Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicago is.... my kind of town!

Earlier this month (right before finals actually), I headed to the Windy City to enjoy time with my old Baylor Cohort and attend the 2010 NASPA (student affairs administrators) conference. I was so excited for this visit, even though school was kind of stressing me out (all of my assignments seemed to be due leading up to the conference and right after it ended).

Candice, Matt and I had been collaborating on this visit for a long time. Matt and I knew that to convince Candice to come back to the US for the conference, we'd have to make it worth her while, so Matt invited us down to his place in St. Louis for the weekend following the conference. But I'm getting ahead of myself!

I woke up early on a Saturday morning, threw on some clothes, grabbed my huge bag and headed to LAX. Candice had flown in on Friday to get a start on jet-lag-management (seriously, Candice came to us from ENGLAND! that = awesome), and Kathryn (our other roommate) was headed in Saturday also. We were excited to see each other after a long time apart, and were also looking forward to connecting with some of our other cohort-mates who happened to already be in town!

I don't want to bore you with the gory details of everything that happened except to say that it was a TERRIFIC time. We sang Karaoke (Kathryn, Jonathan and I rocked the bar with our rendition of "Love Shack"), had a cohort reunion over deep dish pizza at Gino's East where I think we were the loudest group in the entire restaurant (and Candice, Kathryn and I walked almost a mile only to find out we were at the wrong location...), heard Condoleeza Rice speak (she was a really great speaker), went to a few sessions, presented a workshop on Campus Spiritual Climate (with Matt - which we think was a success), and shared a lot of laughs and memories over a lot of wine and beer.

On Wednesday evening, Candice, Shannon and I joined Matt and a few of his coworkers on the Amtrak to St. Louis. It was really fun to take the train somewhere and inspired me to take the train to other locations as I have the chance. While its not faster than driving, it is certainly easier and cheaper, the seats are way more spacious than on a plane, and they have electric outlets so you can use your computer without worrying about a dead battery.

While in St. Louis, we explored Forest Park, visited the Arch, enjoyed thin crust pizza, did some shopping, stayed up till all hours of the night, and did a lot of laughing. OH, and Shannon and I sang Karaoke ("Ain't no Mountain High Enough").

All in all, it was a grrrreat work and vacation time, and I was so grateful for the opportunity!


Candice said...

Thank you so much for including that pic of me at the Arch. I was seriously hoping that it would make an appearance. :) Love the collages. Some day I might sing karaoke with you... if they will turn my microphone off. :)

Liz said...

How fun! Nothing like old friends, (not to mention Karaoke) to bless the soul :-) Glad you had wondeful getaway!

Sarah said...

Wow! It looks like you had a GREAT time, Tiff! I'm so excited that you were able to see so many wonderful friends all at once!! (And i can definitely tell you have lost weight!!!! Looking great!)

Tiffani R said...

Candice: that picture rocks and I will totally hear you sing Karaoke someday - even if it takes making Karaoke happen at my wedding reception and making it mandatory for all attendees. :)

Liz: thanks it was a great time of refreshment before heading back to finish the quarter. hope you are finding some refreshing times in OH!

Sarah: I'm excited that YOU are excited! wish you and Myles could have been with us - it would have been a repeater of your wedding reception. thanks for the weight compliment - I don't feel like its noticeable, so I appreciate your note!