ahhhhh, it's good to be home! oh what a crazy time nashville was! so many people from every state...tons of really interesting workshops...so many social events...free booze and free food as far as the eye could see...freebies from different companies from every state! it was...wow!
and the resort and convention center was "oh my god!!!" amazing! when you walked into this place, you were greeted with "welcome to the gaylord opryland, where it's always 70 degrees and sunny". the rooftop was glass and housed a climate control system with a simulated breeze to keep you perfectly cool, which was much needed as the temp was in the mid to high 90's all week with crazy humidity. i've never been so thankful for air conditioning in all my life!
there were also cascading waterfalls, magnolia's and jasmine in bloom, an indoor river that you could take riverboat rides on! i was so relaxed walking through this hotel, but i swear i walked 15 miles just in the hotel! it. was. huge! all the workshops spanned throughout the many levels of just the convention center, then there were 4 or 5 different registrations for guest rooms (and i don't know how many rooms, tons!).
i went to a country fair outside the country music hall of fame, where there was a live band, game booths, tons of beer tables, a "cosmo/appletini" booth, tons of fair food and on to an intimate concert in the ford theatre by a singer/songwriter named james dean hicks. after that it was back to the convention center to top off the evening with a party being hosted by a group of canadians (chocolate fountain and mountie martinis - which had lime juice and i think a fruit punch mixed with gin - very interesting combo).
on wednesday, the texas delegation held an event at the wild horse saloon that was ah-maze-ing! the food was an unbelievable mexican feast (best guacamole i've ever tasted next to my friend melissa's - which i could eat by the bowlfull!). it was really fun and myself and two others got to ride down to the saloon with a member of the texas senate and his wife. very nice people (even though they are republicans)! especially to offer a ride to 3 complete strangers from maine - and his wife was just a kick! wonderful people!
it really was a great trip and all my fears were for naught! never missed any flights, never got airsick, got lost in the hotel plenty of times, but at every corner there was someone willing to help. i'm really happy that i got to go. my only regret is that i didn't get to wander downtown nashville more. it was 30 to 45 mins away from the hotel and there were no shuttles to drop you off down there or pick you up unless there was an event, but those were mostly at night and i was not about to wander around a strange city, alone, at night. next time, i'm bringing someone with me, just so i have a familiar face willing to pal around with me. the next conference is closer to home (boston). and despite all the fun, i'm so glad to be home! i was beginning to feel like all i was doing was going from hotel to hotel and airport to aiport, all the while living out of a suitcase. the best part about traveling is coming home - it makes you see home in a whole new light and makes you thankful for the familiarity of it!
anyhoo, i have a ton a ton a ton of blogs catch up on, as well as a ton of work to catch up on in the next 4 days before i go on vacation...again...for 11 days (this is my fall clean-up vaca - i put in for this long before i knew about nashville) and i have a fairy project started at home to get a jump start on christmas (i was doing mad dash marathon fairy making until the week after christmas because so many people ordered them from me here at work - i promised myself that this year would not be a repeat and that i would start making bodies now and would only have to dress & bead them later)
check out the rest of the tennessee photos here. i got some great sky shots from the plane!