Nov 3, 2011

Latism 11' Chitown what??

Ruby calls my hotel phone & says look at your computer screen…& this is what I see REALLY? My own name eeeek. I tweeted it & Intercon tweeted me right back.

Grandma got ran over by a reindeer..on our way to our house on Christmas eveeeeeee. ENOUGH! lol Now that I got you into the Holiday spirit:) I, me, Jenda Lynne Hardy was invited to attend Latism 2011 in Chicago. WHAT?! Yea I did. Why? Because I am cool! DUHHH! Soooo I received an email asking for my flight info, where I wanted to fly out of, & I thought ummmm I have never flown before ALONE! The moment I received that email my palm's where sweaty & I was clammy & my chest began to pound. My stomach hurt, I was fu-reaking out! HERRO! Back to Latism 2011, so I was sponsored by The Ford Motor Company to go to this conference to learn about Social Media for Social Good. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity to go because I wanted to learn how to use my social networking for my photography. I wanted to meet other photographer’s & other Latinas & Latinos who were also looking to run their own business. This conference helped me learn how to work with PR reps, companies, & ads. They had amazing sponsors at the conference. I will name them later. I was to stay at the Intercontinental Chicago Hotel in well Chicago! Latism was to be held at the Navy Pier (which I had never been to as many times I had been to Chicago). It was about a mile from the hotel & I was to ride in a cab or walk to the Navy Pier. I wonder if they knew it was to snow & be FREEZING! Luckily I am a native Michigander & I was prepared to freeze!
My view of Michigan Ave. room 1740.

November 9th I woke up at 245am (packed the night before because I am smart) & woke my husband up to take me to Ronald Reagan Airport. Flight was to leave at 6am really? That was way to early but hey guess what I was sponsored so I wasn’t picky. I got to the airport about 4am thanks to 7/11 & their delicious breakfastJ . I arrive at the departure drop off & I am way nervous now. I am sweaty & clammy ( I didn’t tell my husband because he is a flying champion) & I went to check in. I flew United Airlines & it just so happens that United doesn’t start working until 445am guess they didn’t know TSA line was going to be LONGGGG! I got through check in, TSA, & to my gate no problem. I waited what seemed like 5 minutes & we were boarding. GULP. I was about to get on my first flight EVER alone! GULP. I sucked it up like a MAN. I got to my seat which was 11C & sat down next to this young gentleman who was all business. Matter of fact the whole flight was all business men! Hmmmmm I guess this is going to be a quiet flight I say to myself. As soon as I sat down I say to him “Hi, this is my first flight alone & I might cry a little.” (as I say this now I laugh out loud) he says “that’s ok I fly all the time.” Was he bragging? Nah. I tell him where I am going & for what. He tells me he is going to work & he had a sick baby at home & he got no sleep. Oh ok! Was this a hint he didn’t want me talking his face off the whole 1 & 20 minutes? Huh! Lol. So he puts his eye mask on (yes he had an eye mask don’t judge.) All that worrying I was in Chicago before I knew it. I was fine, I arrived fine & alive. I was in one piece. I call my husband to tell him I got there ok. I call my mother because I knew she would be worried (I just wanted to tell her I survived.)
The hotel had this little convenient thing set up with water & snacks.

I wait for Ruby at the gate which happened to be the wrong gate because O’Hare International airport has different terminals for different airlines. Who would have thunk! I walk from terminal 3 to 1 yeaaaaaa. I met her & we wait for Migdalia who is already there. I met Migdalia for the first time in O’Hare at baggage claim 9. She is a lovely lady. We grabbed a taxi after exchanging our airplane stories & other stories. We arrived at the Intercon hotel & they opened our doors for us & checked our bags into the baggage holding area. They were awesome guys. We finally got into our rooms at about 12 & I had no roommate at the time so I went and took a nap until about 4pm Wednesday. I was exhausted. As we headed to the Navy Pier at 4 we took a taxi, oh btw our taxi driver on the way to our hotel was amazing, he dropped us off at entrance 1. A little later after 1 mile walk to the back of Navy Pier we found out that it was entrance 2!
The bathroom with a mirror for close up makeup sessions. :) This gets me every time.

We helped set up Latism 2011 & signed up for registration, we set up name tags, & talked amongst one another. I met some amazing people my 3 days at Latism. Wednesday we attended a reception Sears & Kmart sponsored. They had models that looked like mannequins. I had to stand in front of them for a while to watch them blink LOL. They had amazing food, now I am not just saying that, they really did. When we left to go back to the hotel I was done for the day. My eyes were so heavy I had knocked out when I got back to the Intercon.

Thanks Latism for inviting me to hang out with you & Thank you Ford for making it happen. I will posting my other two days in separate blog posts.
Jenda XoXo

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