CHEA – Christian Home Educators Association (2014)

I find myself, yet again, in a hotel room.

I’m having strong bouts of deja vu. . A certain 31 day trip across the USA.

However, instead of bunking in for the night just to pack the van and move a state over, we’re staying through the weekend. Where? Why in beautiful Anaheim, California, of course.

2014-05-29 15.04.27It’s really quite obvious why.

CHEA is this weekend. It stands for Christian Home Educators Association. . . . Here’s CHEA in English terms:

It’s this huge yearly conference for homeschoolers/people thinking of homeschooling. There are workshops, classes, curriculum sales, and booths and booths of just about anything. Colleges are there to hook you into signing up for more information. There are different math, science, English, history (and more) curriculums and people there to explain them to you. Homemade crafts being made before your eyes, puzzles, and books.

I go for the books. I’ve already bought two in a moment of weakness.

You may know about something else that’s in Anaheim.

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The happiest place on earth!! I’ve actually only been once (when I was old enough to remember), but whooo, everyone was there today.

The CHEA convention is being held in the Disney Land hotel, about a twenty-three minute walk from the hotel “resort” (fancy) we’re staying at.

My mom and little brother walked through downtown Disney, smiling and looking around at all the fun and somewhat wacky things there were to see.

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Those are all made out of Legos.

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I’ve lived in California all my life and have never heard of these churros.

As they fluttered around happily, I on the other hand, drug myself around in my bleach-stained work shirt and hair bun, trying to simply focus my eyes against the sun shining in my eyes.

I opened for the first time this morning. I got up at 5 AM, opened the shop at 6 AM and didn’t leave until noon. Then got home and rush-packed like I was fleeing the country so we would be able to leave as soon as possible and beat the rush hour traffic.

In short, I needed a nap. Badly.

We arrived at the hotel. Got things sorted. And were on our way to check in and check out the conference.

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I couldn’t wait for the used book sale. I brought my tip money from this morning specifically for that sale. We got there at five when it didn’t start until six, which left us staring down this long, empty, Willy Wonka-like hallway with one guy sitting at the very end, looking bored.

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I definitely wasn’t up for walking to our hotel just to come back. We sat on the floor, among the slowly growing crowd of ladies hauling empty roller suitcases.

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Falling asleep right there on the floor was the best idea I could think of. Luckily, our number was among one of the first called. I didn’t find much but still bought three books with six dollars in all change. The lady didn’t mind.

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We walked the exhibit hall, eventually leaving my mom to her own browsing while my brother and I attempted to find something to peak our own interest. Two girls from Bob Jones University caught me watching their lame expressions and simultaneously jumped at me with smiles, one thrusting a tote in my direction and asking if I wanted one. But I knew their game. I’m already avoiding calls from Golden State Baptist College just because I wanted a shirt. The second I took that tote would be another zip code to remember and ignore.

Yeah I’m one of those people. I didn’t take the tote.

Around that time was when I decided I was over it. I was done with books and schooling and colleges that just wanted my money, and work shirts, and my heavy purse. I had an inner college-age meltdown, and I usually don’t say this but the only place I wanted to be was home.

Like any person my age, the way I coped with this was by finding a secluded hallway by the bathroom where I sat on the floor and messed with my phone, throwing out complaints to my little brother at random while he busied himself with finding the hidden Mikey Mouse symbols in the wallpaper and on the carpet.

I wasn’t looking forward to the walk back, but it did mean the sooner I could be in a fluffy bed. We ordered pizza from Dominoes once we were back in the hotel even though we were having horrid flashbacks of Texas, but it came in a decent amount of time. My mood lightened considerably. I was even able to enjoy the Disneyland fireworks.

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They seem to start at nine thirty and go for ten minutes, so I’ll look forward to seeing them tomorrow too. Tomorrow is when the real conference starts.

Now it’s time for this homeschooler to get to bed.

My purse visually describes how I feel right now.

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