it happened last year. We shall see what this year has in store for us. Danielle and I will be together so some hilarity will ensue...that's for sure.