Reflections on an Amazing Week in Life

I need to write more. I tell myself this every day, or at least every other day. But after a week like the one I just experienced, I have no excuse to not document the awesome path my life traversed these past 10 days. From the San Francisco Bay to the Kickapoo River, back to good old Lake Michicgan, these are days for which I am thankful and by which I am invigorated. This is a digital journal of one woman's life in June 2016.

Saturday June 11th

Depart home on a 90*F+ day for Ohare via a Lyft with no AC. Fly to San Francisco's cooler temps and catch a shuttle to the Oyster Bay Courtyard Suites. Enjoy the bay, and some of South SanFrancisco's finest Mediterranean food at Amoura.

Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay


Sunday June 12th 

Clint showing Zack the basics of VR.

Clint showing Zack the basics of VR.

Walk Oyster Bay and attempt to hike to San Bruno Mountain Ridge Trail via foot. Fail. Check out of hotel and catch a Lyft to downtown San Francisco. 

Check into Hotel Vertigo, unpack a little, then travel to the Precita Park in the Mission to visit friends. Try virtual reality via the Vive. Mind blown. Eat Thai food for dinner at Pad Thai and chat with the owners about their move to San Francisco and the evolution of the city over the past decade. Head to my temporary home and go to bed.

Don't sleep due to excitement for the morning.


Monday June 13th 

Wake up early. Can't stay in bed any longer. It's my first WWDC. Vacate hotel at 6:45AM for Bill Graham Auditoriam. Run into a fellow Chicagoan and get in line for over two hours. Be part of Apple's exciting keynote -  featuring playgrounds on th iPad (which I predicted after seeing Adobe Creative Suite on the iPad Pro) and more women and minorities  than in the past. I left the keynote and crazily downloaded Sierra. The afternoon was engrossed in playgrounds, including hotel time with a crew of teacher scholars excited to expose more students to Swift and iOS.


Tuesday June 14th 

Attend a special invitation educator session with Apple about their launch of new Apple Education Swift products. Geek out with teachers and educators. Head to WWDCGirls lunch. Meet amazing women developing apps and getting things done in tech. Return to WWDC for more workshops. Stay late for Diversity in Tech Summit and meet a fellow Purdue grad, inspiring high school students, and passionate developers.


Wednesday June 15th 

The day starts with another educator session featuring more playground goodies. Playground books  will change the speed at which students and teachers learn and teach coding. Mobile Makers is psyched to support teachers through this upgrade. Playground keynotes. Lunch with Chicago devs. Work time with two Apple devs, including one who did the Playground keynote. More mind blowing. Dinner with friends.

Thursday, June 16th

More time with educators and swift playgrounds. Between the conference and closing party, I squeeze in a trip to the Palace of Fine Arts Theater (and the San Francisco Bay with my husband who tagged along jealous of my WWDC attendance. End the day with drinks and classroom stories with fellow Mobile Maker Instructors, of not just adults, but also teachers and high school students! Grab dinner down the street from Washington Square and catch some classic Phil Collins while eating delicious Italian food to make an awesome day end on a high note.

at the palace of fine arts

at the palace of fine arts


Friday, June 17th

Wake up early for my last day at WWDC. Head to Moscone one last time for a quick overview of Apple News Format, followed by unofficial required, selfie in front of the wall of code. I pause for a few moments to reflect on what it means to be in San Francisco in this time for an event like this, and what it was like to be in Austin a few months ago. Am I part of contemporary salons? Is that what these conferences are? Or are they corporate led self-promotion events where the real intention is to see the reactions of creators and gather their ideas?

Grab a quick lunch near the hotel, then head to airport. Fly to Chicago and land almost an hour late. Take the shuttle to the rental car. Run home with rental car to feed and play with cat, pack for camping trip/ farm wedding celebration, get derailed by a late night email about an account update not made by me. 


Saturday, June 18th

julia and Mauricio's Farm Wedding. Zack and the newly weds join the band in front of the old barn.

julia and Mauricio's Farm Wedding. Zack and the newly weds join the band in front of the old barn.

Hit the road northbound at 1:30 AM. Arrive in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, just outside of Madison at 4:30 AM. Sleep until 10:30. Shower and have an awkward checkout - we technically have until 11AM the next day. Stop at the local Target and Trader Joe's to pick up a cooler, bug spray, food, and beverages for the wedding on the farm. Jet lag and time zone changes have us moving slowly.

By 3PM we finally are on the road to La Farge, Wisconsin, where our long time friends, Mauricio and Julia are celebrating their marriage and growing their farm. The cell service stops about 30 minutes northwest of Madison, so we switch to songs saved on our devices while we pass by strawberry fields, barns, and small towns. We arrive to the newly weds singing folk songs with flowers in their hair. My husband joins them and the first of two nights with nature has begun.


Sunday, June 19th

Julia and I stay up to watch the moon set and the sun rise. We debate the significance of the pending solstice aligning with a full moon. Turns out that it, also known as the Strawberry Moon, is something that only occurs once or twice in a human life time.

After my four hour nap, I wake up and join the clean up of the results of a great party, while also dabbling in some farm chores. We finally depart for a couple's canoe ride around 2PM and spend three hours on the Kickapoo River. It's an amazing meditative ride after a week of chaos and constant contact with technology. Gliding down the river, I feel calm and relaxed by the fact that I will be spending another night under the stars in a tent after a home cooked meal with good friends.

When dinner time arrives, we cook both in the barn's kitchen and in a small fire pit. Since the five hour drive back to Chicago is the next day, we don't stay up to watch the moon, but we spend hours sharing memories and hopes for the future.


Monday, June 20th

Back to reality. After procrastinating our departure with goat feeding time and egg collecting time, we finally had to hit the road back to Chicago. It was a great journey across the US - different cultures,cusines, people, and environments. My appreciation for the opportunity to embark on such travels remains the one constant.