I drove us through the fog yesterday afternoon into the early dark, while the kids listened to CDs and Dy plowed into some email offline. The first guy to meet us as we pulled up to the hotel turned out to be from Kenya and is registered for Urbana. We unloaded the van onto a pair of carts while Dy navigated the front desk’s hoops (hopefully being shortened for the hundreds to follow). I hope we meet up again.
The kids are familiar with hotel pools, considered a necessity. But none of the hotels we’ve visited as a family have displayed quite the opulence of this one. Before going to sleep last night, Tee confirmed, “We wouldn’t have gotten in here if it weren’t for Urbana, right?” Close enough. The brisk walk a few blocks to breakfast taught us that Panera’s began as the St. Louis Bread Company – mmmm!
Time to wrap up the swimming. A.J. managed to hold his breath underwater for 25 seconds; Tee for 11. They chose to wait a few minutes for the beginning of mixed bathing, in deference to the conservative Jewish families gathered to celebrate the other festival of the season. We took the few minutes of male-only swimming to visit the lobby and explain why not everyone prefers mixed bathing. And why some call swimming bathing. And to test the wireless signal there. And to check if FedEx has delivered the third scanner with which we’ll continue to attempt onsite processing of Urbana decision cards in eight days. Weak Wi-Fi and no box yet, but the other items were addressed as far as interest held out.
the exhibit hall still being setup – what a great place for discovery and conversations!
Back in the room, A.J. just succeeded in landing an Amamiri model under power on the runway for the first time. Hopefully practice on the screen will translate into some real-time aerial skill when it comes to flying his recent $20 purchase by spring. He still prefers crashing the free planes into parts of the free landscapes. Now he’s up in a Fokker triplane. Time to go back across the street and be more directly useful. – j