Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


GPA Conference: Atlanta, GA

This year's Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Conference was in Atlanta. I co-presented a session on social media with D, a woman I'd met at my first GPA Conference in 2014 when we ran together in the dark Portland morning with the running/walking group. Unfortunately, D was on crutches this year due to a possible hip stress fracture (!), so she came down in the morning to greet the runners and walkers but couldn't come out with us. I joined M and J to run the route towards Centennial Olympic Park and did two loops around the venue before returning to the hotel and then heading a few blocks farther north on Peachtree Street to complete our 5K workout.

Of course I had to make time to visit the Capitol Building, in line with Mr. E's and my affinity for capitol cities. Since I was staying at the downtown Hyatt Regency, just a bit more than 1 mile from the Capitol, I was able to enjoy a walk in the sunny afternoon along Peachtree Street on my way south to the Capitol. I passed by Woodruff Park, which has some great public art celebrating the city of Atlanta.

And once I reached the Capitol, I did a self-guided tour of the interior, where I was particularly struck by the beautiful portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I also circled the exterior grounds, which are full of statues depicting historical figures and events in Atlanta's history, including Jimmy Carter and an artwork commemorating the expulsion of a number of black legislators due to racism.

I was pleased to discover that Atlanta has a fledgling bike share program, although I didn't get an opportunity to do any cycling during my visit.

After the conference wrapped up for the day, I headed up to Polaris, the 360-degree rotating restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. I enjoyed a tasty roasted beet salad and a Negroni cocktail as the sun set and the view of the city slowly passed before my eyes.

The next evening, I planned to take a ride on Skyview Atlanta, the big Ferris Wheel near Olympic Centennial Park, but it was closed due to some sort of power outage. Darn! Luckily, I had gone with a GPA colleague to Sundial, another rotating restaurant much higher than Polaris, at the nearby Westin Hotel, so I still got to enjoy a great panoramic view of the city.

I had an early morning flight on Southwest back home to Sacramento on Saturday, but the beautiful sunrise view outside the plane helped to redeem the 3:30am (yawn) wake-up time.


Halloween & APHA Conference: Denver, CO

My colleague, B, and I were on the agenda as co-presenters for a session at the 2016 American Public Health Association annual conference. I took advantage of the event location in Denver to travel a couple of days in advance so that I could spend time with my cousin A and her family R and F, who all recently moved to Evergreen, about 30 minutes west of downtown Denver. I got to see their rental house, her school, and F's daycare, and we had fun trick-or-treating at the nearby gated community The Island on Halloween evening.

On Tuesday, A drove me downtown where we had a yummy lunch at Zoup right near my hotel, the Sheraton Denver Downtown, which was about five blocks from the site of the conference at the Convention Center. Mr. E and I had remarked on the awesome blue bear statue at the Convention center when we visited Denver together for the first time several years ago, so it was great to see this awesome public art again during my return.

B and I found a great pub, Henry's Tavern, to watch the fabulous Cubs victory during Game 6 of the World Series. And after our session on Wednesday morning, I had just enough time to join up with part of a public tour of the State Capitol before heading to the airport for the flight home to Sac.

CPCA Annual Conference Week: Oceanside & Long Beach, CA

CPCA's Annual Conference was in SoCal this year, and I went down a few days early to spend the weekend in Oceanside so that I could visit with some friends. First, I met my high school friend C at the Queen Mary in Long Beach for lunch, which we enjoyed at the Chelsea Chowder House, and I was thrilled to meet her newly adopted son, SR. Another honorary nephew for me!

I then drove south to Oceanside and stayed at a Best Western near the little downtown area. I had some time on Sunday morning to visit the California Surf Museum and then met up with A for coffee at Pier View and wine-tasting at the Witch Creek Winery tasting room in downtown Carlsbad before we picked up J and went out for dinner at Bagby Beer. So great to see them both and to talk about their "tumbler" who is due to arrive in mid-April. More babies!

The rest of the week was spent in Long Beach for quarterly Committee and Board meetings along with our 2016 CPCA Annual Conference. We all stayed at the Westin, which was a few blocks from the Long Beach Convention Center, where all of our Conference sessions and activities were situated. The Convention center is right near the water, across from the Queen

I flew home to Sac on Friday afternoon and had just enough time to unpack, do laundry, and repack before heading to Denver on Sunday morning for another conference combo trip. See separate entry for some details about that adventure.