Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Blathering in Charleston

After chickening out of Austin in 2011 and waiting too late to register for New Orleans in 2012, I finally made it to The Blathering in Charleston in 2013.
 
In some ways, the weekend was exactly what I expected. In some ways, it was even more than I expected. I came home exhausted but feeling that in the span of four days I made some deep bonds with some special people who are now "My People"-my real-life friends, not just Internet friends. And that feels pretty wonderful.
 
I don't want to recap every minute of every day of the weekend, but I do want to capture some of my favorite moments, observations, and regrets.
 
Favorite Moments:
  • Saving a seat for and gabbing the whole way from Houston to Charleston with sweet DeeAnne on the plane. Meeting the chic and adorable Arwen at baggage claim.

  • Being picked up at the airport by the fabulous and super fun Erin, who later in the weekend called me "Carrie Bradshaw" and who I lovingly dubbed "Sassypants." Adore Erin!
  • Whisking Ginger out the door upon her arrival to ride Ollie the Trolley downtown for dinner with DeeAnne and me. We ended up on the rooftop of the Charleston Crab House and walked in a big square around downtown later in the evening. It was such a nice night and great way to get to know each other as roommates.
      
  • The first book club conversation I had over the weekend at Social with Ginger, Laura, Ashley, and Tara G. (aka Other Tara!). Love these girls and we had such a great conversation about books and just life in general. I was so glad to have a chance to get to know all these beautiful and amazing ladies better.

  • Having drinks with the larger group at Henry's on the rooftop. It was cool to see (almost) everyone in one place.

  • Getting to know Julie better when her GPS took us on a scenic route to Eli's Table for brunch (and the free beignets we grabbed while walking over). Thanks again for the ride, Julie!

  • Trying to get massages with Laura, Jessica, and Ginger and then heading back to the hotel to hang out poolside. The poolside chatting was so fun, especially after Laura and I decided to grab appetizers at the bar for sharing and then the fabulous Jen Bernardi, who I had the pleasure of getting to know over coffee in San Antonio the week before The Blathering, brought her famous trail mix! I feel like I got to talk to so many people by the pool and it was so awesome and relaxing to share lounge chairs and just gab.

  • Having an in-depth conversation with the beautiful Ginger about ourselves and our families on the bar patio while the sun was setting before the boat cruise. Then joining Danielle, Nora, Blair, Julie, and Jen Bernardi for more pre-boat bonding.
  • The Salami Pants Incident of 2013, which solidified my love of Laura!

  • Watching Emily do the running man on the rooftop deck of the Fish House. :) And finally getting a chance to really chat with Roomie Tara over drinks and then back in our room, when we got on the elevator and everyone else headed to the hotel bar. (We thought you were following us on the elevator, ladies!) We talked for an hour before we finally called it a night.

  • Hanging out with Danielle, Jen B., Caitlin, Tara G., Ginger, and DeeAnne at Queology after post-brunch shopping at the market. This was just relaxing and probably the first opportunity I had to get to know Caitlin, Danielle, and Tara G. even better.
  • Popsicles! I was a big fan of the chocolate sea salt and raspberry lime. I also really enjoyed chatting with Erin, Elsha, April, Laura, Jessica, Tara, and Jenna. When we caught the water taxi back to the hotel, I also got some quality time with Jennifer Lyker who is so lovely.
 
  • At the Alley, I was glad to get to talk to Blair, Maggie, Elsha, Miranda, Danielle, and Julie a little more, and my roommates Tara, Ginger, and DeeAnne. And Erin, aka Sassypants, made me laugh harder than I had all weekend!
  • Back at the hotel bar afterwards, I talked Pens hockey with Kate Welsh and we bonded a little over our mutual hatred of Marc-Andre Fleury.

  • Tara waking me up to give me a hug goodbye as she left early Sunday morning.

  • Despite the onset of a migraine, I enjoyed the last opportunity to chat with some great ladies, including Ashley and Tara G., and Jennie Canzoneri over donuts. I wish the darn migraine hadn't made me so woozy I couldn't really enjoy the cab ride to the airport I shared with Danielle and Blair. Sorry I was so out of it, ladies.
 

Observations:
  • Everyone was really nice. There were moments I felt awkward, but those passed fairly quickly usually. (Or maybe I was awkward all weekend and everyone was just really nice about it.)

  • Maggie is totally as adorable and funny in person as I expected, although I think I stressed her out asking about the bakery!
  • The Organizers put a lot of work into the weekend-thank you ladies! I really appreciate everything you did to make the weekend fun for all of us!

  • Since I'd been to Charleston several times before, I felt no need to try and see any of the sights, which freed me up to relax and hang out with people. I think I could've sat by the pool talking all weekend.
Regrets:
  • Not doing beach yoga with Jen B. on Saturday morning (even though Creepy Old Guy was totally checking the yoga ladies out).

  • There are SO many fabulous ladies that I did not get to spend time getting to know. For that, I am very sorry ladies! Guess that means I'll have to go to Seattle next year, right? I've never been to the Pacific Northwest or the West Coast at all, so I think I'm required to go.

Plus, now that I've found "My People," I can't wait to see you all again. :)