New York debrief

New York was SO COOL you guys.
I went for the ePharma Summit 2016 which was interesting. From what I’ve seen, we still need a lot of work on both sides to truly get patients and pharma talking.
One of my favorite things, though, was that my sister-in-law B moved to the area last fall. This gave us some time to hang out, watch Spice World, and drink boozy hot chocolate.
And go to the Disney store!
We went out for tasty pizza at Alba’s which I highly recommend, and then had brunch the next day at Igloo Cafe – again, highly recommend.
So much good food.
B’s boyfriend and I got nerdy over Hamilton which led to me buying Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton and another one of his on Washington. 
You know you have hit the pinnacle of nerdiness when you geek out at brunch over Revolutionary and Civil War history with a grad student studying the same. I love it though.
We walked past the Rodgers Theatre and I had to take this picture. Hamilton tickets are sold out into next year already and those on StubHub were too outrageous for me to justify.
I tried to justify it in my head. I really did.
We did hit up Broadway, though, and saw On Your Feet!: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan. I met the main star, Ana Villafañe last summer at the Juvenile Arthritis Conference where she discussed her Systemic JA battle.
NBD, definitely not freaking out
She has an amazing voice and a beautiful personality. I think she’s slightly younger than me but has definitely turned into an inspiration. She’s definitely a part of why I finally bought heels again.
B got freaked out when Elmo and company ran up on me. My heart took over and I had to snag a picture.
The fact that Elmo is Kelsey’s favorite and all that Marissa talks about are Elsa and minions totally had a lot to do with it, too.
I ate copious amounts of banana splits at my hotel, the Cambria Times Square. Awesome hotel, by the way, AND I got to enjoy this amazing view.
So pretty.

I was super glad to have won a mini-shopping spree at Torrid and was able to pick up some more fun, flirty, and professional clothes before I headed to New York.
I was also pretty excited to snag my first press pass and hang out with the fabulous Kristin Coppens during the summit.
Day one of the summit saw entrepreneurs sharing their applications and ideas for change. You can read about my favorites – Cohero Health, Curatio, and Self Care Catalystshere.
I got hella comments as I walked to the summit hotel on day two, which was actually pretty fun.
Day three saw a bunch of us patients hanging out at the end which was definitely needed.
On Thursday, I had a major brain fart. I put this up on the door while I was packing up and getting ready after I started the coffee maker… only to turn around and notice that I had not put a cup under said coffee maker.
Genius indeed!
Of course, some of that could have been nerves because I got to hang out with the one and only Duff!
I reviewed her book Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass back in 2013 and still love it.
I’m honestly still a little shell-shocked that she was willing to meet up and hang out with me for a while. Here’s an excerpt from my review:

I grew up thinking Duff (Karen’s nickname) was the coolest. She was the epitome of early 90s style, with her short hair and signature 90s outfits. She really was all over, from her movie roles to MTV to Revlon ads. She is one of the first models I remember, and she even admits that many people liked her as a model because she was beautiful, yes, but an achievable beautiful – normal girl beautiful instead of Cindy Crawford drop dead gorgeous. To find out that she deals, on a daily basis, with similar feelings and pains as I do was shocking to me.

I gotta tell you – my admiration for this woman just keeps growing. She is involved with a lot just for the joy of helping others but at the same time still feels punky and 90s. She’s focused on being real but also being grateful and kind. 
Her hair is still amazing which also reminds me that I need to book a haircut.
I want to be like her even more now than I did when I was younger.
And then she told me I was her hero.
No, I’m definitely not crying right now writing this. It’s totally fine.
Seriously though, how many people get to meet someone they felt embodies the spirit of the decade they grew up in? And how many people get to really connect on a level that only us sick chicks can reach?
I’m obviously still fangirling. Anyway…
I met up with my SIL after that and we hit up some Times Square area shops before heading back to her place for a while. Then I made my way to the airport.
I was so tired by the time I got there that I decided I needed the damn wheelchair. The wheelchair attendant was the nicest guy ever. 
We talked how Batman should be considerably darker in personality than he has been portrayed recently and how beautiful NYC is.
He also got me through security super fast and came back to move me when my flight gate had been changed.
The freaking sweetest guy ever. Attention Delta at La Guardia: pay this man more because he deserves it!
The morning after getting home, we headed to Minneapolis to watch the Wisconsin Badgers Women’s Hockey team kick Minnesota Gopher butt in the WCHA tournament. They lost in the second game of the Frozen Four yesterday, but damn it was a great season.
Two of my favorite players AND Bucky!
It was a busy, busy week. It was both frustrating and rewarding beyond belief.
The biggest thing that I learned was how much I love adventuring and how well I can manage myself. I grew up being told things like I would never be able to protect myself in a big city… which honestly made me scared of those cities.
I have realized through my travels, though, that I have navigated Washington, DC, San Francisco, and New York City on my own. 
I have accomplished more in trips to those places than I was led to believe I was capable of.
And that’s pretty badass.
If you want to check out more of the posts I wrote for ePharma, you can do so below:

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