04/08/24 – After the Disability Policy Seminar wrapped up on the first day, our group decided to head to a place called the City Tap House next door to the Westin for supper that night. From the moment we walked in, the first thing I thought of was how this City Tap House place reminded me of a brewery in downtown Augusta that some of us went to back in June with the Mad Hatter Wellness people when we did a training with them. I wish I could remember what that place was called, but please feel free to chime in if anyone from that group knows what I’m talking about.

It seemed a bit odd to me that someone didn’t come right to our table to take our order. We all had to scan a QR code using our smartphones to pull up their menu. And honestly, I wasn’t too keen on their prices. But a lot of us kind of had to grin and bear it in that moment. This was when it finally dawned on me just how pricy Washington can be if you’re not used to it. I guess I can’t really complain too much about paying a little extra for a certain quality of food, as long as I know that people cooking / serving / delivering that food are getting paid decent as a result of it. Enjoying that food with a great group of people and having a lively discussion with them in the process certainly helps soften the blow too.

QR code and sign from City Tap House

After supper, Rose needed to pick up some nail glue from the Walgreen’s in the Chinatown District, so Jon, Regina, and I went down with her. I mean, we didn’t have too far to go. And it was probably safer for us to get to and from places as a group. When we got there, I was a bit caught off guard by how much of the personal hygiene stuff was locked up and required customer assistance to take off the shelves. And I have no idea why, but nail glue happened to be one of those items that required customer assistance. Just our luck, right? This was my first real taste of how other people live in larger metropolitan areas, and in that moment, reality had set in, like, “Yeah no, I’m not in Maine anymore.” I picked up a couple of Cherry Pepsis while I was over there to bring back to my hotel room for later, because of course I did. Why would I not?

When we got back to our hotel from Walgreen’s, Jon and I decided to meet up with Rose, and together, the three of us joined Kile and Stephanie in their hotel room to unwind a little bit while we watched some wrestling and played some Cards Against Humanity. As it turns out, Kile and Stephanie’s story would be an integral part of our presentation for when we meet with our Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to discuss Social Security reform over the next two days. They’d even had shirts made specifically for this trip calling on Congress to increase assets limits and eliminate the marriage penalty. So suffice it to say, we’d be seeing quite a bit of them on our trip after that.

Kile and Stephanie in their shirts at the Disability Policy Seminar.

If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at lcoldwell@sufumaine.org   

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