Have you ever utilized an on-line dating service? Did you have success? Nah, I'm not looking for one but I was thinking that blogging is a bit like a dating service. We are attracted to men (or women) for different reasons, aren’t we? We like them because they’re smart, they’re witty, kind, generous and hopefully, attractively packaged. We are attracted to blogs for the same reasons. Those blogs that we all know and love feature all the attributes we’d like to see in another person, I think. I’ve often wondered with a dating service whether the reality of the date would match the expectation. I don’t know. But, I do know that the people behind some blogs I love really did live up to my expectations!
This place was gorgeous! The first night, Julie and I both woke up at 3:30 AM (5:30 AM our time) and couldn't go back to sleep. We went out and sat on the balcony and watched the stars in the sky. The sky was the most beautiful shade of deep blue that seemed to be lit from behind it was so luminous. That spot is the only place I've ever been where I really felt like I could see and feel the earth moving. It was spectacular!
Anyway, while Loraine, Jolene and Kathryn all knew each other, they had never met us, nor us them. Meeting these wonderful women was such a thrill! Sweet Loraine, whom I’ve grown to know and love over the last couple of years, is just as her blog would lead you to believe. She is the most cheerful, talented and upbeat, glowing from the inside out kind of person I may have ever had the privilege to meet. Jolene, as you may know from her wonderful giveaways, is the most generous person ever. She spoiled me rotten and is the type of person who gets obvious joy from doing for others. Kathryn was our gourmet cook! She fixed most of our meals and did so with a cheerful heart and her fun and silly personality. She prepared the most amazing dishes for us: salmon in pappiere’, squash bisque soup, chicken over rice pilaf with the most amazing and decadent sauce, pizza, gazpacho soup, omelets and more! All the dinners were homemade and absolutely scrumptious!
Also staying at the Escala were our good blogging friends Cari (who really is “Simply Fabulous”) and her sister’s Cathy and Joan (no blog). Oh, my gosh! These gals were a ton of fun and they were exactly as I expected. Cari is gregarious, hilariously funny and was exactly as I imagined her to be. I am sure that she and I could get in a lot of trouble together (sorry about the spilled soda, Cari - you all know it had to happen to me at least once during the trip. No stitching was harmed.... too much!). Cathy was also very funny and couldn’t have been sweeter. Their sister Joan, a little more quiet than Cari and Cathy was just as sweet and kind and I felt like I knew her well after only a few minutes! I can imagine what a laugh filled home they had while growing up! We also met Cari’s good friend Karen who attended the retreat and Julie and I
latched onto joined her whenever possible. Karen was a lot of fun and had a great pair of red cowboy boots that I’m still coveting!
Yep, had all this been set up by a dating service it would have been on one of those commercials that tells you how successful they are at matching people! What fun! Here are a couple of pictures of the group. I’m sorry but this pic was taken late into the evening and most of us were pretty tired……
From left to right: Julie, Deb, Jolene, Moi, Loraine and Kathryn.
The final picture (worthy of sharing) is this one of Cari, Cathy and me. We got ready to pose for this picture and I said "Okay girls, chins up!" Cari and Cathy quickly informed me that the best way to hide those chins is this delicate little pose. What do you think? Does it work?
I wanted to show you a picture of the wonderful pin cushion Jolene and Loraine made but I can't find it..... if one of you girls packed mine by mistake, please let me know. I'm distraught!
Cari, Cathy and Joan gave us these really pretty bags with a pretty flower on them that Joan made for all of us. Inside were these wonderful goodies:
A pincushion, a pin made with bright cheerful buttons, an awesome finger ring pin cushion, and old spool of thread, an old key and a vintage clothes pin. Is this not a great gift?
Here are some pictures from around town and at Temple Square:
The statue of Christ and the Creation at the Visitors Center:
I also got to meet some other famous bloggers; Valerie and Katrina and lots of other wonderful ladies, too! This was so much fun and I highly recommend it. Thanks to Julie, Loraine, Jolene, Kathryn, Cari, Cathy, Joan, Karen, Deb and all the other fabulous women I met, I found my smile - it was in Utah. Who would have guessed?