There were exactly two times during our trip to Vegas when all 11 girls were together - Saturday night dinner at Lotus of Siam (which by the way was the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Thai food ever) and Sunday brunch at Bouchon located in the Venetian where we stayed. This photo (taken by the staff of the hotel with Laura's camera and editing skills) is from Sunday brunch.
I had a wonderful time getting to know all of these ladies in person. Some of the girls I felt like I already knew pretty well through BabyCenter, blogs, various social networking sites and forums while a few of the girls I knew much less about but was still super excited to get to know better. Our time together only magnified my admiration for these amazing ladies and helped deepen our bond. It is an experience that I will never forget and cannot wait to get to do again.
Now for my personal thoughts on each of these amazing ladies:
Laura obviously I have met before but as funny as this sounds she is somebody I not only admire but I look up to her. She always has such fantastic ideas I find myself following in her footsteps (like with starting my blog). And when she sets her mind to something, she never does anything halfway and she always sees it to the end. I fully believe that if she had not put herself out there to meet so many of her internet friends, we would not have ended up having this trip in the first place. I consider her the pioneer. Rita is the one you want to take to the party with you. Heck, Rita is the party. She is so fun and full of life. But she also wears her heart on her sleeve and I love that about her. She has a passion for life that is evident in every thing she does and feels things intensely. I could listen to her talk poetically about food and never get bored. One can only imagine what it is like when she talks about her family and life. I am also very thankful that Rita brought her best friend Tenaya who was also very high-energy and super fun to get to know. Joanna is so incredibly smart and her stories are just as witty and entertaining in person as they are on her blog. Joanna and I are food sisters. Along with Beth, we were considered the “picky” ones out of the group and out of sheer coincidence, we ordered the same exact dishes for all of our major meals. The other thing about Joanna is that I think we can both talk about our kids forever when we are together and I think a lot of that stems from the fact that I think if I were to combine both of my kids into one, the result would pretty much be her son Michael. Out of everyone, I think I got to know Joanna the best and I am so very thankful for that opportunity. She was an early arrival on Friday, not only my roommate but my bunkmate, and she was able to stay through until Monday morning. We also tended to want to do the same activities. Lindsay is so sweet and considerate of everyone and you immediately feel comfortable around her, like you could talk to her about anything. I loved the way she thought of things I wouldn’t have considered on the trip, always had suggestions or solutions, wasn’t afraid to speak her mind or do what was for the good of the group. I can see why she was labeled the “cheerleader” on last year’s trip.
I didn’t get to spend quite as much time with the other girls so even though I may not have as much to say about them, that does not mean I was not equally impressed. Bridget is one of the most stylish people I have ever met. She is also one of the most determined and brave. Her manner of storytelling is so wonderfully amusing and genuine, I think she could be a best-selling author or the host of her own late night talk show. Beth is incredibly down to earth and has such a kindness about her. It is very easy to fall into conversation with her. But she also has a bold side that was both surprising and admirable. Did you see her holding the snake? Heidi has so much spunk and her style fits her personality perfectly. With someone who is so comfortable with themselves, I have no doubt she is going to make a great counselor. Desi was exactly the way she comes across in her blog. She is funny and vivacious and passionate about her career. I probably could have talked her ears off about animals and her career all day. Having not known as much about her before hand, I loved getting to hear Julie’s story firsthand. She is incredibly intelligent, well-spoken and driven in that she knows what she wants.
And now for a few more group photos....
Friday night at Firefly:Sunday during our walking tour of Vegas. This was taken in the botanical gardens at the Bellagio:
After dinner at AquaKnox on Sunday night, these were taken outside our hotel room floor's lobby atop what was affectionately nicknamed "the doughnut" I don't think I can remember the last time I giggled so hard and so long as when we were taking these pictures:
Can you guess whose foot is whose?
But wait! There is more. So stay tuned for our blogger meetup part 2. And for friends and family who read only my blog, here are some photos and synopsis of the trip from some of the other ladies.