Day one. Man, am I glad I came a day early. There's no way I'd have made it through the opening festivities if I'd been driving since 6:00 AM today and doing my anxiety-in-traffic routine. Getting here last night meant I got a good night's sleep and I had plenty of time to catch up on reading I needed to do for my classes.
I was up way too early, but somehow NOT having to get up with an alarm made that okay. I took my time and headed out for a walk across the street to the shopping center because I broke my sunglasses on the way down. Never mind that it was only 8:30 in the morning and no self-respecting mall opens before 11:00 AM. So shopping just turned into walking. Not awful, really. It's been a while and my legs needed the refresher. I got a chance to check out the changes they've made to the hotel since we were here in June. After my walk I headed over to the world's best TJ Maxx and acquired some new shades (it's bright here, y'all). I managed not to spend all of my food money for the week, so... WIN.
This afternoon I sat on the patio by the lobby reading (so the tiny elves that clean my room could come out and tidy up), admiring the well-tanned skin of the senior citizenry (not really... gross) and the excited tax-chatter of a bunch of Dwight Schrutes on their lunch break from the tax conference in the conference center.
I picked up a friend from the airport, caught up with her over lunch, and then met up with the poets. And then (I swear, this felt like the longest day), met the new student I am mentoring at new student orientation, attended the opening celebration, wandered into the hotel bar for a few hours, and then headed back to a friend's room to giggle and listen to some Hanson.
I. Am. Exhausted. And this thing hasn't even really begun.
Here's some pictures. Enjoy. Even a GPOY... well, M. (Also, I'm pretty sure I wore this T-shirt on the first day of the last residency, now that I think about it. Dammit.)