My suntan has faded, my bug bites are almost gone (oh, the South and your crazy, hungry bugs), and my suitcase is unpacked. But oh, I am still daydreaming about pimiento cheese balls and popsicles in the park and lounging poolside with some of my favorite people on the planet.
1. The Blathering was in Charleston, South Carolina this year. This was my third trip to this beautiful, historic city and I am still in love with it. It’s one of my favorite places. The food is amazing (AM-AZ-ING), the weather is wonderful (even if it is a bit sticky & humid), and the houses and architecture make me want to take a billion pictures. (And so, I did.)
2. Thursday night, my first night in Charleston, I had dinner at Poogan’s Porch with a small group of lovely ladies. Our feast included pimiento cheese fritters, smoked gouda mac and cheese with ham, fried green tomatoes, a wedge salad, and for my main course (yeah, all that other stuff was just APPETIZERS, duh) I ordered the beef short ribs and brussel sprouts sauteed in duck fat and holy CRAP it was all delicious. Oh! AND BISCUITS. My only regrets are not having room for dessert and not ordering dessert to go (WHAT WERE WE THINKING, LADIES??)
3. My roommates at the charming Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina were Kori and Sara. I met and roomed with both of them last year in New Orleans so it was a fun reunion this time around. I feel like the three of us are very different in a lot of ways, but somehow we just mesh well on these trips and it feels comfortable and I just love them both.
4. Last year’s common reaction from everyone was OMG CHAOTIC TOO MANY PEOPLE NOT ENOUGH TIME. This year felt very different than that. A smaller group (30-ish as opposed to nearly 60 of us), plus the organizers stayed in the hotel with us, which for me made it feel like they were PART of us. I liked that. And it was great having a common gathering place by the resort pool where we could just visit and chat and eat snacks and have a drink together. Each afternoon we all eventually wandered down to the pool area for some downtime and it was perfect.
The smaller group also meant that, because this was trip #3 for me, I had met almost everyone in person before. This made it slightly less scary for me, and I feel like I was able to at least say hello to everyone this year! And I met some hilarious and sweet new friends, so a huge thumbs up for that.
5. If you had told me 5, 8, 10 years ago that one day I’d be bowling with friends I’d met on the internet in a city hundreds of miles from my home? I never would have believed you. But, that happened. And it was really fun. Even if I’m a TERRIBLE bowler.
Oh my. There’s so much more I could say but that would just be… blathering on and on (HAAAA SNORT) about it. The entire weekend was just EXACTLY what I needed after the long year or so I had being pregnant and having a baby and caring for three kids all summer and man, it was worth it. I got a lot of sleep, ate a ton of ridiculously good food, and laughed until my cheeks hurt. My pocket friends are my people.
Oh and hey! Bonus Thing About The Weekend At Home While I Was Away: Dan had to clean up puke out of a sink after Maggie got sick at 1am (we’re pretty sure it was food-related). Then Zach started getting a really horrible cold and Audrey was still getting over her sinus infection so basically Dan will never let me leave the house ever ever ever again.
Until next year when I weasel my way into going to Seattle… (pssst- that’s where The Blathering is next year!)
(If you’re on Flickr, I have lots more pictures posted there!)