Hey you guys! Anthony and I were invited to go out to Sacramento to attend a focus group and a half day seminar, we had such a fabulous time! I’m so excited to share our experience here with you today!
The time we spent getting there and getting home held some of the most intense action (not in a great way, ha!) so I’ll start with a (now) funny tale from our journey out there!
So on our way out on Thursday, we were going to be on a small plane on the first leg of our flight. You know how that goes, right? They always call out that they’ll, “check your bag at no charge to get to your final destination.” I always jump at this opportunity, because I HATE having to tote my bag around. So we went ahead and took them up to the desk. The gal asked quickly, ‘any blah, blah, lithium batteries, blah, blahs in either of these?’ My blah’s are not used in a mocking notion, just to emphasize the size of the list!
I ran through my bag in my brain, and didn’t believe I had any guns or any of the other items, so off they went!
Well surprise, this was the first time I’d traveled with my camera. On the plane while we were in the air, I leaned over to Anthony and asked, “Um babe, are camera batteries lithium batteries?”
YUP. SURE ARE.
I got really afraid. Then even more afraid when Anthony looked up what could happen with lithium batteries in the under-belly of a plane. Mostly because it said they could EXPLODE. YEAH.
So as soon as we could, we ran as quickly as possible to get to our next gate to let them know I needed to get them out of my bag! What a mess that turned into. Tears were shed, and it was a huge ordeal!
It all turned out fine though, and they ultimately said they really were fine, they’re mostly afraid of gigantic lithium batteries. Apparently there are lithium suitcases? I had no idea! Wish I had known it was pretty much fine before I let the woman at the desk make me feel like the worst human on the planet and bawl my eyes out, ha!
Okay, long intro into the weekend! But it was really hectic and I just had to share the mess that is now pretty funny to look back on.
We got to Sacramento all safe and sound, and their airport is absolutely adorable! Look at this amazing luggage sculpture that was by luggage claim! Their art collection was so on point, I loved it.
After we got to our awesome room at the Kimpton Sawyer (who also has a killer art collection) and all settled in, we went to a super amazing restaurant called Punch Bowl Social that is attached to the hotel. We shared a huge pile of bacon lobster fries (holy cow, so good.) Anthony grabbed an Old Fashioned (he loves trying them at different places) and I got a caramel and banana boozy milkshake (again, holy cow, so good.)
Punch Bowl Socials are popping up in different cities around the US, if there is one near you, you’ve totally got to go! They are amazing. They have bowling, gigantic Foosball, arcade games, and so many more activities!
Friday morning, I stayed in bed like a turtle because travel knocks me right on my butt. Anthony went and walked around to see the capital building and some other sights. That afternoon, we met with the rest of the crew that were attending, hopped in a bus, and headed to our first ever focus group!
A focus group is “a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a particular product before it is launched,” (thanks, Google, I was struggling.)
This particular focus group was put together by a company called Empire Biotechnologies. They’ve developed a drug with hopes to help the millions of us dealing with malabsorption as a result of numerous diseases.
The people presenting the drug were absolutely amazing, their enthusiasm for the product they’re working on is so exciting. The discussion was great! I’d strongly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to be involved in a focus group to definitely take part! I hope to be able to be a part of many more.
That evening, we walked right out the back door of the hotel and right into the brand new Sacramento Kings stadium for a basketball game! The stadium is beyond gorgeous. Fun fact, they source about 90% of the concessions from within a 100 mile radius! Isn’t that amazing? Sure, they had nachos and hotdogs, but most of the stands were local places. Loved that! The teams we watched were tied for the top four worst teams in the NBA, so the game itself was a little rough. But let’s be honest, I was there for the company and food!
The next morning we went to the half day seminar and heard several amazing talks. One covered central line care along with statistics from real patients (some of which were sitting in the room) on how they kept their lines working for as long as possible. Another talk was on potential diet tricks to make your gut function as best as it can. There was one on remembering that there are surface level check points (labs, imaging, catheter info, etc.) and ultimately more below the surface check points to keep in mind while living on TPN (micronutrient status, bone health, liver dysfunction, etc.) This speaker used an iceberg as the visual, which was such a great visual for his talk. Lastly, there was a talk on the questions you should be asking your doctor when you’re on TPN. This last one had me writing down lots of questions!
There is always so much knowledge to gain, and I love being surrounded by brilliant minds that feed my brain. That weekend was full of that!
That afternoon, a group of us ran to an adorable candy shop down the street called Andy’s Candy Apothecary (of course I was too into the candy to even snap a photo!) Then that evening we gathered for a delicious dinner together.
It was an amazing weekend full of meeting new brilliant minds, friendly faces, and learning. I feel so honored to have been invited to attend. Next on my TPN brain food agenda is the Oley conference in Memphis, Tennessee this June! I can’t wait! Anyone else excited about that coming up? Would love to see you there!