Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much, but blogging is trippy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

K-CSRR, Part 3 of 5

When last we left our erstwhile heroine, she had just stumbled upon a pauper with a thorn in his suspiciously well-pedicured toe... No, wait, wrong story. Sorry! Ahem. Back to the Retreeeeeeeeat!

... By the time Group B (for Best!) made our way to Sequoyah 1 for the last class of the day, we had gotten pretty well acquainted. And we knew we were the special class. We had seen each other through trials and tribulations, triumphs and trophy pages. We knew who the neediest and most special people were. (Some of them glued pages to tables. Some of them had difficulty with cutting measurements. And some of them still yelled "crap." And they had drunk beer the night before. I'm not naming names, but I think tequila may have been involved. I'm just sayin'. Is all.) We knew who had all the extra tools for those of us who had left ours at home. (Hi, Shona!) And ... we were getting maybe just a wee bit punchy. Maybe. I could be wrong. We were having a *lot* of fun, though.

Nikki was our energetic and ambitious, gorgeous and gifted teacher for a Greetings to Go class, and we were all given an entire Wheel & Sprocket G2G pack. With the adhesive!!!! I was so excited, because I have *just* started playing with G2G. There were Wheel & Sprocket stamps and a Palette ink pad for each pair of attendees to share, and fibers, and we each got a whole sheet of the luscious, glossy, white crack'n'peel W&S stickers to use, too. And instructions! And dang it, we had a wonderful teacher right there!

And did we, Group B (for Best!), the Special Class -- did *we* finish all the cards in the G2G pack?

Dang! No! I think we got 9 cards finished before we kind of gave up. We were well over the time limit. I don't know what happened! I can't claim that really inexperienced cardmakers slowed us all down, because I was knocking myself out to try to finish one card while Nikki was moving on to the next one. They were *gorgeous* cards and *so* cool and I'm so happy that I did get through 9 of the cards in the pack. Everyone was ooh'ing and ah'ing over the sayings on the stickers (so Terri Zwicker!!!), and I think we all just loved the class...

...But I think we must have been hypnotized or something by the coolness of the cards. Because we were *slow*!

And I think we were mesmerized by Nikki's wonderful Wisconsin accent. Almost every time she said "tag," someone would repeat it. It's just so adorable! We don't get exotic accents down here in the South, you know. I hope her feelings weren't hurt, because I don't think anyone meant anything mean by it -- we just don't hear "tag" pronounced that way very often.

(I have since heard that Group A finished all 15 cards in *their* G2G class. Nikki is a great teacher! I hope the special class -- Group B for Best -- didn't bum her out too much!)

Spilling out of the G2G class, I ran back to my room because I was hot. Back when I was young and skinny, I was always cold. Not any more! Now I'm always hot. So I ran back to my room and stood in front of the air conditioner. OMG! Y'all! I think this is the second time I've ever had a hotel room to myself. You know what's the best thing about not sharing a room? No one ever complains about your thermostat setting! I kept the air on 66 or 65 degrees all weekend long. It was fabulous!

But of course... that meant I was going to be late to dinner... Except that I went downstairs early. And guess what! I *finally* met Lisa Oglesby!!!!!!!!! I had been looking for her all weekend long, for a lot of reasons. A, she's really sweet in email. 2, she's a homeschooler like me. And III, she lives in Walton County, Georgia, which is where I grew up until I was almost 11 years old!!! Let's all join hands and sing a chorus of "It's A Small World"!!!!!

Lisa and I stood out there in the hallway, right next to all those gorgeous ALSB layouts, chatting... until it was time to go inside for dinner, and even then, I think we had to snag the last available table. I can't remember everyone who was sitting with us (dang it!), but it was another really great table full of wonderful people. One of the great things about the Knoxville Rolling Retreat was its small size. I really got to chat with almost everyone there, and then I felt like I actually got to know them. It's a small thing, but it's important to an introvert like me. I really... OK, I'm gonna cry... I really felt like I made *friends* with almost every attendee.

Also! Dinah was sitting at our table, so I felt like we had a celebrity in our midst! That was cool. :D

While we were eating a sumptuous spinach salad, someone asked me about Main Retreat, and I was talking about it. I don't remember what all I said -- Main Retreat is really fabulous, and Rolling Retreat is really fabulous in a different way. I mean, RR costs less, but CS still spoils you *so* much, and the classes are *just as good* as the ones in Wisconsin. The difference is ...

... And the next thing I knew, I totally choked up and started crying right there at the table.

I tried to get myself under control, but I'm telling you, I had to struggle. And part of me -- of course! -- part of me was thinking, "Why didn't I put on waterproof mascara? I KNEW I WAS AT A CLUB SCRAP RETREAT!"

And I was struggling *not* to look at Dinah, because I just knew if I did, I was going to be bawling instead of just crying!

I got hold of myself, and when I *did* look at Dinah, I think she had tears in her eyes, too! Someone at the table said Main Retreat must be something if it moved me like that, and yes, it is, but I don't want to take anything away from Rolling Retreat. RR is fabulous, too!!!

Dinner was an *amazing* chicken dish with big, thick chunks of tomatoes and artichoke hearts. As much as I loved the pork on Friday night, I think I actually preferred the chicken thing more on Saturday night! It came with wild rice and wonderful, flavorful asparagus. Yummy!!!! All over again! And again with the crusty French rolls, and OMG, dessert was a rich chocolate mousse, piped beautifully into a glass with a big strawberry on top. I know Staci was happy with the strawberry!

Then Dinah went to the podium and spoke again, and once again, I felt like I was at Main Retreat. Every Club Scrapper there was clapping and cheering over various things that Dinah mentioned. I seriously don't know how any non-members held out from joining at that very moment. I mean, the feeling of camaraderie and companionship in the room was just overwhelming.

Dinah also thanked me and Shona for being "Rolling Retreat helpers," and that was a little embarrassing. Are you kidding? I'm a RR helper? No, no, y'all -- RR is *my* helper!!!!!! I can't tell you how much this weekend meant to me!!!! But I'll get into that more later on when I do my summary...

I sat down, and Dinah chatted a little more. I think Saturday night was the night that Nikki got hold of the microphone and thanked her mom. That was *so* sweet and fabulous!!!!! I know Dinah must always get her thanks in before Nikki, but at this RR, Nikki upstaged Dinah and thanked her first. Awwwwwwwwww!!!! It's so nice to see a mother and daughter with such a wonderful *professional* relationship. That's truly rare, and I think it speaks to the profundity of CS in general.

Then Dinah asked me and Dawn P (I think I remembered an initial!!!) and Janet to come up and talk about our CS experience just a bit. Ack!!!! I was put on the spot again! I don't know exactly what I said -- I said, "Hi, I'm Bay," and everyone yelled back, "HI, BAY!" as if it were a meeting of Paperholics Anonymous, and that cracked me up. I hope I was marginally coherent.

Then Dawn P took the podium, and I almost died when she said she joined CS because of my posts on a message board years ago. Eek! I'm responsible for someone else's addiction??? Nah -- it's all CS's fault!!!!!

Janet rounded out the group, and she was *hilarious*. She said something about "Ya think this is a good retreat? Nah! This sucks! Go to Main Retreat!" We were laughing so hard, I almost cried again!!!!

Oh! And then! Another CS Retreat Goodie!!!!!! Nikki and Karen distributed black gift bags with the CS logo, and Dinah kept us from opening our bags until we all had them... and the anticipation was *killing* me... And when we opened 'em... OMG! Y'all!!!!!!!! I seriously did not know that a Rolling Retreat would have goodies like this. We all got toiletries bags with lovely wood-handled brushes and a glove washcloth and eeeeeeeeee! It's a really good bag, and I already used mine when I came home! It's way nicer than the plastic grocery bag I used on the way *to* the Retreat!!!!!!

Is this segment too long? OK, I'm going to quit here and finish out Saturday night in Part IV. I'm telling you, a Rolling Retreat is way too fabulous to put in short sentences!!!!! You've got to go experience it for yourself!!!!!!!!

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