HLAA Convention in Nashville, June 18-21
The Hearing Loss Association of America is having its annual convention this month, June 18-21, in Nashville, Tennessee. Dave and I are both HLAA members but we’ve never been to an HLAA convention. We decided to splurge and attend this one…we really can’t afford it but we haven’t had a vacation since 2002. This will serve as a mini-vacation plus be an information-gathering event, so we are just plunging ahead and we’ll deal with the financial aftermath later. 😛
Dave is usually not thrilled about convention-type settings since they are horrible as far as hearing and comprehending go. However, we went to an ALDAcon convention in 1998 and had such a good time that it wasn’t too hard to convince him that we could actually enjoy this HLAA convention. It makes such a major difference when the seminars are captioned, and pretty much everyone attending the convention either has a hearing loss as well or they know how to communicate with those that have a hearing loss. Sign language, lip reading, note pads…people would do whatever they had to in order to communicate, and it was fantastic!
The 1998 ALDAcon was an unexpected gift from some friends we met through the SayWhatClub online. They had paid for the package and couldn’t attend at the last minute. It was being held in Chicago and we are local to the area, so our friend offered the package to us so it wouldn’t go to waste. It was quite a gift and even 11 years later we are still thankful!
This convention will be a little different because most of the people we’ll be meeting are folks I’ve talked to online but that Dave doesn’t know. When we attended ALDAcon, he actually knew more people than I did because he’d been a member of SayWhatClub longer than me. So this time around, I’ll be the one introducing him to people! I think he’s going to feel like he knows many people already because I share stories and information with him as I read blogs, etc. and he also interacted with some people over on Hearing Journey, the Advanced Bionics forum, after my surgery. (He went online and posted about my surgery experience when I was wasn’t yet up to the task of getting online and composing a post.)
So! We are pretty excited here – Nashville is about an 8 hour drive for us, and we are really looking forward to staying at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. My aunt and uncle live nearby so we’ll be driving over to visit them Saturday night. (There’s a trip that evening to the Grand Old Opry that we aren’t participating in, so we figured Saturday would be a good night for visiting.) Ironically, my mom is going to be in Nashville at the same time, staying with her sister (my aunt) so we’ll be visiting not only with my aunt and uncle, but my mom as well!
It’s going to be our first trip with just the two of us since our honeymoon in 2002. We’ve planned other trips and something always happens to make them fall through, so I have my fingers and toes crossed for this trip!
I know Dave is hoping to get his hands on some gadgets in the Exhibit Hall…he would like to play around with the Blackberry Curve, for one. I have a bunch of seminars I’d like to attend, we’re attending the HLAA 30th anniversary party on Friday night, and it’s just going to be a good time in general. Not to mention the people…I am so looking forward to meeting people in person after talking online for the past year!
If you’re going to the convention, please leave a comment and let me know so that I can keep an eye out for you. 🙂