|Thanks for the java babe!|
Alarm went off mega-early pour moi, but I rallied. Hauled my box o swag for the cemetery tour participants down to the bellman, and then went to go grab coffee in the lobby...only to have it run out with a gasp I echoed. This is after watching the person in front of me fill three caffeine-laden cups of bliss to the brim. Karma was with me and it turned out to be none other than Jackie (whom I didn't recognize from behind with her wet hair). She took pity on me when I began to gamely fill up with decaf and swapped cups. Not sure who in her room got the decaf later on (Steph?) but I sure appreciate your sacrifice!
|Some of "The Bloggers": Leontine, Janna and Kassa (nice legs!)|
|Unusual since it's all metal.|
|Chair with footstool for the lady, tree trunk for the man.|
After the tour, which included the Katrina Memorial, in the shape of a hurricane, most of us rode the streetcar back towards the hotel. I had a great time chatting with Jaime Samms on the ride and subsequent walk. I tease her about her Canadian accent (she claims they don't have one...right).
|Kids got their own swag bags.|
Damon Suede was tantalizing us all with his kilt--and proved to enough of us that I wonder if he doesn't have an exhibitionist side exactly what men wear under kilts. (The answer, btw, is nothing. Otherwise, it's just a skirt.)
|Apparently needed a flask to deal with GRL'ers.|
|Has everyone's attention except for TA...who claims she was looking at me.|
|Jackie, Damon Suede and me|
|With Marie Sexton, whose Coda series kept me up before I came.|
|Jackie and me with Ethan Day (one of my heroes later that night!)|
So by default, I ended up with Jason and Gabrielle Evans for the rest of the evening (um, early morning?), mostly dancing at Oz. It was another if-you-can't-beat-em-join-em night where I didn't get to the room until about 4:30am, took a much-needed shower, did some packing and fell into bed right about the time it started to quiet down (and get light) outside.
The next morning was all about saying au revoir. The location for next year's GRL was announced at the farewell brunch--Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 18th-21st--and rounds of goodbyes were made by all. A bit more packing and I was off to the airport. The only side note to the trip home was the fact that I ran into Rick Reed in the Atlanta airport. We had flown from New Orleans on different flights and also had different flights home--him to Seattle and me to Portland--but our gates happened to be right across from each other. I'd barely seen him at the retreat, so it was great to sit and visit with him one on one for a half hour or so until he had to board his flight.
All in all, I think it could definitely be called a successful premiere. All the organization that went into this is just staggering, and I really admire the dedication of the organizers and helpers who pulled it off. Of course there were challenges, and I do think a few things could use a bit different approach, but I really enjoyed myself. It was a big lovefest of MM. Most of us who were there have a true love of the genre and don't get that kind of unconditional support elsewhere. So it was truly unique and a great start to what will hopefully continue to grow and be an event we can all look forward to.
Hope you enjoyed my recaps! Now for the fun part!! I will be having a contest based on my three recaps, so look those pictures over and read between the lines. :) More details and contest kickoff in my next post. :)