Welcome to summer! My most favorite season of the year, when the hot days don’t end and the cold beverages flow freely. When I can sit outside all day and meet so many different people it makes my head spin.
I’ve spent much of this weekend, which has turned out to be superb weatherwise, sitting outside and reflecting on the summer camps I attended as a child, back before I had any conception of the kind of work I’d likely be doing as an adult.
The first of these was a five-week program at the Governor Moorehead School for the Blind in Raleigh that had been designed to help us not only have fun, but also be further educated on daily living skills, academic material, and sports pursuits. The thing I remember most, and remember hating most, was being taught to swim! I bet some of the poor folks who had to teach my crazy cousins and me to do that still bear the markings on their wrists.
After about five years of that fun, we began to age out of GMS and started attending another place called Camp Dogwood in a small town near Lake Norman, about 45 minutes away from Charlotte. The thing that still amuses me about that was how fearful I had been when my sighted peers told me that I was going to a place where I’d be learning to hunt and shoot ducks and other land and water animals. Like they had any idea.
What we did do, and the activity that I’d say was most prominent in my mind, is go tubing. This involves sitting in a circular tube that has been tied to a speed boat with a rope. The tube is then sucked through the water, bouncing and threatening to jar its occupant into the air. This was doubly fun for me, a small person, as the boat’s driver, often a lifeguard, tried valiantly to flip the bigger person who rode in the tube beside me. Many times he would indeed be tossed, as I still hung on white-knuckled and nearly sideways in the water. I think it’s actually a lot harder to get a small person off. Ah, what fun!
We also went horseback riding. Usually, we’d just lope around the corral at a leisurely pace, but once the person walking my horse said she was bored. I thought she’d taken me on a gallop, but have since been informed by an avid rider that if I found it bumpy, it was most likely only a trot. A gallop should feel pretty smooth somehow. Ok? Well, I need to experience that someday, too.
Nowadays, my summer excursions tend to look less like that, and more involve a trip to an urban area where I can indulge in all sorts of fun events around me. I currently have twenty days till my big trip of this season and the year: a jaunt to Las Vegas to attend some of the American Council of the Blind’s conference and convention. I’ve planned a fairly light itinerary, so that I have a lot of flexibility to meet people and hang out on the fly. I might choose to register for more events once I arrive, if I am still able to, but if most of them are full I won’t mind. Even just chilling in the hotel with new friends would be fine. A list of my planned activities are below, for those who want to meet me there:
- 7/12 8:35 PM Arrive aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 3112 (Please no delays!)
- 7/13 8:30 AM Probable wake-up time (How hard will I get hit by jet lag?)
- 7/13 1-3 PM City Bus Tour 3 (I know they’ll prob describe on PA what we pass, but the GPS nerd in me can’t wait to use it to follow along!)
- 7/13 5-6 PM How Tweet It Is (What they’re calling their tweet-up, I think this is where I’ll meet most of you for first time. Talk loudly to me! Ok!)
- 7/14 4 PM (I think?) Talent Showcase Auditions (I’m not entirely sure if I’ve got the guts to do this or can even still sing these days. If not, maybe I’ll just go watch)
- 7/16 9:30 AM Depart Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines Flight 4135
So as you can see, I have a lot of blank space to fill in. Help me do so!
Other than that, I hope to do something for my birthday. I want either to go back to DC, because I still have many to meet there; to Chicago so I can finally attend the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me show that I’m supposed to catch; or perhaps down to the ocean. Really, I’d like to do all three! Sadly, my place of employment doesn’t give me enough days off for that. Bah-humbug.