Friday 6 October 2023

USA Day 3-5: TCOM Conference & Lexington City

Day 3: Pre-Conference Courses

I managed to sleep quite well even though I woke up multiple times throughout the night due to the jetlag. I couldn't go back to sleep after waking at 6.30am so I gave my family a Whatsapp call and got ready to head to the basement level at around 7.45am for the TCOM Conference. I received my tag and a goody bag after registration.

The wire in the bag was a Godsend because the one I brought wasn't compatible with my phone! 😄

It was a relatively small conference but I felt very much at home as I've got a great working relationship with the conference organisers, Praed Foundation and the Centre for Innovation in Population Health, University of Kentucky. I've worked on the implementation of a TCOM tool known as the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) since the start of my career! I was so excited to meet Dr John Lyons, the founder of TCOM, and Dr April Fernando, the Director of the Centre.

Breakfast was provided every morning before the conference starts at 9am. 

After the morning session, we decided to walk to Stella's Kentucky Deli for lunch as it came highly recommended by Dr Lyons. 

Along the way, we admired the beautiful architecture of the First Baptist Church of Lexington and Main Street Baptist Church.

It's not odd to find many historical church buildings in Lexington as many denominations were founded here!

We found Stella's Kentucky Deli quite easily. It was housed in a quaint little cottage!

The green tomatoes BLT came highly recommended but I tried the mushroom and swiss burger instead.

Food was tasty in general, though maybe a little too salty for my palate.

We continued with workshops in the afternoon and ended relatively early. We had time to walk to the nearest departmental store, Target, which was about 10 minutes away. We spotted the First United Methodist Church along the way and loved its classic look!

After buying groceries, snacks and souvenirs, we explored the surrounding town. As it was located near to the University of Kentucky campus, there were a lot of students in the area.

Since we were in Kentucky, I had to try fried chicken and decided on Raising Cane's chicken fingers.

It wasn't like the best I've tasted but it was ok. 

We headed back when the sky looked like it was going to turn dark. By the time I got to my room, I was so tired that I slumped into my bed and slept until 8pm! I ate Korean cup noodles for dinner and finished my conference notes before sleeping at 11.30pm (11.30am Singapore time).

Day 4: Conference Day 1

I didn't wake up at all throughout the night, even though I eventually woke up at 5.30am! Since I couldn't go back to sleep, I headed downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast was totally different from what I was used to! It looked more like dessert than breakfast to me! 😅

After a whole morning of learning from like-minded professionals, we had lunch.

The conference organisers presented me and my fellow Singaporean participant with the award for travelling the furthest to the conference! It felt good to be appreciated! 😄

The afternoon sessions were good but I had difficulty staying awake as my jetlag kicked in! When the conference ended, I returned to my room for a nap instead of going to Walmart with the rest of the group. I had FOMO but I knew I needed to rest in preparation for my presentation the next day! 

Day 5: Conference Day 2

It was the last day of the conference! I was glad that I slept well, though I couldn't sleep past 6.30am.

After the morning presentations, I grabbed a sandwich for lunch before heading to my presentation venue.

It was finally my turn to present at the first breakout session after lunch! 

It was a good session and I learnt a lot from the attendees! 😊

After an afternoon of breakout presentations, the conference came to an end! I'd consolidate and share my learning with my organisation when I return! 😃

Since we had time before our dinner reservation at 8pm, we explored downtown Lexington. We shopped at Urban Outfitters at The Square, which was probably the only store that's still open at 6pm.

As we walked around, I really enjoyed taking pictures of the beautiful architecture as Lexington is a historic city! 

Having been indoors for most of the day, it was also then that I realised the temperature had dropped to 15°C! It was colder than expected but I loved it! 😊

We walked past the Old Fayette County Court House, which houses the VisitLEX Lexington's Visitor Centre. I've been wanting to visit but their opening hours (10am - 4pm) didn't match our schedule.

It was sunset but we were still too early for our reservation. We got fried chicken at our hotel's Blue Fire Bar & Grill while waiting. It was good! 😊

It finally came time to have dinner with Dr Lyons and his friends at ItaX. Apparently this restaurant was very popular, hence the difficulty in getting an earlier reservation.

I really enjoyed the good food and conversations over dinner! 😄

It was a good end to my last night here in Lexington! I had an amazing time, thanks to the warm hospitality of our hosts and friends that I had met! 😄

Continue to >> USA Day 6: Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
<< Back to USA Day 1-2: Arrival at Hyatt Regency Lexington, Kentucky


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Lexington & Orlando, United States of America as well as other travel itineraries

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