Back in the beginning of the month I took a little road trip up to Canada with my boyfriend. We went to Toronto and also hit Niagara Falls on the way, but I’ll leave that out of this post.
When I lived in Washington, I was actually always about three-ish hours away from the Canadian border all the time and I never went. So 2019 was the year I was going to make it happen! And here we are now.
Dealing with Toronto’s Winter Weather
Knowing that we were traveling in the dead of winter, I took precautions and reached out to people who had been to Toronto. Everyone told me the city is extremely windy so I was ready for that with mittens, ear wrap, bulky scarves, thick socks, and thermal undershirts. With all that, I was never really cold. It was usually like my thighs and face. Kyle somehow survived with a wicking turtleneck, thermal and sweatshirt. Although he did always complain about being cold.
It snowed while we were there, but it never stuck. Because of this I was able to get by wearing whatever shoes I wanted and not have to worry about slipping and sliding everywhere.
I honestly never thought I would go to NYC. But then I visited Kat in New Jersey in October and realized NYC was just a short train ride away and if I went that I could meet Gabby from The Swirl and mark off one more state from my bucket list!
While planning this trip Gabby asked me what I wanted to see and I think I gave her a list of like three things: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron and Central Park. To which she told me may not be possible since they are all so far apart. Well, wrong!! We ended up hitting 13 landmarks over 12 hours in two days. The first day I was with Kat and Gabby and the second day I was by myself.
So where can you make it with 12 hours in New York City?
Oculus & One World Trade Center
Kat and I took the PATH into World Trade Center Station from Newark Penn Station so I knocked two things off really quickly. She was surprised to see that the Oculus was completely empty when we got there. But then again, it was like 7:30am on a Sunday. And it was certainly crowded when we left that evening. The Oculus reminded me of the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh actually.
I had no idea the Grace Hopper Celebration existed until I saw Abigail talk about it last year on her blog. And I had no idea the scope of it until I showed up to the keynote at the Toyota Center in Houston and they said there were over 20,000 attendees.
Since I am in tech, and I didn’t know what GHC is, I’ll break it down a bit just in case you aren’t sure what it is either!
What is Grace Hopper?
Grace Hopper is a yearly conference put on by AnitaB.org to celebrate women in technology and provide them with more resources to succeed and get careers. Over the course of three days, thousands of women, and men, attend sessions, hear inspiring people speak about their stories in tech, explore the massive company expo, and go to events sponsored by large companies like Google, Twitter, and Snapchat.
I thought it was just a career expo and sessions, so I was pleasantly surprised and empowered to see how scaled up the conference was.
The only reason I was able to attend GHC was because I got a scholarship through AnitaB. I applied back in January and found out in May that I was awarded one! The scholarship paid for my flights, hotel, food, and transportation which was legit. If you want to attend GHC, but don’t have the means to, please apply for a scholarship! I didn’t think I would get one, and neither did a lot of the other scholars I talked to, so you never know!