Where to start? There were so many!
I will start with my own personal hero:Brad!
My very dear husband, always a treasure, has been amazing this whole past year with regards to the Gathering. He listened as our plans progressed, he helped whenever possible (printing name tags, door prize tickets, magnets to put in the Welcome Bags). He agreed to MC the drawing (I sort of volunteered him without even asking first, but I think he was honored.), buy all the wine, pour prosecco at the Gingerbread House, and schlep all weekend. He was calm and cool during the "projector-sound crisis", and offered to go to Radio Shack during brunch to BUY speakers!
He inputed ALL the music in the movie, upgraded my computer memory 2G to hold a____ file, purchased every song I needed from I-Tunes, and figured out the fastest way to copy 60 DVDs. He printed and put on labels and inserted jewel case covers ALL day, before we left for Savannah, and had a disagreement with his boss about time off from work (we were originally going to stay a week, then she said he couldn't go AT ALL, but he made it work.)! He is MY Gathering Hero!
Spending time with Pauline and Steve:
Being around Pauline and Steve is always a treat. I have missed Pauline's presence on the boards, and I LOVE to hear her laugh! It was great to see her 4 days in a row. It was truly delightful to watch Pauline watch the movie and laugh. It also made her cry, but those were tears of love!
Dinner at Cha Bella:
After Thursday's kickoff "Pre-Gathering Gathering", the Planning team, and Pauline and Steve had a fabulous dinner at Cha Bella. Some of the food was really amazing! Brad's scallops were the BEST I have ever tasted, and when we ran into another table of Slow Travelers, I tasted Kim C.'s pork chop over parmesan "polenta" (but I think they were grits)! OMG there was sugar cane in the meat jus that made me HAVE to hunt down the recipe! I have emailed the chef, and as a back up, I found sugar cane syrup on the internet, and a marinade that might just recreate this flavor! If none of that works, I will be writing to Bon Appetit!
Hanging out with my friends on the Planning Team:
It was an amazing feeling to see our months of planning come to life as each event was successful. The Thursday Pre-Gathering Gathering at our rental house had everyone excited about being together and about what was coming. The Gingerbread house was a wonderful beginning to the "official" events. It was a treat to see and feel the enthusiasm and the sense of community. New members, seasoned members, all together in a wonderful setting! Saturday, we enjoyed various activities during the day, then were taken by trolley to the museum for a low country boil, an exciting drawing for prizes, and an entertaining ghost tour. Sunday we wrapped up the Gathering with a brunch at Vic's and the movie! The teamwork all paid off!
Playing with my buddies before we go to Italy together!
We had a ball! It has been almost six months since Jerry, Gail, Sandi and I have played together. We had a blast in Savannah and with Paul, John, Bill and Brad, and are counting the days until we are all together in Montisi for a week!
Meeting "old" and "new" friends!
What fun to finally meet, in person, so many friends from the boards: Colleen, Ginger, Mindy, Brenda, Marion, Roz, and well, EVERYONE! I am also grateful that so many new members took this opportunity to attend their first GTG, and were welcomed into the community in grand style! When you go to a "normal" GTG, you usually have one day or evening to meet a smaller group of people, but in Savannah, we had days to play, relax, and really spend time with so many!
Being in the HOOD!
I really enjoyed walking down the street, and seeing other Slow Travel friends. A group of us were walking down by the river, and ran into Colleen, so she joined us. On our way to lunch, were "picked up" Kim and Kevin for an impromptu lunch. It was GREAT!
I also LOVED, LOVED, LOVED being in our Washington Square neighborhood, and and
hanging out at the house Shannon, Kim & Chris, and Marcia & David were staying. It was our refuge every late night for wine, snacks, and unwinding from each busy day!
Enjoying the beauty, architecture and amazing squares of Savannah!
Well, we just didn't have enough time to really explore every bit of this wonderful city, but I loved what we did see. We definitely plan to go back! A charming, friendly city, with great food and much to do!
Down time at the Carriage House:
It was great to share the Carriage House with Jerry and Paul. They are quiet, neat, and fun to hang out with for morning coffee, blogging, or a martini hour. Jerry had all the fixin's for three types of martinis before we met the gang on the trolley!
Showing the MOVIE at Brunch:
I think I covered this in yesterday's post!
What an AMAZING WEEKEND we'll never forget. It has been an honor to have had an active part in ALL of it! (It might take me a year to scrapbook the Gathering!) I also LOVE my new flower under my name on Slow Talk!