The reuseable shopping bag falls sideways as it goes through the curtain of the scanner.
I toss my well-loved TOMS and equally-adored Chromebook into separate tubs, and sling my backpack onto the conveyer belt and watch all of my things disappear through the black rubber strips.
I step into the high tech scanner, hood my arms as instructed, and wonder if the machine can tell what kind of underwear I have on under my no-metal zipper or anything cotton dress.
Stepping through the scanner to retrieve my belongings, the TSA agent eyes my tote curiously.
There's a faint, pulsating glow coming from the spilled tote, and it wasn't there when the bag went in.
Three pairs of Mickey Mouse “Glow with the Show” ears spill cheerfully out of the bag, onto the conveyer belt. Part of me wants to acknowledge that yes, this is the Atlanta airport, not Orlando, but that yes, they're Mickey ears.
Shoes slide back on, laptop goes back into my backpack, which needs both straps used to hang comfortably on my frame. I collect the assortment of things from the belt, pile everything back into my tote bag.
Mickey ears off and precariously sitting atop a board game and some energy bars, I start the hike to my gate.
My phone buzzes in my pocket, and because I'm technically on the clock at this point, I stop to check the notification.
I see the #typeacon feed on Twitter is going hot and heavy; lots of chatter about getting home, hugging kids, unpacking swag and LOTS of talk about the quality of the conference.
I can't look too closely now; I have to find lunch and my gate.
I grab a seat at a charging station and plug in my phone. It's 11:30am, and if all goes according to plan, I'll be home in time for dinner.
Carefully leaning my backpack and tote together, I wait.
My half-day journey home is only beginning, and I can't wait to squeeze my dudes.
They can't comprehend why I would travel to the other side of the world to learn about this “hobby” of mine.
They don't even realize that it's one of my favorite parts of my job, that blogging conferences are what have gotten me here, have taught me what I know, introduced me to people who have changed my life, and provided the venues for some of the most fun I've had as an adult.
It's worth the schlep.
The frustrations of air travel, the surly cab drivers, the crappy overpriced airport food? It's worth it for the feelings and knowledge I bring home. Every time.
A blogging conference ignites in me the fire that drove me to blog in the first place.
I went to Atlanta this weekend, for my first Type A Parent conference; I've heard people call it their “favorite conference ever!!”, so the expectations were high. And they did not disappoint.
I learned and I taught.
I laughed and I cried.
I danced. And danced some more.
I wore a TARDIS skirt and posed for photos with a storm trooper.
I ate amazing Southern food, and not-so-amazing hotel pastries.
I spent more time with some of my favorite friends in the world, and hugged others for the first time.
I met new people, interacted with new brands.
I bought some earrings, and lots of coffee.
I remembered why I love blogging. And Twitter.
I was reminded of how strong and amazing women are. Especially when we join forces.
And men. There are guys there, too.
I am inspired and motivated and ready to take on everything. Anything.
Type A is my new favorite conference. I won't miss another one. And it's worth every moment of the schlep to get there.