Though hardly a newbie to the world of politics – I was raised by politically active parents who regularly tugged me along to all manner of political events – last summer marked the first time I ventured into the world of political conventions as an adult. I attended the Smart Girl Summit in St. Louis and, much to my delight, discovered that this was my kind of event. Such an amazing feeling to suddenly be surrounded by others who shared my political junkie affliction!
As soon as CPAC 2012 was announced last fall, I knew I had to attend. Fortunately, my Southwest Rapid Rewards card came through and allowed me to snag a $10 flight. That made the trip far more doable from a financial standpoint. Realizing that the hotel would be quite the investment, I immediately started socking away extra dollars into my savings account and lined up a roommate – the lovely @lawmom whom I’d had the pleasure of meeting at SGS.
Then came the hard part – waiting for February to finally arrive! Through the late fall and early winter, the time seemed to drag interminably. These last few weeks, though, have flown by. And as my Twitter timeline began to fill up with mentions of #CPAC and all the various events accompanying it, ’twas rather difficult to not become giddy with the excitement of it all.
Once published, the official agenda proved chock full of interesting speakers and topics. And how cool to be attending during a Presidential election year?! To be completely honest, though, the most giddy-inducing prospect of it all was the knowledge that this would afford me the chance to finally meet so many of the wonderfully fun, witty, intelligent folk who’d fast become like family to me (and to reconnect with several I’d already had the pleasure of meeting.)
I fully realize that, to the casual observer, this purported affection for virtual strangers must seem odd, at best. My experience, however, has been that there is a genuinely warm and easy bond formed among those whose worldviews are simpatico. There is a joy to be had in finding one’s kindred spirits, and in the conservative political world, I have found many. This became readily apparent to me at SGS where, though an utter neophyte and essentially an outsider, I was quickly welcomed into the fold, forging a number of friendships I truly hold dear, and hope to always.
In any event, as the month, then week countdown to CPAC became only a matter of days, it became increasingly difficult to contain the giddy. Though I worked this past Monday and Tuesday, I was hardly a productive worker bee. There was far too much to discuss with my fellow attendees – like who would be attending which event and what everyone would be wearing. Of particular amusement to me was the ongoing chatter amongst the menfolk regarding their intended sartorial selections. From the much vaunted #NoPants option championed by @stephenkruiser to the Barney Stinson #SuitUp rally cry of @OHCONSERVATISM (whom I’ve affectionately dubbed “GQ”), there was much enjoyment to be had in following along as they purchased and packed up their intended CPAC wardrobes.
For my own part, I struggled with the notion of packing light. Always, this is the preferred way to go, but 5 days, 4 nights, numerous events, cold weather, and the need for several pair of shoes AND boots (plus a few random gifties for friends) made that a laughable prospect. Last night, I resigned myself to the sad fact that I would need 2 checked bags plus a carryon in order to do this. Thank goodness I’m flying Southwest!
In fact, I’m writing this blog on the descent into Dulles, doing my level best not to let the bumpiness unnerve me over much….
And, unfortunately, the writing of the above was interrupted by the flight attendant’s admonition to turn off all electronic devices as we finalized our descent. As you can tell by my publishing of this, I survived the flight. The cab ride from Dulles to the hotel with my new friend @Chris_Mayer? Barely.
More on that adventure in my next entry. All I can say for now is that the past 17 hours have been a whirlwind. And my giddiness was well warranted. So much more to share, but I think it best to publish this for now. Giddy. Up.