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CGOA Conference 2014: Tuesday, Travel Day

Final Packing

I wake up at 5:30 am, so excited that I’m finally leaving to head to the 2014 Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) conference and Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, NH.

No matter how hard I try to plan in advance and get ready early, it seems there are always some things that don’t get done until the last minute. I had just put the last load of laundry in to dry when I headed to bed last night, so off I go to retrieve my fresh-smelling pajamas and a few miscellaneous clothing items. I gather up my last-minute toiletry items and finish packing my large suitcase.

Next, I make sure I’ve loaded all the electronic equipment I need in my fabulous purple Tutto Craft on Wheels carry-on luggage. (I even managed to remember to have my husband fix the squeaky wheel the previous night!) Time to gather up the laptop and power cord, wireless mouse, two iPads (to run the cash register and pattern look-up station in our vendor booth), their power cords, my cell phone and its power cord, and my tiny boom box and PC connection cable, in case it’s needed for anything.

Wonder of wonders, everything fits nicely into its appropriate luggage container, and I have room and weight to spare, even with the crochet projects I’m bringing with me. The ones I will probably never touch while I’m at the show, but it’s better to have a project ready if I have downtime than to have nothing at all to work on, right?

I have time for a leisurely cup of coffee and to talk with my husband a bit before I leave. The 18-year-old son won’t be surfacing until after noon, most likely, so I leave him asleep in his room. Next, I make a quick round saying good-bye to all the cats. My dream is for the conference to be held at a pet-friendly hotel so I could bring one of the cats with me!

 

My Car Decides to Eat My Head

On my way to the airport I need to stop by the library to return some books in the book drop and stop at a friend’s house to pick up a couple of things for the conference. First are some project bags created by Amanda of yBsquare.  Here’s a look at a couple of her bags. I made sure to get a bag featuring Star Trek-themed fabric for myself!

yBsquare Star Trek project bag

yBsquare Global Traveler project bag

I’m also picking up an item my friend Teresa of Hook-a-Frog (a local LYS she runs out of the “Front Room” in her house) made that will coordinate with my entry for the fashion show at the CGOA Banquet Saturday night.

Sexy_Buffalo_Topper

You’ll have to wait until the post about the Saturday Banquet and Fashion Show to learn more about this topper.

I pull up at my friend’s house and park on her very steep driveway. You can see where this is headed, right?

I call Teresa on her cell to let her know I’m in the driveway. We go in to her Front Room and pick an interesting selection from the set of Amanda’s bags she has on hand. I end up taking 21 bags with me. We chat a little bit and she gives me the Sexy Buffalo Topper for the fashion show.

I pile everything in my arms and head out to my car. Teresa comes out with me, then turns around to head back inside. As she’s walking back to the house, I’m bending down and preparing to sit on my car seat. Just as my head gets in the prime position for maximum damage, the car door decides to shut all on its own. It bangs into the left side of my head, my head bounces to the right and hits the doorframe, on my forehead, just above my right eyebrow, also popping a tendon or ligament on the left side of my neck. My head bounces off the door frame, only to be hit again by the door, hard, and slammed up against the door frame yet again, this time remaining pinned by the door. OUCH! OUCH! OUCH!

At this point, I practically fall into my car seat, thankful I’m not falling onto the ground. All the items make it into my lap, and I grab my head with both hands. It hurts so bad I can’t yell or scream or make any sound at all. I’m worrying whether I have a concussion. I feel the HUGE goose egg that’s already formed and wonder whether flying will put me at risk of throwing a blood clot.

Luckily, Teresa saw me sitting there in agony holding my head, as she turned around to close her front door. She comes back out and asks if I’m okay. All I can do is say, “No,” in a tiny little voice. By this point, the severe pain is lifting, thank goodness. I’m able to walk back in the house with her while she prepares a little baggie full of ice.

I return to the car, holding the baggie against the big knot on my forehead for as long as I can stand it, which is only about a minute at a time. Then I remove the baggie for a little bit, only to return it to my head as soon as possible. I drive one-handed, very carefully, to the library, using my right hand to keep the ice on my head. I return my books in the book drop, then head on out to the airport.

 

At the Airport

After I park the car in the parking deck, I check my pupils to look for signs of a concussion. Both pupils are the same size, and the right size for the brightness of the light, so I assume I’m okay to go.

I take my checked bag down to the US Airways counter, thankful I checked in and paid the baggage fee the night before. I walk through the airport, holding the ice to my head the whole way. I’m at the airport earlier than I need to be and there’s no line at security. (Imagine that!) I sit down before getting in line to call my husband and let him know what happened, thinking that will give me an extra few minutes with the ice before I have to ditch it to go through the security line.

As I’m getting ready to call my husband at work, I get a text from Teresa checking to make sure I’m all right. I tell her I made it to the airport without any problem, and that I’m pretty sure I’m going to be fine. Next I call my husband and fill him in on everything that happened, just in case something unexpected happens on the plane. Then it’s time to throw the baggie of ice in the trash can and head through security.

Apparently, I’m still a little confused because I forget to take the laptop out of my carry-on bag. So security has to remove it and scan it and the bag again. Then I get asked if I have any pins in the carry-on bag. At first I think they’re talking about my name badge holder with all my collector pins from previous conferences, so I tell them about that. No, they’re talking about something bigger. Light bulb moment! Oh, they’re talking about the TWO HUNDRED 2″ Crochetville buttons that are in the bag, to be used as giveaways in the booth and at the online group meetup on Saturday. DUH! So they remove the bag of buttons from the bag and scan it and the bag again.

All I can say is thank goodness this happened in my small local airport at a time when they weren’t busy. I kept apologizing and telling them I really did know better than to leave all that in the bag and not mention the high amount of metal to them. They just laughed and kept telling me everything was okay. I think they saw the big goose egg on my head and decided to take pity on me!

 

The Rest of the Day’s Story

The flights to DC and Manchester were relatively uneventful. Gauge and Swatch made the trip with me, and I was able to take a photo of them in the DC airport as we waited for our connecting flight.

Gauge and Swatch

We made it to the hotel just in time to check in and meet up with some friends to head out to  dinner.

More about the Yarn Bombing at the hotel and dinner at Strange Brew Tavern in future posts. (Links to come after I write the posts.)

 

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