1st Day!!

Not the 1st day of school.  Not even the 1st day of a new job.

Today was my 1st day at my 1st genealogy conference!!!

It was also day #2 of our "Griswold Family Vacation" and day #2 that I had to wake up early enough to be on the road by 6:30 am.  Although not normally a bright and cheery morning person, I was awake, showered, dressed, and wondering if we REALLY had to stop and eat breakfast first, but apparently, feeding children is one of my responsibilities as "mom"...so just as soon as bellies were full, we were on the road from Sandusky to Ft. Wayne!  Not everyone shared my excitement of what today held in store...

"Clark" (Griswold) pulled up in front of the Grand Wayne Convention Center, and I was off and running for my 1st experience surrounded by fellow genealogists!  I was prepared with my backpack and pre-registered, so I checked-in...and was handed a complimentary bag.  Hmmm...backpack AND bag?  Not a problem, I can carry both, fold the one into my backpack or use the handy-dandy clip that I had happened to pack.  I chose to clip it, and found a seat on the floor to go through my welcome packet.  First off...the conference credentials: 
Because I've chosen to blog, tweet, and basically scream out loud that I was going to the conference, I got these nifty ribbons to attach to my badge - throughout the day I even managed to add to these as well!  
While I was sitting there I would occasionally look up, take note of the genealogists walking by, and then bury my head once again in my welcome packet.  At one point, I looked up, and was excited to see D. Joshua Taylor...Joshua Taylor...Josh Taylor, or "Just Josh" as I like to call him....I'm kidding, I don't call him that.  I didn't even actually talk to him (he was busy, I was busy)...but yes, I did go into geek mode at my first genealogist celebrity sighting.  I texted my husband the exciting news...his reply was merely to let me know he thought that I was a nerd.


Next on my to-do list was to meet up with the rest of my conference bloggers for a quick meet & greet/photo-op/door prize drawing.  

Say hello to your FGS 2013 Conference blogger ambassadors:
(I found myself looking down a lot today as I read names on badges...just looking for names I recognized from blog posts and emails...people whose words I had always read, not it was great to see faces!)

And then there was the door prize drawing among us bloggers...When I found out chocolate was involved, I made a point to have "Clark" get me there in time for the drawing.  Come on! It's chocolate!  And apparently Debrand's chocolate is a pretty amazing confection here in Ft. Wayne.  (I'll be sure to let you know how it tastes....that's right, yours truly won one of the two door prizes that was given away - A fantastic library tote bag filled with Ft. Wayne goodies and 2 chocolate bars!)

The day was a truly fantastic experience - I had the priviledge of sitting in on a lecture on a genealogy case study where we were presented with a jumbled bunch of information, and by the time Dr. Thomas Jones was finished, we had a complete and organized time line of events.  (Dr. Thomas Jones who happens to be the author of one the hottest new genealogy books on proof standards right now. Yep...another genealogy celebrity sighting.  At least it was in my world!)

When 12:00 hit, I was ready for lunch.  The plan all along was to go to Taco Bell that was so very conveniently located on the next block over.  4th Meal anyone??  Shoot.  I would have been happy getting THAT meal!  I made the mistake of wandering into the exhibit hall first.  By the time I had finished talking to the incredibly helpful D.A.R. ladies, the Civil War ancestor research guy, the Ohio Historical Society woman, and browsed through the books being sold...

I completely missed my Taco Bell window.
(Thankfully I had packed a Snickers and a bottle of water)

Finishing my day was a workshop on the certification process (what I like to call becoming completely certifiable), and then a quick lecture on the importance of writing a research report for our own personal research.  They were all excellent speakers and I picked up on a ton of little nuggets of information.

Tomorrow is a real vacation day - I'm sleeping in.  I absolutely refuse to wake up before 8:00 am.  I'm not sure what "Clark" has in store for us, but he's already given me the green light to go back to The Genealogy Center and do some research if need be.  I think it's looking like I may have to get through a round of LaserTag and a SkyZone session with the kids first though.  

Who's with me??