It is 6:30 A.M. on Thursday. Meg is still asleep, so I won’t tell you where I am blogging from.
I have spent an entire day getting here to Houston in order to Meet and Mingle with some of my favorite people from the scrapbooking world (Sorry Peaches, y’all know you’re still Number One!).
I got up at 9 yesterday and did some yoga and exercised because I knew I’d probably get no where near a gym for the rest of the week. Before I knew it, 10:30 rolls around and I have to leave if I was going to make it to Meg’s by 11:30.
Made the required stop at Starbucks for an iced Vanilla Latte and then hit the road.
Meg was hugging and kissing on her kids and mom as I pulled up. We loaded all of her stuff in the back of my Jeep, took one look at each other, giggled, and drove away!
We had some lunch and spent some time just hanging out trying to decompress from the real world. We chatted over chicken ceasars and contemplated ordering hard cider. We passed on the latter, but the conversation was great. I can’t remember when I’ve had a long conversation with an adult.
Anyway, I am keeping you from the stuff you really care about! The plane ride was uneventful except for the fact on this really tine airplane two people also going to CKU sit right in front of us. Marie and Michelle were so funny and we bantered back and forth quite a bit on the ride. During the hour and 38 mins in the air, Meg watched two episodes of Weeds. I couldn’t hear the dialog, but I could see the monitor screen. That show is risqué! She was giggling away though. We landed in 30 mph crosswinds so it was kinda bumpy.
As we got off the plane, I called Michelle A who was already at baggage claim for Southwest. We were going to meet up with her and share a taxi ride to the hotel. Well, Michelle and Marie came through as our cruise directors and spotted two other people who also needed a ride. Little beknownst to us but one of them was Michelle Van Etten! The designer for Prima and one of our instructors this week! How cool is that? Being the Beta Boy that I am, I swooped in and saved the day by securing an entire van from Super shuttle for $15 a person.
45 mins later we arrived at the Westin Galleria. We all check in and promise to catch up with each other later. Meg and I lug our stuff up to the ninth floor and dump it all into our rooms. The rooms are pretty nice. The beds have those thick crisp sheets and loads of pillows. There’s plenty of room to move around in and a nice long wide desk for us to organize stuff for the day. I overheard someone say that the rooms are usually $300 a night (EEK!) so the price we paid for them being at CKU is a steal!
Both of starving since it is now 6 o’clock our time. We head down to the mall. Right outside the entrance we spot a Starbucks and a Godiva Chocolatier. Could this be heaven? We were drooling over the smooth coconut truffles as the counter girl, Lola (love her!) started asking us what we wanted. We shyly respond that we probably needed to put some food in our stomach first, but that we’d be back for dessert. She highly recommended the Kona Grill for its great sushi. Plus they are right in their middle of their happy hour pricings!
We quickly ordered margaritas and a plate of the most yummiest pot stickers. Do you know when you bite into food and you can taste all of the ingredients in it? These were beyond great! We debated over which kind of sushi rolls to order and just decided to get one of each. I would have taken a photo of the California, Atlantic, Spicy Tuna and the shrimp but we were so hungry.
Then it was time to run back to the room and get ready for the Meet and Mingle. We briefly stopped at Lola’s spot and ordered truffles to go. I had to pull all of the name badges and the card swaps and grab my binder with the lists of orders together. Snatch my camera and we were off. GUESS who we saw in the elevator??? Tells me how this entire weekend is going to go, but we step on and there is LISA BEARNSON just hanging out. Both Meg and I are tongue tied and barely got two sentences out to her. We saw her later and had a more intelligent convo so it was much better.
We had to go to the usual A-C, D-H, M-S lines to get our registration packets and then head upstairs for our goodie totes. I will let the pictures stand for themselves. But let’s just say it was chock full o’ stuff! I believe all of it is going to be used tomorrow in our Inspiration stations to create the CKU album. I could be wrong.
Meg and I plopped ourselves down at one of the available tables and just waited. I told everyone on the Yahoo board that I would be around to pass out the name badges. Stand there and they will come. Mob City! Thank goodness I had Meg there. I pressed her into servitude when folks started throwing money and Christmas cards and gifts my way. It was bedlam, I tell ya! When it finally calmed down a bit I managed to take a peek around.
GUESS who was at the table behind us about 50 feet away? *Drumroll please* JESSICA SPRAGUE!!! She was looking great, I think she chose to wear green in honor of her new site rolling out today. Isn’t she amazing that she can roll out a new website AND be at this event on the same day? Meg and I had to wait a very long time before the crowds dispersed around her before we could approach and be accepted into her court (HA!). Here are two shots of us together. One, I am doing the Beta Boy ‘save’ pose. The other was more sedate.
I am so ashamed of how star struck I was when I first went over to talk to her. But she immediately put me at ease with this super huge smile. she gave me a big hug and told me how great it was to meet me. HUH? Here I am falling over my own shoes, and Jessica Sprague is glad to meet me. Will wonders never cease? I have to say that Jessica is such a great personality to meet. Someone who is really friendly and down to earth. She even did a little dance to show how excited she was to be at CKU. She and I chatted back and forth about the new site. That girl will not give up the goods on where those fantastic flower backgrounds came from. After coming down from cloud 9 of having met my own personal Super Hero, it was awesome to meet and have a conversation in real life with Ms. Jessica Sprague.
More and more people began to file out and head down to dinner, or to the cropping area. So Meg and I took this opportunity to meet the other GREATS! Here we are with Ali Edwards who was so sweet to remember me from Atlanta. And there we are with Tim Holtz who told me I was too popular because everyone signed my bag. Well, ya know. When you got it, you got it!
The rest of the night was spent cutting, taping, stuffing, and wrapping the gift boxes. These are to be Thank You gifts for the instructors from the Yahoo group. It was amazing how quickly people pulled together and organized this stuff to go in there.
Then I had to go to bed. It was midnight my time and I was ready to crash! After all, tomorrow is another day!