Monday, October 12, 2009

Tahoe -- driveby update

I'll weigh in on the Retreat reviews.

For the most part, I had a wonderful time.

I'm going to type as a I think -- randomly.

I didn't enjoy the elevation -- had a nose bleed several times. But I knew that was a possibility when I got there -- esp with my allergies.

Colleen and I got there a day early -- at the same time Dot and Cyn did -- we all arrived at the Village at the same time. I found the staff there to be nothing but professional -- courteous and ready to help!
It was different to be in a hotel that depended on the environment to cool the rooms -- after the first day, we figured out the window situation, the fans and how to keep the room cool. At night it was downright COLD !
The rooms were wonderful -- full kitchen, full services, fireplaces.... and I was content !
Great little Mexican restaurant down out of the Village!

Grace came in on Wednesday and Dot and Cyn decided to have us wait at the hotel while they picked her up at the airport -- a move that I appreciated -- it let me catch up on some sleep!
We greeted and meeted and hugged and off we went in the van to travel around the lake. It was gorgeous and I was astounded at the colors of the water.
And then there was the great science discovery -- Katus Clownus Maximus --- film at eleven -- a picture WILL be posted!

Pam and her crew (names all escape me now -- but darlings Joanna and Kelly were too cute to forget) went out of their way to make us feel at home! Naomi with the wonderful wine!

Thursday classes???
I'm in awe of Laura Timmons -- BOUNDLESS energy -- and she made the wire crochet so easy -- as I told her -- now I'm HOOKED on it (she is such an enabler!).
I wouldn't have tried it before.
The resin class was fantastic -- something new to experiment with and I can't wait.

The desert social -- yes, I would have changed a bit -- not sold kits at the beginning.
I'd have made more time for the teachers.
The deserts were fantastic -- and I'm not a big sweet eater. Yes, I did fill up on fruit and marshmallows.

Friday was Sherri's class -- I loved it. She's a sweetie and an inspiration.
Wouldn't have it any other way. I still want to do her purse class.

Friday night was the PJ party -- or as my sweetie called it -- "katie, where is the klown kar that you should be getting out of? does the klown know you stole his pants??".
It was fun -- even when the other hotel guests stared at us.
I don't much remember lunch that day -- so it must have been ok.

Have to say that they did a wonderful job at moving us AWAY from the Omm-pah bands on Saturday!

Saturday was Marcia's class -- I intimidated myself with her and the class. Yes, I had a few rough moments when I almost snatched up my things and left at lunch. Rarely do I work from patterns and when I do, I become so frustrated with myself. But I got though the class -- and yes, I WILL finish the bracelet.
Lunch was slow -- and a bit frustrating.

Saturday night was the Ugly Bead contest.
I won.
Ok - just so you know -- Ugly is not easy. Yes, I worked hard to get that piece ugly. And it was. And it took time to get it together. Just so you know -- before the contest was announced, Colleen and I had come up with this idea to make something hideous to take to show and tell -- JUST to watch people's reactions. So BU beat me to it :)

Sunday -- cold and it snowed.
Beki's class was like coming home.
Beki and Sherri were both a bit under the weather that morning.
Joanna (from BU) was too -- she had a bit of elevation sickness.
My eyes were bothering me and that prevented me from finishing anything other than one sparkle wheel.
Didn't say anything to anyone, but I kept futzing around until the frustration made me stop.
I took some nice snow pictures that I will post up on my blog.
Lunch was wonderful -- the Ald Dubliner food was fantastic.

Shawn is Shawn -- he always rises to the occasion and makes me happy to see him !
And besides that --what's a few Tastee Cakes among friends!

The end -- I was sorry to see it end, but glad to be headed home to my bed, my cats and my stuff.

Dot and Cyn drove us down the mountain to Reno for the night -- and it was like driving in a wonderland of beautifully flocked white Christmas trees.

Things I would change?
Well, first of all, I would acknowledge that this was BU's first retreat. Things happen. They will learn.
Just as everyone else has.

Yes, I'd have a designated photographer there.
Yes, I'd take more bead pictures.

A clearer supply list -- most didn't know to bring needle and thread to Sherry's class -- but we ended up ok.
Nor did we know to bring Wildfire to Marcia's class -- but beaders are pretty darned generous.

Less is more:
Less food in the breakrooms -- basic granola type bars (one brand), fresh fruit, coffee and water.
No pop,. no juice, no nuts, etc.
Yes, I am still trying to find out the brand name of the mango tea bags that they had -- YUMMY !
The fresh baked cookies? A perk -- I don't eat hot chocolate chip cookies, so it was easy for me to resist.
Good thing there was no peanut butter or oatmeal raisin!

Mid day meals ? if it was somewhere else, I would have looked in to box lunches, buffets brought in and set up in a room for the attendee's.
Hospitality suite: perhaps I would have combined the 3 classrooms into the hospitality suite.
And then used the 3 hospitality suites for the classrooms.

Giveaways: The tote bags were jammed with goodies and the free classes were GENEROUS with supplies,including crystals !
The drawings all looked like fair drawings to me so I can't complain.
Yes some people got bigger prizes than others.
That happens no matter where you are.

Would I do it again?
We waited all this time after the FIRST retreat in Vegas.
Yup ! In a heartbeat ! In a NY/NJ minute -- we'd be there -- line up teachers I'm interested in and I will find a way !

I know all you west (left) coasters have all the luck.
You have all the bead stores. You have all the retreats.
We get very few here on the east coast (umm, the RIGHT coast).
We have BeadFest in Philly -- and this year there was some retreat in Georgia (I wasn't really interested in going....).
It would be nice to be a little closer to this coast. How about even Vegas again -- we can get cheaper flights there !
New Mexico would be nice -- haven't ever been there !

Or even out ON the coast (up or down makes no difference to me) -- it's cheaper to fly all the way out than to change to get to Reno. I'm not complaining -- it's another place I've seen.

Yes, mistakes were made. It happens. We learn from them.

Oh, and I left out meeting wonderful people -- Maia and Grace and Karen and Arline (in person at last).
Hayley was a hoot !
I know I have left people out and I'm sorry -- now I am tired of typing because it is cold and my hands are cold.


abeadlady said...

It was so neat to meet all of you. Can't tell you what a surprise it was when I walked into the classroom on Thursday and you all called out my name. Made me think I was famous or something. LOL! Actually, I felt like I already knew you all. How lucky we are to have such a group of friends to share things with.


Henrysmomsmusings said...

Thank you for the in depth review. Sounds like it was a very good retreat. I'm looking forward to more pictures.