So like I was saying I got down stairs and loaded a plate full of great food and found an open spot at a table. The first folks I met were Brain, Susan and their very cute daughter Lilly and Granddad Eric. Super nice folks from Nebraska. Lilly has bilateral implants and I didn't even notice them. I kept wondering who in the family had the CI. As the weekend rolled on it was clear that Lilly would steal the show at every meal. What a beautiful and happy little girl she.
During desert I moved over to another table with Edie, our AB rep, Matt, James, and Patty, another AB guru and Ellyn who has a child with a CI. I could tell it was going to be a fun weekend. A little later some guy in a suit walks in. I just assumed he was another CI guy and lived nearby. Come to find out it was Jerry who is over Marketing. I think he does a lot of other duties as well but marketing seems to be the big one. He ended up on our table and is a generally nice guy.
As the first dinner begins to wind down we began leaving and I walk out to the front of the hotel and the AB building across the street is really lit up in nice lighting. I find Matt and let him know I was going to shoot, he joins me. We get some nice shots.
Up way way too early. I'm still on central time zone but living in pacific. I wake around 6 every morning but this was 4am! I can't go back to sleep so I'm up watching TV and dozing off and on. Lucky for me breakfast opens at 6:30. Huge omelets and fruit! The rest of the day was spent touring the AB plant which was real nice and working with different discussion groups. I made sure I told several employees thanks for what they do.
We head over to Sicily for dinner and I sat with Tine, Jill (AB), Kim and Pam and someone else who's name I can not remember. The food was good. We had a choice after dinner to shop for a couple of hours or head back to the hotel. After the full day and the 4am wake up I was ready to call it and crash on the sofa and zone out.
Aww crud, up again too early. A full packed Saturday with discussion groups and more new friendships. The day ended great and the last dinner was really good. Everyone began saying good bys due to the fact that some were leaving that night and some were leaving super early the next morning. I opted to fly out at 11:35 Sunday morning. For a hearing impaired gut that was nice because if I would have had to be up at 5:30 I'm sure I would have done it but I would not have slept well at all having the thought of over sleeping going on.
Once again another great breakfast then over to the business center to print out my boarding passes to head home. The folks flying US Airways were unable to print theirs. Bummer. 9:25 rolls around and I met Kim and Matt in the lobby for the ride to the airport. Ah yes, the black Mercedes again! I love it. I picked up Dan Brown's "Lost Code" book for the flight home. Great book if you like the others he has written. The trip home was uneventful except that there was some westler on the plane a few rolls in front. The guy was huge and had a bleached mohawk.
So there you have it... that was sort of like looking at Uncle Bobs slides from his middle east trip huh? HA!
In all seriousness, I want to thank Advanced Bionics for all they did and especially Linda out there for setting it all up for us. I made some friendships that will last a lifetime and I hope that someday I can return for a reunion.
Life is good!