Day 1: On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, I, along with 4 of my fellow teacher-librarians boarded a plane heading to Minneapolis, MN. for the America Association School Librarian (AASL) 2011 conference. We had no problem catching our shuttle van to the hotel and checking in. 3 of my cohorts and I went to a cool Italian place for dinner called Zela’s. I had chicken parmisian which was delicious.
Day 2 (Thursday): Since the conference didn’t start until 2:30, my roomate Jillian and I didn’t let any grass grow under our feet and headed to The Mall of America. We rode on the light rail, so we got a mini tour of Minneapolis and even saw the Minnesota Vikings stadium. Jillian and I rode 3 roller coasters at the Nickelodian theme park which were a blast! It was great to be able to scream and have some fun. Although the fun didn’t stop there. I got to visit the Disney store where I’m sure I drooled a little. ;) After buying a few memorabilia we ate lunch and headed back to the conference. We watched a movie about the current digital age and how some schools are tackling the 21st century. We got popcorn which I promptly spilled everywhere - doh! The opening key note speaker was Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brain. He was very insightful and I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. I had to laugh at two of my collegues who were fighting falling asleep - not due to a boring presentation I found out later but because they were so exhausted. The vendor exhibits were open after the end of presentation so I explored the numerous vendors and got many free goodies. For dinner we ate at Spike’s sports bar that was located in the Hyatt. It was tasty, but we were all tired so we retired soon after dinner.
Day 3 (Friday): Let the races begin. Started the day with a breakfast conference with Capstone. Had 2 wonderful speakers - one a flamer that I instantly wanted to be bffs with (I am not intending to offend anyone with the flamer remark, but it is the best descriptor in this case). After breakfast I attended 4 sessions and visited the vendors again. At the end of day my partners in crime and I attended 5 vendor parties. Free food and drinks, among author signings and other goodies. I met Kareem Abdul Jabar and got his autograph for our library. I also met young adult author Maggie Stiefvater. She was very nice and looked like a teenage herself. :) I won a $50 cash card from the ABC-Clio party which was awesome, and I got to try a panini for the first time - YUMMO! Very fun night of party hopping. We finished it off with riding the escalators at Target and being entertained by the cart escalator. We really need to get out more.
Day 4 (Saturday): Again we started the day with another breakfast meeting and then it was off to 3 more conferences and the closing key note speaker. Busy day, but by the last speaker my mind had left me by the wayside. There was a closing dinner for the conference at the Nicolette Pavilion where we had some delicious Walleye fish and roasted marshmallows for S’mores. I was exhausted and certainly ready for bed by this point.
Day 5 (Sunday): The fun part of the morning was trying to fit everything into my suitcase. With the help of my colleagues I was able to get everything packed. :) At the airport I even got to eat at Godfather’s pizza, which I haven’t had in years. It was very tasty. We boarded the plane at 11:45 and headed for home. It was so good getting home and seeing my doggies again.
I have been home for a few days and I’m really read for a weekend, but I had such an awesome time in Minneapolis at the conference I’m so glad I got to go. Good times. :)