While Steve attended the World Congress of NCMA (April 5 - 8, 2009), I explored Long Beach! I walked all around the town. I shopped in the little village across the street, buying a turquoise ring, a pink straw bag, an enamel tile wall hanging and some candy at a bulk candy store. I walked uptown to buy some shoes for our evening banquet and found them and a used bookstore. I also treated myself to a manicure.
Dinner that first night was a banquet at the Aquarium. Since evenings could still run to the chilly side, I knitted myself a rectangular shawl. I went to All About Yarn and asked them what pattern and yarn I could use to make a quick shawl. They suggested this lovely. thin yarn in black with a silver thread running through it. I knit it on big needles. I was almost finished with it. A morning's concerted effort of knitting in the room completed the project in the nick of time. With the black Barbie shoes I bought, I matched Steve's elegance in his long-sleeved shirt, dress slacks, jacket and tie. We started out near the sting ray tank with a cocktail party and then were escorted into the first floor of the aquarium. The food was pretty good, and all the contract people at the table were anticipating the speaker. Unfortunately, the acoustics in the room did not lend themselves to public speaking, and his words were distorted and unintelligible by the time they reached us in the back. We cut out to the awaiting buses while the party leaders were patting themselves on the back for a good year.
It wasn't all me by myself exploring though. Steve and I walked around together in the evenings and shared dinner with a couple of MD NCMA'ers at Gladstones a local seafood restaurant with a beautiful waterfront view. Before heading to Anaheim, we also ate with his co-workers from APL at Famous Dave's. Typical food but good fun seeing what everyone else was doing with the rest of their week's vacation.