Corbin goes to the White House, part one.

As some of you know, I was invited to the White House this past week for a Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Health. I had been asked only a couple of weeks earlier if I would be interested in going, and of course, I said: heck yeah!!
The catch was I would be nominated by my local American Heart Association (AHA) chapter, send in my story, and wait to see if the national office would pick me to go.
And they did! I was going to DC!

I had declined at first, thinking I had to pay for myself to go there, but quickly changed my mind when the AHA said "No way, it's on us!"
The day of my flight arrived very quickly and my husband and I made the long drive to Roanoke to catch my first flight. My husband was going to go with me to DC, but after finding the cheapest plane ticket was around $400, we changed our minds.

So after a smooth trip through security, I boarded (what I call) a puddle jumper for my flight to Charlotte, NC. I wasn't able to get a direct flight to DC, so for the way up and the way down, I was scheduled to have one connecting flight.

My seat is in the very back of the plane where I sit next to a brown haired woman in her 50s. As I sit down, she asks me if Charlotte is my final destination and I tell her "No, I'm on my way to DC for an event at the White House". She congratulates me and we start talking about why I'm headed to the White House, about Corbin and his story, the pulse ox bill, pulse ox testing, how her daughter-in-law is pregnant with her first child, more about pulse ox, and on, and on. The flight is barely over a half hour and we talk the entire time. She tells me she is a nurse and worked in the neo-natal department for over 10 years and she doesn't understand why pulse ox is not routine everywhere. I ask if she minds if I send her more information on pulse ox for her pregnant daughter-in-law and she genuinely is interested. 

We deplane together and walk to our next terminal, still talking. I never caught her name, but it was no coincidence that I was seated next to her. Corbin's story is passed on! 
I am barely seated for two minutes at the next terminal before my second flight starts boarding. This plane is twice the size of the first, which is lovely, as you don't feel the turbulence as much. There aren't as many passengers on this plane, so I am able to sit by myself. 

I am on an aisle seat, which isn't my favorite, as I like to watch out the window. I have the tendency of feeling a little motion sick when I can't look out the window as the plane is moving on the ground. I'm fine when we are in the air, but as the plane moves down the runway, I feel better if I am able to watch out the window. So the girl sitting in the window seat probably thought I was staring at her, when all I was was watching the trees rolls by!

The flight is barely an hour, the landing is smooth, and I make my way out of the airport to catch my first cab ride ever! I was actually really excited. The driver was foreign with a middle eastern accent, and there was a sticker on the dash that said "I voted Democratic". 

The ride into town, I am mesmerized. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when she first arrived in New York City. I am in awe of the landmarks, the architecture, the people, the activity, and how very different this is from home. I could not be more excited!

As we pull up to the hotel, I'm shocked at how nice it is. I was expecting something more "normal" and less corporate. But still exciting!

As I check in, the receptionist tells me I have been offered a free upgrade. Heck yeah! Even the elevators are fancy and require your room key to be swiped before you can use the elevator. 

I get upstairs and walk all the way to the end of the hall, open my door, and I'm expecting maybe a king bed with a mini bar.
But I get:

A kitchenette, dining area and living room WITH a fireplace!

Then a walk through bathroom...

with a never ending mirror.

And the bedroom has windows all around, looking out into the city.

With a king size bed, all to myself!

*Click here to watch my room tour through YouTube*

So after I got over how awesome my room was and how I had to pay for wireless, I basically sat at my window, people watched, and recorded my first video log of the trip. Then downstairs for dinner!

I had made plans before my trip to meet up with some Williams Syndrome mothers I had met through Facebook. There were a few that lived in DC that were able to come to the hotel for dinner and hang out for a few hours. It was a total blast being able to meet moms who had gone through similar experiences!

And I also got a drink in my first big city bar!

We chatted and laughed for hours, they kept me up late telling stories of doctors, schools, and the fun experiences that come along with having a special needs child. 

*waves* Hi ladies! It was truly amazing to meet you all. I really hope we can do that again soon!

Next, the White House!