I was then promptly frisked by security, the whole time wondering what it was that I looked like I might have attached to me as she did a thorough job running her hands along both of my legs.
After being forced to check my carry-on bag for my second flight by not-so-friendly gate agents, I found myself tapping my foot at baggage claim in the Las Vegas airport, dreaming about dropping into bed the moment I got into my hotel.
Unfortunately, due to a snafu in scheduling, I found myself standing in the lobby of the aforementioned hotel at 12:30 am being told I didn't have a room and that because they were 100% full that there was nothing they could do for me.
In the end everything worked out okay and really, all I was looking forward to was getting to see the massiveness of the Expo and spend some time talking with people about the incredible quality and uniqueness of HABA and their amazing toys. When my head did finally hit the pillow, I had visions of colorful stacking toys and inspiring pretend play food and educational games that are both fun and filled with learning running through my head. ABC Kids Expo, here I come.
Soon enough, it was morning and when we arrived at the convention center it was already buzzing and bustling with excitement.
I may be slightly biased because of how much I love their items, but the HABA booth was one of the most eye-catching and well laid out of the 832 zillion that were there. From the low tables to the easy-to-browse shelves that were all stocked full of toys, games and more, buyers from around the world couldn't help but be drawn in.Lots more pictures in an upcoming post - you've got to hear about the great new HABA products that will be perfect holiday gifts!
Over the course of the three days that I was in Las Vegas, I'm not certain that I sat down for any extended period of time - there was too much to do and too much to see! Everyone from HABA was wonderful and my time spent with them flew by in a blur of incredible push & pull toys, smiling play dolls and me learning more and more about this company as time went on.
As if getting the opportunity to be at ABC wasn't enough, I was also fortunate to have the chance to do one of my favorite things: meet the people who live inside my computer. At one point I looked up to find the bright smile and sweetness that could only be Lolo from Crazy About My Baybah standing in front of me.
And, a short time later, I caught the eye of a cute mom pushing a stroller... only to find out that it was Emily and the one and only Squish from Family and Life in Las Vegas.
I think I probably talked Emily's ear off, but that's what she got for being so awesome and friendly. Plus Squish is even more darn adorable in person, if that's possible.
Later on, as I strolled the rows and rows and rows of booths of baby and kid products of all kinds, I almost tripped over myself when I realized that the REAL Mrs. Smith behind Mrs. Smith's Bags was standing there smiling at me. More than that, she was one of the friendliest people that I've met in a long time and really listened and cared about our conversation.
You bloggers out there have to admit that she's a celebrity in the blogosphere, right? I mean, the actual Mrs. Smith!
My only other celebrity sighting happened at lunch on Monday and was due to the fact that when I said hello and put down my food in front of the older gentleman at the cash register, his response was something mumbled about Anna Nicole Smith. Highly confused, I followed his eyes to see Larry Birkhead pushing who I assumed to be his daughter, Dannielynn, around in a stroller.
Eh. I think I was more impressed with Mrs. Smith.
I would have liked to at least catch at glimpse of The Guncles or Tiffani Thiessen but, alas, it didn't happen. Instead though, I chatted with large, established, well-known brands and small, month-old mompreneurs who were just starting out and heard about anything and everything that has to do with kids.
There were quite a few "why didn't I think of that?" moments as well as a handful of eyebrow-raising futuristic info-not-yet-released-to-the-public items that I wouldn't have possibly been able to come up with. They're cool though, very cool.
At the end of the day on Tuesday (I walked the Expo floor from the moment I arrived around 10:00 am right up until it was almost closing at 5:30 pm. Lunch? Who has time for that? There are baby products to see!) the evening was still young for me as my flight home wasn't until 1:00 am.
By the time I was back at the airport, it was only appropriate that as my plane started to board that I was called over to be frisked once again. Was it because I was traveling on my own? Or did I just look suspicious? The only devious plans that I had for my flight included having brought along my favorite travel pillow, so aside from making the other passengers jealous that was it.
Maybe it was just the loose pants. But whatever, I'm not giving up my comfort just because they they look like I'm hiding something under them.
(HABA covered the whole nine yards of my trip to the ABC Kids Expo. But I am under no obligation to write about how great their company or products are, that is being done because of my complete and utter adoration of them.)