Monday, January 09, 2006

Clearwater Beach Florida

I'm in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The heat is on in my room. I've been uncomfortably cool since I arrived. It's warmer in Kansas. That said, there are some perks to being here.

My flight from Houston to Florida was perfectly pleasant. Yes, that's right. I said it. Pleasant. Was this due to a complete turn around of the airline industry while I was en route to Houston? No. Of course not. It was due to their failure to fill the seats, which resulted in me getting to sit in the window seat of an exit row - pretty much my favorite spot. Elbow room and leg room. When I changed my seat last night, the whole row was empty. But, today there was a nice gentleman in the aisle seat and we had a lovely conversation.

He and his partner just moved to Wichita a few months ago from Mississippi where they lost all their belongings in the hurricane. It was interesting to hear his story. I invited him to come to Hutch so we can have some Roy's BBQ together. I'd like to meet his partner. Anyway, chatting with him made the long flight just zip by, and we were both comfortable with an empty seat between us and plenty of leg room.

To top it off, when I arrived, my luggage was here and intact.

The conference tonight got off to a good start with a reception on the beach, which is when I took the sunset photo. We're at the Hilton in Clearwater Beach. When I was here before, it was at a different hotel, but I can't remember which one.

MHA conferences are really great. There's so much good and interesting information. Plus, it's good to see people. I've been doing this for three years now and see people I have gotten to know whenever I get to come to one of these.

The Susan on the left in this photo is from North Dakota and was my first ever roomie at an MHA event. We really hit it off and have looked forward to seeing each other since. The other Susan in this photo is from Florida and is someone I met through her. They're both tons of fun.

We went to dinner after the reception tonight. We went to Capri, an Italian place right across the street. It was really good. We all topped off the night with some spumoni, which was quite tasty. It's good to reconnect.

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